27 September 2023

Public sector must prepare for hyperautomation

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As the automation tide rolls on, Henry Vaage Iverse* says organisations and the public sector need to make sure they’re prepared for its growth.

The appetite for intelligent automation in business is growing at an exponential rate.

Consultant company, Gartner recently predicted that 70 per cent of organisations will implement structured automation by 2025, up from just 20 per cent in 2021.

The increasing automation of processes is known as ‘hyperautomation’ and is the next step in evolving operational efficiency.

As more public institutions embrace automation, the need for cohesive automation technologies becomes more pressing.

Conflicting automated systems can reverse the exact streamlining they are brought in to facilitate, creating headaches for stakeholders further down the line.

In the future, automated systems need to work coherently and be correctly maintained.

This article will explore how to achieve both of these goals and shed light on the best way to implement hyperautomation.

There is a common misconception that automation is a one-size-fits-all solution and that once employed, it can be simply left to its own devices.

This could not be further from the truth.

The best functioning automation systems are those that receive adequate care and attention; it is through refining their functions that they can provide a better service to users.

Human AI trainers will play a crucial role as more public-facing organisations seek to automate processes.

Hyperautomation differs from automation in that it is advanced, intelligent automation, but this can only be achieved with stakeholder adoption and buy-in.

Human workers need to trust their AI colleagues, and that trust is built through AI trainers who work with AI to refine and enhance their capabilities.

Moreover, AI is only as good as the dataset it learns from, so AI models must be provided with as much data as possible.

With adequate human oversight and data input, AI models can avoid becoming glorified search engines that lack the intelligence they are lauded for.

Hyperautomation, when done correctly, is not about adopting user-ready solutions.

Instead, it is about embracing a systems-based approach to growing automation in an organisation.

The real secret to successful hyperautomation is in building understanding across an organisation, making sure all the necessary stakeholders are involved in the process.

This includes IT, business, legal, and accounts all having a say in how these automated technologies work, as they will be using the technologies day-to-day.

Identifying what work can be automated and choosing the right automation tools is another core principle for hyperautomation.

Then, the next step is to use AI and Machine Learning to identify areas for improvement before mining that data to make better operational decisions in the future.

In doing so, you create a self-fulfilling cycle of efficiency.

Two such automation technologies that have proven compatibility are Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and conversational AI.

Conversational AI-powered chatbots can act as a dynamic interface for RPA robots through proprietary Natural Language Understanding technologies.

The chatbot does the job of intelligently interacting with the end user, gathering relevant information etc., before relaying this information back to robots to trigger actions.

The entire process, from input to output, is entirely automated.

AI-powered business logic tools can also provide helpful insight for adapting and reusing certain automation technologies.

Decision management can be automated to improve accuracy, which may involve recommendations for further automation that would not have been uncovered by a human agent — automation fuelling automation.

The public sector is often accused of being slow to adopt new technologies.

The legacy tech systems in place in Government Departments are a huge block to efficiency and a significant drain on resources.

Automation technologies can overhaul archaic processes and propel the public sector into the future.

Automation and AI space is incredibly exciting at this moment in history. We’re at the start of an explosion in automation technology and being able to automate vast parts of employees’ workflows and streamline processes.

Many of the more magnetic stories around automation focus on technology’s potential.

Still, what automation technology can do for the public sector is the most interesting question.

Hyperautomation has a sci-fi ring to it, but in reality, it is a handy phrase to describe the need to build effective automation through the considered and structured adoption of these technologies.

Successful hyperautomation comes from stakeholder buy-in and the creation of suitable systems to support your automation journey.

More importantly, it is critical to have the right expertise and strategy to implement automation technologies tailored to your organisation, which will help you achieve your hyperautomation goals in the long term.

*Henry Vaage Iverse is the Chief Commercial Officer and Co-Founder of Boost.ai.

This article first appeared on the website of the Global Government Forum.

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