What is intelligent automation and when should you use it?

intelligent automation

Learn what intelligent automation is and how to recognise ideal scenarios for implementing it

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, organisations are constantly seeking innovative ways to streamline processes, increase efficiency, and stay ahead of the competition. One approach in the field of automation that has been gaining significant traction is intelligent automation.

In this post, we will explore the concept of intelligent automation, its benefits, and how to determine if it’s the right solution for your organisation’s needs.

What is intelligent automation?

Intelligent automation is an advanced form of automation that integrates artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotic process automation (RPA) to create a more powerful and versatile system. This enables organisations to automate mundane and repetitive tasks and complex processes that require cognitive abilities, such as decision-making, pattern recognition, and natural language processing.

Let’s delve deeper into the key components of intelligent automation:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines, allowing them to learn, reason, and problem-solve. AI provides the foundation for intelligent automation, enabling it to understand, interpret, and respond to complex situations.
  • Machine Learning (ML): As a subset of AI, machine learning focuses on developing algorithms that can analyse large datasets, identify patterns, and make predictions or decisions based on the data. ML allows systems to continuously improve and adapt their performance based on new information, without the need for explicit programming.
  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA): RPA is a technology that automates routine and repetitive tasks by mimicking human actions. It involves the use of software robots or ‘bots’ to perform tasks such as data entry, document processing, and basic customer service functions. RPA serves as the foundation for intelligent automation, extending its capabilities beyond simple rule-based tasks.

By combining these elements, intelligent automation transcends the limitations of traditional automation, which typically relies on pre-defined rules and cannot adapt to new or changing circumstances. Organisations can therefore tackle more sophisticated tasks, streamline complex processes, and drive greater value and efficiency.

When should you use intelligent automation?

Intelligent automation can be a game-changer for organisations looking to optimise their processes and stay competitive in the digital age. However, it is essential to determine when and where its implementation would be most effective.

Here are some key factors to consider when deciding whether to use intelligent automation:

Identifying tasks suitable for automation

Before implementing intelligent automation, it is crucial to identify tasks that are ideal candidates for automation. Suitable tasks typically have the following characteristics:

  • High-volume and repetitive: Tasks performed frequently and involve repetitive actions are prime candidates for automation.
  • Rule-based: Tasks that follow a set of predefined rules or criteria can be easily automated.
  • Time-sensitive: Tasks that require quick processing or response times benefit from automation’s speed and efficiency.
  • Prone to human error: Tasks where human errors can lead to significant consequences are excellent candidates for automation to ensure accuracy and consistency.
  • Data-intensive: Tasks that involve processing large amounts of data can benefit from automation’s data analysis capabilities.

Evaluating the potential return on investment (ROI)

Senior stakeholders are naturally concerned with evaluating the potential ROI of new technology. Automation is no different. Consider the following factors when assessing ROI:

  • Cost savings: Calculate the reduction in labour costs and operational expenses resulting from automation.
  • Efficiency gains: Determine the increase in productivity and the reduction in time spent on manual tasks.
  • Revenue growth: Estimate the potential revenue growth due to enhanced decision-making, improved customer experience, and faster response times.
  • Quality improvements: Assess the potential improvement in output quality, reduced errors, and minimised rework.
  • Competitive advantage: Evaluate the long-term benefits of staying ahead of industry trends and adapting to market changes.

Assessing organisational readiness and infrastructure

Your organisation must assess its readiness and ensure it has the necessary infrastructure in place to successfully support an automation initiative. Key considerations include:

  • Technology: Evaluate the existing technology stack to determine compatibility with intelligent automation tools and identify any required upgrades or integrations.
  • Skillsets: Identify the skills needed to implement and maintain intelligent automation solutions, and invest in training or hiring the right talent.
  • Change management: Develop a change management plan to address potential resistance, communicate the benefits of automation, and ensure a smooth transition.
  • Data management: Ensure data quality and establish robust data management practices to support data-driven decision-making enabled by intelligent automation.
  • Security and compliance: Address potential security risks and ensure compliance with industry regulations and standards when implementing automation solutions.

three colleagues at a workstation

What are the benefits of intelligent automation?

Improved efficiency and productivity

Intelligent automation dramatically enhances efficiency and productivity by automating repetitive tasks and streamlining processes. This enables employees to focus on strategic initiatives, driving innovation and better overall performance. Additionally, intelligent automation systems can operate 24/7, ensuring continuous productivity even outside regular working hours.

Enhanced decision-making capabilities

By processing and analysing vast amounts of data quickly, intelligent automation provides valuable insights that lead to better decision-making. AI and machine learning help identify patterns and trends, enabling organisations to make informed decisions and rapidly respond to market changes or customer needs.

Cost reduction and resource optimisation

Intelligent automation reduces operational costs by minimising manual labour and optimising resource allocation. By automating tasks, businesses can reallocate human resources to higher-value activities, resulting in increased cost savings and improved efficiency across the organisation.

Increased accuracy and reduced errors

Automated systems are less prone to errors than manual processes, ensuring greater accuracy and consistency in output. Intelligent automation also minimises the risk of human error, leading to improved quality control, reduced rework, and increased customer satisfaction.

Scalability and adaptability

Intelligent automation allows organisations to scale operations efficiently and adapt to changing business environments. As processes grow and evolve, automation systems can be easily updated or expanded to accommodate new requirements, ensuring long-term flexibility and resilience.

Put intelligent automation to work in your business

At Ten10, our mission is to provide unparalleled automation solutions tailored to your business goals and priorities. Browse our automation consultancy services to see how we can help you implement automation solutions into your organisation that will deliver meaningful results.