Companies across every industry are moving towards automation. A 2019 Deloitte survey shows that 58% of companies have begun implementing automation in some form, whether it be basic robotic process automation (RPA) or intelligent automation combined with machine learning. At current rates of growth, automation will become ubiquitous—which means that leading-edge organizations need to start looking at what lies beyond.
Looking at the Limits of Automation and Orchestration
As more and more companies adopt software automation, more and more companies are discovering its drawbacks. Creating automated processes at scale just creates another version of unmanageable complexity—now you need orchestration tools to ensure that your processes start and stop on time, communicate with one another, and remain stateful and fault tolerant.
Even highly orchestrated processes usually involve manual effort at one end or the other. If your strategy involves cloud bursting in response to heavy customer demand, for example, you need to have someone keep an eye on the process to make sure that you don’t scale beyond what your budget allows for. No matter what, you’re going to have to designate workers to look at dashboards all day and answer 3 am phone calls—something that nobody really wants to do.
On the other hand, if you marry robotic process automation to machine learning and artificial intelligence, you get a system that can not only replace manual effort, but also start and stop on its own. It’s automation that you don’t have to keep an eye on, in other words.
Intelligent Automation, Hyper Automation and Composable Infrastructure
As you may expect, there are many ways to skin the cat as far as advanced automation is concerned. Although each method relies on the same basic building blocks, they’re applied in different ways and are intended to do different things.
Intelligent Automation: This is the basic combination of RPA and machine learning/AI. RPA is used to automate a manual task such as taking a customer’s information from a contact form and entering it into an invoice—menial jobs that nonetheless have been hard to automate in the past due to inconveniences like a lack of integrated APIs. Adding AI/ML to the process helps by adding a degree of context and nuance—for example, by allowing the software to flag when a contact form is improperly filled out. Notably, companies using RPA alone achieve just a 2.9% ROI, while adding AI/ML boosts ROI to 8.5%.
Hyper Automation: While intelligent automation improves RPA, administrators still need to do significant work in terms of finding areas where RPA makes sense and then training machine learning models effectively. What if it was so easy to create AI-augmented automated tasks that any layman could do it? What if the AI could also suggest areas where automation could have the most impact?
Creating hyper automation is, presently, a lot of work on its own. It requires successful implementation and coordination of several technologies, not just RPA and AI, but also business process management, advanced analytics, and digital twin organizations (DTO) that model the people and processes at work in the business in order to suggest efficiencies. Right now, hyper automation is beyond the reach of all but a few organizations—those with enough specialist employees and budget resources to master hyper automation’s prerequisites. According to Gartner, however, it’s a technology to watch.
Composable Infrastructure: Whereas hyper automation and intelligent automation are focused around software automation, composable infrastructure focuses on infrastructure automation. In effect, composable infrastructure gives on-premises data centers the flexibility of the public cloud. Resources previously confined to separate boxes and racks are treated as a shared pool that can be applied to any workload as needed. These resources are automatically shifted around as needed by various applications, optimizing the data center without human intervention.
Device42 is a Building Block for Advanced Automation
No matter what kind of advanced automation you wish to approach, no single product is going to have the out-of-the-box functionality you need. Instead, you’ll need to carefully evaluate your application in order to understand whether and how they can support an advanced automation solution.
Device42, in addition to its powerful ITAM capabilities, has the built-in intelligence and API connectors to become a valuable building block of a hyper-automated solution. Whether you wish to manage your infrastructure, enhance your RPA, or embark on a journey towards full-scale hyper automation, you’ll find that Device42 has the functionality to support your plans. For more information, get started with our 30-day free trial.