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ASCM Insights

Hyperautomation Trends to Watch: Exploring Low Code and Robotic Process Automation

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Hyperautomation is the orchestrated use of multiple technologies and platforms, which enables businesses to automate work and achieve scalability, reliability and efficiency. As more companies turn to hyperautomation to stay resilient and maximize returns, here’s what to consider for your supply chain:

Low code will continue to dominate. Low code simplifies the development of apps using a graphical user interface. Instead of the traditional approach that requires explicit coding — known as high code — low code makes the whole experience intuitive with drag-and-drop features. This allows faster deployment, reduces costs and saves time.

Here’s a construction analogy to illustrate: Instead of building a home brick by brick (high code), using ready-made walls, floors, doors and roofs to assemble the building would fundamentally change the process. Low code brings the same idea and approach to software development. It benefits developers by packaging rich, yet easy-to-customize, components. Furthermore, visual development lowers the skill barrier, giving people without much tech knowledge the ability to develop powerful apps.

Low code is also spurring an artificial intelligence (AI) demand spike. Up until now, the main roadblock to integrating AI and machine learning (ML) has been a skills and knowledge gap. But the user-friendliness of low code is set to reduce or eliminate this gap by enabling users to drag and drop AI and ML models into process models to set up and maintain operations.

Citizen development and self-service will be big. The user-friendly nature of low code opens the door to citizen development, enabling non-IT professionals to basically build their own apps. People can set up highly customizable user interfaces, data models, forms, business rules, user workspaces and complex apps that perfectly meet their organizations’ needs.

2022 marked the beginning of development platforms shifting away from core developers and their monopoly on complex app creation. In fact, by 2024, Gartner predicts that nearly 80% of technology products and services will be built by non-techies, such as shadow developers, business developers and even end-users.

RPA will continue to have widespread adoption. Robotic process automation (RPA) technology will redefine how businesses handle core business processes by ensuring operations can be carried out around the clock, often helping industries address labor shortages and maximize output. Interest in RPA has been spreading, particularly during the early days of the pandemic and the recovery period since. In 2020, the RPA service segment accounted for more than 61% of the market share, and it is expected to have a high compound annual growth rate through 2028. For companies looking to get started with RPA, there currently are many low-cost and managed RPA providers who can help with the transition to hyperautomation.

RPA is a gateway to hyperautomation. The trend is clear: By 2024, 65% of organizations that deploy RPA will look forward to introducing AI, including ML and natural language processing algorithms, according to Gartner.

This trend is already in place across companies around the world. For instance, a major conglomerate based in the Middle East, with operations in more than two dozen countries, embarked on a hyperautomation journey. It started with workflow-human integration almost five years ago. This made it easy to track orders, shipments, and finance and human resources processes. In addition, this brought in an order of magnitude of efficiency gains as management had full control and visibility over processes. And there were fewer lost shipments and fewer bottlenecks.

Along the way, the company brought in other technologies, such as analytics, document management systems and more. These technologies further paved the way for significant automation, including having RPA bots perform repetitive and standardized tasks, which enabled the conglomerate to further scale its operations. Emboldened by the positive rate of change, company leaders embarked on their AI mission, in which the company brought on technologies such as optical character recognition, intelligent document processing, and invoicing and purchase-order processing.

Plus, they did not need to hire many new personnel because tasks were handled by automation. Instead, employees and managers jointly identify areas that can be automated and together work toward reducing friction for customers and suppliers while striving to reduce turnaround times and speed up delivery efficiencies.

A connected future

As markets and work continue to evolve and transform business processes, hyperautomation will become an integral part of organizations. It will carve the path for connected experiences and the digital transformation of businesses, bringing a significant shift in how they operate, support their employees and serve their customers. And it does all of this by going beyond automating repetitive tasks to actual interpret anomalies, learn patterns and capture vast quantities of hidden business insights.

About the Author

Narendran Thillaisthanam Chief Technology Officer , Vuram

Narendran Thillaisthanam is chief technology officer at Vuram, a hyperautomation services company that specializes in low-code enterprise automation. He has more than two decades of experience in the technology domain, spanning product management and core software development and architecture. Contact him through vuram.com.

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