5 Myths About Intelligent Automation

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It's being held up as something of a silver bullet, and although its power is formidable, intelligent automation requires the same kind of meticulous attention to detail around implementation, as any other transformative solution. That means change management, governance, project management, relationship management, etc. However, a number of myths have emerged that are being held up as reasons for not pursuing IA. We debunk five of them for you.

1. It's all about “intelligence.”

At the early stages, not really. The term probably originated from the fact that these types of automation are logical and incorporate, in their most evolved iterations, a cognitive or learning element. But in itself automation is just automation [Find out more about how intelligent automation works at SSON's free online IA World Series event in September]. Just as “artificial" intelligence, where the term intelligence really does mean something, isn’t really "artificial".

2. You have to start with the basics and build on them.

Well, again, not really. In the same way that anyone launching a shared services today steps into, as far as possible, the model that is current in 2017 – anyone signing on to intelligent automation will benefit from the developments that providers have invested in over the past few years. So, while it may make sense to build on earlier implementations, you can step into IA at any stage (as long as you have the right data to tap into).


3. You can go this alone, without involving IT.

I agree that this headline is lovely. And in some instances, you can definitely implement a fix between  ERP and applications from the business unit. But if you really think you can go this alone you are in for a disappointment. Whether in providing access for the bots via user IDs, governance, or assisting with major glitches as underlying systems change… You're going to need friends in IT to help you through this.

4. You cannot build this internally.

Sure you can. Depending on the problem you need to address, it will cost money and you'll need a lot of influential sponsors to support you, but if you think that you might want to scale intelligent automation's capability over time, you'll be looking at an awful lot of licensing costs and relationship maintenance by contracting. The basic (and they are 'basic') codes for writing some of the IA are freely available on the Internet. For more tailored, process oriented, or enterprise driven versions you will (see point 3, above) need friends in IT to work with. But it can be done, if there are compelling reasons for going it alone.

5. Intelligent automation is just another passing fad.

Err, no it’s not. Intelligent automation vastly improves both transactions and decision-making in ways that we are only just beginning to understand.  If you need proof, witness the explosion of growth in solution providers – they wouldn’t be in business if they wouldn’t have people to sell to; and they wouldn’t stay in business if these people weren’t happy. But while IA is certainly “just another tool” in the toolbox –  it's not one you should even consider ignoring. Just as Excel helped speed up data analysis (come on, the analogy is absolutely correct), so robotic automation speeds up transactions; potentially, any transactions as you move up the intelligent automation continuum.

Read more: Global Intelligent Automation Market Report H1 2017