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Intelligent automation

What is intelligent automation?

Intelligent automation (IA) combines robotic process automation (RPA) with advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, optical character recognition (OCR), intelligent character recognition (ICR) and process mining to create end-to-end business processes that think, learn and adapt on their own. Intelligent automation is sometimes referred to as intelligent process automation (IPA) and hyper-automation. 

What are the business benefits of intelligent automation?

IA supports the design and creation of the end-to-end processes that make flexible, resilient, modern business operating models possible. Augmenting human experience with IA can unleash a new wave of innovation and inspire people to boldly create new business value by freeing up employee time from responsibilities that can be handled by machines. 

Effective IA requires collaboration between IT and business functions to assess the effectiveness of existing processes, then integrate systems to drive sustainable and scalable change into the process framework. For an IA initiative to succeed, employees must be involved in the transformation journey so they can experience firsthand the benefits of a new way of working and creating business value.

What technologies does IA utilize?

IA combines RPA software—which helps automate traditionally labor-intensive, rules-based tasks that don’t require human judgement or intervention—with intelligence technologies such as:

  • Artificial intelligence—Computer systems that simulate human intelligence, AI analyzes data faster than people and learns from past choices
  • Machine learning—A type of AI software with algorithms that identify patterns in structured data and make accurate predictions using historical data as input to forecast outcomes
  • Computer vision—Technology tools, such as OCR, that convert scanned documents or photos into text
  • Natural language processing (NLP)—Software that enables a computer to understand, interpret and manipulate spoken or written language
  • Process mining—An analytical approach to diagnosing business processes as they actually exist, then capturing and improving processes based on data analysis
How does IA help businesses in a post-pandemic world?

The massive social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates that resiliency depends on smart orchestration of end-to-end digital processes.

Intelligent automation is a proven strategic lever that lowers costs or improves efficiency. But businesses are increasingly looking to IA to improve resilience and manage the pressing challenge of meeting fast-changing customer needs. Smart orchestration of intelligent automation helps in the design and creation of end-to-end business processes that make flexible and resilient modern business operating models possible and allow organizations to anticipate what’s coming and lead the change.

Some business benefits achieved by effective IA include:

  • 600% faster claims processing for a leading healthcare provider
  • More than 90% process improvement and 4X ROI for a leading agribusiness firm
  • 99% accuracy in handling ~100,000 vendor invoices per month for a credit card service company
  • 16% reduction in call volume using NLP with 90% chatbot accuracy for a major telecom provider
What’s the difference between IA and RPA? 

RPA replaces manual repetitive tasks with more efficient automated workflows using software robots, or bots. IA adds new cognitive technologies such as AI to scale business process automation enterprise-wide and free up employees to focus on higher value work.

Examples of effective RPA include:

  • Bots reducing screening time by more than 40% for financial institutions 
  • Healthcare claims-processing bots processing 3.8M transactions annually for insurance firms, with a more than 20% improvement in the auto-adjudication rate 
  • Invoice-processing bots processing over 1.2M invoices annually for retailers and reducing delayed payment interest by more than 50% 
  • Revenue-cycle-management bots improving timely revenue collection by more than 20% in healthcare payment processing 
  • Exchange-derivative-clearing bots processing over $3B annually in commodity future trades 
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