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5 barriers to hyperautomation adoption (and how to overcome them)

Februar 23, 2023 / Subrata Mukherjee | Simon Price | Amith K K

Short on time? Explore the key takeaways:

  • Hyperautomation is an advanced form of automation that combines AI, machine learning, and robotic process automation to automate a wide range of business and IT processes.
  • Challenges of implementing hyperautomation include resistance to change, faulty priorities, spaghetti code, broken systems, and leadership buy-in.
  • To overcome these challenges, organizations should start from scratch when planning for hyperautomation and have open meetings with managers and clear communication with employees.
  • Successful implementation of hyperautomation can bring benefits such as cost reduction, increased efficiency and adaptability, and the ability to attract top talent.

As technology advances, organizations are discovering new ways to operate more efficiently. Making its way into the spotlight is hyperautomation.

When executed correctly, hyperautomation can effectively reduce costs and attract top talent. Gartner’s report from 2022 found that “over 80% of organizations consistently self-report increased or continued investment in hyperautomation” because of its immense advantages. In fact, the global hyperautomation market is predicted to soar 23.5% between 2022 and 2028, from USD 9 billion in 2021 to USD 26.5 billion in 2028. This begs the question:

What is hyperautomation and does it live up to the hype?

Hyperautomation supercharges the automation that many organizations may already use to streamline as many processes as possible. Organizations can use hyperautomation “to rapidly identify, vet and automate as many business and IT processes as possible,” according to Gartner guidance.

Rather than involving one automation technology solution, hyperautomation combines artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotic process automation (RPA) to automate on a much larger scale. It’s this combination that yields the highest business reward.

This exciting trend has everyone talking, including our technology experts. During a recent fireside chat on “The Hype Around Hyperautomation,” Subrata Mukherjee, Simon Price, Ph.D. and Amith K K of Unisys shared their insights on this timely topic.

How companies can apply hyperautomation

Hyperautomation, as our experts explained, differs from automation in how it is applied. It expands and multiplies the benefits of automating tasks involving both people and processes.

“It eliminates human involvement in low-value processes and restructures businesses to optimize anything that’s possible to automate,” explained Price. “But for those worried about being displaced, don’t be. Hyperautomation is not meant to replace humans. Companies should be using it to boost their employees to higher-level tasks.”

For example, technology like RPA mimics human behavior by using software to automate repetitive, rules-based tasks. Besides freeing up employees for projects that excite them, hyperautomation also offers a solution to one of the biggest enterprise challenges – a reduced workforce.

“Automation doesn’t take a day off. After you position it, it’s always running,” said Mukherjee. “Many people misunderstand hyperautomation as strengthening the weak points of RPA. But I would define it as a combination of people and process automation. You must look at automation with an end-to-end perspective that will involve change management.”

RPA is a good starting point if your organization wants to automate processes, but hyperautomation can take your company to new heights of productivity. Reduced human error, streamlined operations and improved adaptability to changing market conditions are just a few of its many benefits.

To reap these rewards, you must identify and address the biggest barriers to hyperautomation adoption.

Overcoming the top five people challenges

People are critical enablers of the adoption of any technology – hyperautomation included. Here are the top five challenges that may prevent people from embracing hyperautomation – and how to overcome them.

#1 – Resistance to change

For many people, change is uncomfortable. We are creatures of habit, many of whom are reluctant to invest the time and energy to shift processes. This is especially true if people don’t think there’s anything wrong with their original routine.

To encourage a positive mindset towards change, it’s essential to have open meetings with managers and clear communication with employees so that they feel involved in the process. Organizations must convey how requested changes will support efficiency and allow them to reduce time spent on lower-priority tasks.

With automation taking over routine tasks, it’s easy to see why some employees might fear losing their jobs to automation. While this is an understandable concern, hyperautomation is intended to provide more opportunities for employees instead of fewer. While hyperautomation takes care of repetitive, transactional tasks, workers can expand their focus on higher-level, creative tasks that often excite employees.

#2 – Faulty priorities

When planning for hyperautomation, it’s usually best to start from scratch. Many teams make the mistake of trying to improve existing processes, but those processes might not be the best options. Implementing with a fresh perspective can foster better solutions and savings in the long run.

“You shouldn’t focus on what the current process is,” said Mukherjee. “This is where you can miss automation initiatives. Instead, it would be best if you asked what your end outcome is. What is the goal you are looking to achieve? And what is the best possible process that we can do to achieve that goal?”

#3 – Spaghetti code

Diverse companies may already have multiple technologies integrated into their systems. If these systems are not implemented in a structured way or changes are made without proper documentation and testing, it can lead to a system that is overly complex and difficult to maintain. This is known as spaghetti code, which is not as tasty as it sounds and can lead to reduced system reliability and increased downtime.

Avoiding the dreaded spaghetti code takes good organization and communication skills.

“Teams should approach hyperautomation as a multi-step process,” said Mukherjee. “Streamlined goals and communication across your team will make your systems easier to manage. Focus on your organization’s goals and implement technology that works for each problem. You can also use middleware to keep automations from different technologies organized.”

#4 – Broken systems

Hyperautomation can be used to optimize your business, but the right people, processes and technologies must be in place to succeed. Not laying a proper foundation for hyperautomation is like planting vegetables in a poorly tilled plot and handing over responsibility and a pitchfork to someone who’s never gardened before and then being surprised when the garden doesn’t yield prize-winning vegetables.

If your system is broken or suboptimal, adding hyperautomation on top will not fix the underlying issues. Instead, introduce hyperautomation when your people, tools and technology are mature.

#5 – Leadership buy-in

Automation is as effective as the people managing it and company-wide adoption starts at the top. Organizations need leaders who understand how to operate automation efficiently. If leadership does not buy into changes, their skepticism can negatively influence the acceptance and efficacy of new operations.

To ensure executive-level buy-in, technology teams must maintain clear, positive communication with leaders and implement changes from the top down. This means IT teams may need to make compromises to keep support from leadership.

Take steps to revolutionize business operations

Hyperautomation is a powerful tool that can maximize automation’s benefits and revolutionize business operations. It enables organizations to design streamlined, adaptable processes that remain competitive in an ever-changing market. However, organizations must execute hyperautomation with the right change management strategy.

To ensure your organization gets the most out of its hyperautomation journey, Unisys automation experts can design solutions targeting your unique needs and our change management experts can help you implement them.

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