Restassured Api Automation
AI in the process Two thirds use software robots – intelligent automation
In a recent study, the market research and consulting company IDC looked at the question of how far German companies have already moved into intelligent process automation (IPA). The conclusion: the train is rolling, but has not yet arrived everywhere. Many industries benefit from intelligent process automation. (Image: public domain Gerd Altmann / Pixabay) In view of tight staffing levels, process automation is not a nightmare for many companies, but a relief. Projects such as Industry 4.0 are also based on automated processes. To determine how far corresponding technologies have already spread and how they are being used, IDC conducted a study with 201 German companies in March. The sample was made up of roughly equal numbers of smaller SMEs with up to 1,000 employees and the other half of larger companies. As many as 22 percent of the participants had more than 5,000 employees. The companies came primarily from industry (25 percent). Other sectors strongly represented were the public sector (18 percent), ITC and media (15 percent), retail (10 percent), traffic and transportation, and financial and administrative services (9 percent).
Wide range of automation options
There are many areas where automation can be applied. On the administrative side, these include compliance, legal, human resources, or finance and auditing. Proactive maintenance and system monitoring, virtual support agents, the service desk or machine configuration are production and support-related sectors where automation can be useful. There are now many vendors offering intelligent software for process automation. In addition to large providers such as Tibco or Software AG (especially “Aris for process design”), there are also plenty of smaller companies with corresponding offerings. Some names: Blue Path, UIPath, Automation Anywhere, Jox, Axon Ivy, BIC, Ganntplan APS and many others, some of which solve very specialized tasks.
Three important segments
According to Marketresearchfuture, the market volume worldwide is expected to reach a volume of about $1.44 billion by 2027.Software for process automation can be divided into the market segments laboratory automation, system automation and decision automation. Lab automation includes process-centric and app-based platforms, software robots, and data acquisition software. System-centric automation software includes middleware for integration, API management or event-driven solutions. Decision automation is about predictive and consultative analytics to fully automated decisions. As many as 68 percent of IDC respondents said they already use process automation. One industry in which the usefulness of automation solutions is particularly striking is the insurance industry.
Ergo: Digital workers record hail damage
Here are two examples: At Ergo, a subsidiary of Munich Reinsurance, for example, more than 70 so-called digital workers are now helping out. This is particularly important in claims situations where many cases have to be processed at once, such as hailstorms. After the last of these events, Ergo was able to process 80 percent of the more than 4,000 cases in just one week thanks to automation. Technology from the provider Blue Prism was used here. At Ergo, hail damage is recorded by phonebots, which also understand dialects, instead of by human employees. The phonebot then passes the case to a digital worker. The latter registers the case and regularly reports to claimants on the progress of the settlement.
Gothaer Insurance: New processes up and running in 24 hours
Gothaer Versicherung also already has 65 software robots in use in all areas of the company. 250 more potential use cases are in the pipeline. According to Gothaer, automation processes can be made live in pressurized business phases within 24 hours. According to the insurance company, suggestions for new applications often come from the workforce. It hopes to relieve them of time-consuming, error-prone routine activities.
Goals: More efficiency, lower costs
Efficiency and cost reduction are unsurprisingly the main business goals of automation projects. In each case, more than 30 percent hope for lower operating or product costs, more effective personnel, easier retention of talent and the like. The most important automation goals are, unsurprisingly, cost savings and greater efficiency. (Image: IDC) As many as 30 percent of respondents want to improve sustainability and climate-related performance through automation. Other goals include more modern processes and customer loyalty. In practice, the most important areas of application are human resources, IT operations, the management of risks, fraud prevention and detection, customer service and support, and accounting.
Workflow automation most important technology in the future
In terms of technologies, supervised bots (37 percent) currently top the list, followed by workflow automation, process mining and unsupervised bots (between 35 and 33 percent). In intelligent process automation, there are many application areas for AI algorithms. (Image: IDC) In one to two years, users plan to install projects primarily in workflow automation and orchestration, each at 43 percent, followed by unsupervised bots (42 percent), task mining (41 percent) and decision management or business rules automation. (40 percent).
ERP: Integrating upstream and downstream processes in SAP
Using ERP as an example, IDC showed what changes automation means for individual applications. In particular, upstream processes are being integrated into ERP. 79 percent are already doing this or plan to do so in two years at the latest. This is hardly less true for downstream processes (78 percent). Almost as important are closing functional gaps in the ERP system, supporting migration projects and supporting communication with third-party systems.
Lack of maintenance resources
However, not everything runs smoothly even with automation projects: employees fear for job security, receive too little training, are not involved and do not trust the systems’ decisions. In addition, there is often a lack of resources to maintain the solutions. After all, IT, which is notoriously understaffed in many companies, often feels overburdened with these tasks.
Silo architecture is disruptive
According to automation specialist CGI, silo architectures are an extremely obstructive problem in practice, making it difficult to set up overarching, automated processes. In a year’s time, intelligent process automation will be used in practically every company surveyed. (Image: IDC) Cost and ROI, compliance, complex technology, and data quality are known technical and procedural issues.
Cloud as a way out of the complexity trap
This is probably one of the reasons why 59 percent of those surveyed believe that the share of cloud-based solutions for process automation will rise sharply in the near future. After all, the user company’s responsibility for the infrastructure will no longer apply. AI components are becoming particularly important in software solutions. They will be used for document analysis, natural language conversation with customers and partners, image recognition, intelligent knowledge generation and other purposes.
Start with simple projects
When it comes to automation, software industry experts unanimously emphasize that it is especially important not to start with overly large, complex projects. “Companies should start with the low-hanging-fruits first,” says Niklas Bläsing, Senior Consultant & Head of Intelligent Automation Practice, CGI Deutschland B.V. & Co. KG. Annette Maier, Area Vice President Central & Eastern Europe, UiPath: “Companies aiming for a high level of process automation should involve their employees.” (Image: UIPath) In addition, she said, one should not underestimate the importance of automation in providing a permanently attractive work environment. After all, most people want to do jobs where they can use their creativity, judgment and problem-solving skills. “Companies that want to retain their employees should aim for a high level of process automation, engage their workforce to provide an exciting workplace,” urges Annette Maier, Area Vice President Central & Eastern Europe, UiPath. (ID:48389813) Restassured Api Automation.
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