What is Intelligent Process Automation? Why is it Important?

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Written By Haisam Abdel Malak

About: Haissam is a digital software product manager with 15 years of expertise in developing enterprise content management solutions. His core capabilities encompass digital transformation, document management, records management, business process automation, and collaboration.

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If you’re spending hours on one task that could be automated in minutes, you’re costing your company time and money. You’re also costing yourself time and energy that could be spent on other tasks. Intelligent process automation saves time and money, while at the same time increasing productivity. Find out what is it, how it works, and why it is important by reading this article.

What Is Intelligent Process Automation?

Intelligent process automation is the use of artificial intelligence to automate a business process. It can be used for any type of business process, from simple tasks like data entry to more complicated processes such as supply chain management.

Intelligent process automation definition

IPA is used in various domains like healthcare, finance, and manufacturing. It helps in improving efficiency and decision-making capabilities of these companies. The AI-powered software can be used for tasks like customer service, data analysis, content generation, image recognition, accounts payable automation etc.

Intelligent process automation, at its core, is the combination of RPA and various Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies including workflow management software to automate larger decision-based business processes that previously required an employee to intervene and execute. This is also known as hyperautomation and we recommend following up with the latest trends.

Benefits of Intelligent Process Automation

Process automation is not a new concept. It has been around for decades and has been used in many industries to achieve the ultimate goal of business process improvement. What is new, however, is the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) that can automate processes in a more intelligent way than ever before.

Intelligent process automation benefits

The benefits of intelligent process automation are many, including:

1- Increased productivity

IPA is a way to increase the productivity of an organization. Employees can benefit from IPA to be able to complete tasks faster and more efficiently with the use of programs. It can help improve performance, customer satisfaction, and work flow across the organization.

For example, if you use the best contract management software to automate contracts processing within your organization, you could complete the entire contract lifecycle in minutes.

2- Reduced costs

By automating repetitive tasks, organizations save time and money. AI can be trained to complete time-consuming and tedious work such as data entry, customer service, and even creative writing. Using AI for these tasks frees up employees for more important work.

3- Better quality control

Manual processes require a person to review their work to ensure it is accurate. If a manual process makes an error, it has to be corrected manually and then the process starts over. Intelligent process automation systems are constantly checking for errors and correcting them before they have time to propagate.

4- Improved customer service

Automated customer service is becoming more and more common. These types of services are usually backed by AI software that can track customers’ behavior and use it to personalize the service experience, ensuring that customers receive the best service possible.

Intelligent Process Automation Challenges

There are many challenges with intelligent process automation. Implementation is one of the most difficult aspects for companies to overcome because it is expensive and time-consuming. But there are also other challenges, like troubleshooting and maintenance, which can be just as difficult for companies to overcome.

IPA challenges

Some challenges that companies are facing when implementing IPA are:

1- Lack of awareness

Companies are struggling to keep up with the changing, evolving world of automation. There is a lack of awareness and understanding about how intelligent process automation can help companies innovate, create new products and services, reduce their workforce and much more.

Businesses need to step into the world of IPA to understand how these set of technologies can change how they operate to make it more flexible, efficient, and agile.

2- Lack of knowledge

Even if organizations have a good idea of how IPA will help them transform their business, they frequently discover that they lack internal knowledge on the subject, making it even more difficult to launch any process automation projects.

This is incredibly challenging, but it can be overcome in two steps. The first step is to outsource this project to a third-party company with sufficient experience in intelligent process automation, while key employees from your organization join this project and learn from them.

The second option is to employ new resources that have enough knowledge about IPA.

3- Balance between cost and efficiency

The challenge of intelligent process automation is to find the balance between cost and efficiency. The more efficient the process, the more expensive it becomes.

This is a problem that is not unique to IPA. In fact, this is a problem that has been around for centuries. There are always tradeoffs and compromises when it comes to efficiency versus cost.

4- Change management

If an organization is still using paper and manual processes, the most difficult challenge to overcome is the ability to change how employees, particularly the older generation, adapt to new technologies and systems.

Again, this problem is not limited to IPA, but it is one of the factors that can have a significant impact on implementation.

5- Implementation

Any intelligent process automation project’s implementation phase is time-consuming and costly. Consider the systems that must be acquired, employee training, the trial and error phase, and all other challenges.

What are the technologies involved in Intelligent Process Automation?

Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) is a term that is used to describe the use of software or a combination of software, rules and human intelligence to automate business processes.

The technologies involved in IPA are:

1- Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is the future of IPA. With AI, a business can customize automated processes to best suit the specific needs of their industry and organization. This enables them to utilize the latest advances in computer science to automate many routine tasks while maintaining a human-centered perspective.

2- Machine Learning

The idea behind IPA is that machines are able to learn from experience and adapt to new situations without human intervention. Machine learning enables this by providing systems with the ability to analyze data and make predictions based on what they have learned.

3- Natural Language Processing

Natural processing language is a technology that can convert data into text. It is also known as natural language generation. This technology can be used to generate reports, create customer conversations, and even generate emails.

4- Robotic Process Automation

Using RPA tools, manual and repetitive tasks can be recorded and executed whenever needed without any human intervention.

What is the difference between RPA and IPA?

While there are some similarities, they are two vastly different things. The benefits of RPA and IPA are enormous, they can both automate tasks and reduce the number of hours put in by a workforce, but IPA requires more upfront investment in programming skills.

Intelligent process automation is more customizable to individual needs, particularly in industries such as healthcare and finance where there are strict guidelines for data entry accuracy.

I strongly recommend this article (RPA vs IPA) for more information.

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