The digital imperative is becoming even more urgent as the world emerges from the pandemic. Consumers and employees (opens in new tab) want their digital experiences to be even faster and more personalized than ever before. Against this backdrop, digital transformation (opens in new tab) will remain a major priority for organizations in 2022 and beyond – and automation (opens in new tab) will become increasingly critical to their ability to deliver.
Paul Crerand is Field CTO, EMEA at MuleSoft (opens in new tab).
In fact, according our research 96% of IT and business decision makers say automation will significantly benefit their organization in the future. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is one of the most common examples of these capabilities already in use by today’s organizations. Deloitte found 93% of business leaders expect to be using RPA by 2023. However, these leaders’ efforts to automate more processes will have only limited impact if they are not scaled beyond a series of disparate use-cases.
The hyper-automated future
Rather than taking a case-by-case approach to automation projects, organizations should be looking to expand its use across the entire enterprise – known as hyperautomation. This can be achieved through the reuse of key processes and the deployment of multiple, integrated technology capabilities – such as low-code platforms, machine learning (opens in new tab) engines, and RPA solutions. The benefits of hyperautomation are far-reaching, from freeing up employee time from manual work and enabling them to create more connected customer experiences (opens in new tab), to fueling the rapid launch of new digital products and services.
There are also significant cost savings to be gained. Gartner forecast that, by 2024, hyperautomation will allow organizations to lower operational costs by 30%. All of this is crucial in today’s digital world, through enabling organizations to keep pace with competitors and offer valuable experiences and services to their customers (opens in new tab). However, organizations chasing these outcomes often underestimate just how difficult it is to lay the necessary foundations for hyperautomation.
Connecting the dots between data
The shift to digital-first customer and employee experiences has created an explosion of data (opens in new tab) from a broader array of disparate systems than ever before. All this needs to be connected to enable the effective analytics and data-driven insights that power hyperautomation.
Unfortunately, much of this data is locked up in silos – the result of many organizations continuing to rely on custom code and point-to-point integrations. These integrations result in tight couplings between systems, and are complex and time-consuming to build and manage. This undermines business agility, making it difficult to quickly and easily draw out the data that’s needed to drive automated decision-making.
Nearly three-quarters (74%) of IT and business decision makers also point to data security and governance concerns as hindering automation. This threatens to put a handbrake on innovation and, if left unresolved, could seriously hinder the rollout of hyperautomation. It’s clear that many organizations' current integration strategies are not sustainable. Organizations need a new approach, one which allows greater agility and enables them to implement hyperautomation at scale across the entire enterprise.
Scaling automation with APIs
One of the most effective ways to build a foundation for hyperautomation is to harness APIs. With APIs, organizations can quickly and easily draw the information they need from disparate systems scattered across the enterprise, and bring it together wherever it is needed. This ensures automation engines can access all of the data that’s needed to make the right decision, at the right time, and trigger the appropriate response through the organization's systems.
Using a centralized platform to manage their APIs can make this process much easier, enabling organizations to unlock and integrate data from anywhere – whether it resides in an on-premises database (opens in new tab), or in the cloud (opens in new tab). These platforms also enable IT teams to set effective controls and access policies, so they can manage, monitor, secure, and govern their data at the scale hyperautomation demands. Adding low-code or no-code tools to this mix will also allow self-serve capabilities to be rolled out, so business users can help drive their own automation initiatives. With this approach, organizations will be far better placed to enjoy the benefits of hyperautomation.
The road ahead is hyper innovative
Today, automation is a fundamental driving force for the modern digital enterprise. As automation evolves into hyperautomation over the coming years, it will shift from being a ‘nice to have’ to a prerequisite for success and continued innovation. Those that act now and put in place the API strategies that facilitate enterprise-wide automation will be the future leaders of their industries.