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Intelligent Process Automation: Benefits, Challenges, and Applications

Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) is another aspect of technology that paved the way for many new inventions and innovations. The process of automation has embarked its name on from driverless cars to autonomous drones. Automation has been combined with many wings of technology to create and harness new types of intelligence. This article discusses every important aspect of IPA and lets us start with the definition and aim of IPA.  

What is Intelligent Process Automation? 

Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) is an amalgamation of various technologies such as Digital Process Automation (DPA), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) – used for the automation of large decision-based, end-to-end business processes that needs human intervention for execution.   

Digital Process Automation gives the dynamism and insight required to enable a comprehensive approach for automating business processes. This facilitates you to control the flow of data throughout your enterprise and makes it simpler to find out that it requires improvement and dynamic changes.   

Meanwhile, using Robotic Process Automation Services increase efficiency and speed up whatever the process is. Using software bots that simulate human activities helps eliminate highly labor-intensive and manual tasks such as transferring data from one system to another.   

On the other hand, Artificial Intelligence imparts better intelligence and decisions to the blend of RPA and DPA. As Artificial Intelligence can identify data patterns, make better intelligent decisions by learning from the past, and evaluate data in a way that manual laborers cannot, it yields a different thinking level in automation.   

By integrating efficient technological solutions like RPA and DPA with AI, you are adopting a strategic approach and automating not just the tasks but also the whole process across the enterprise.  

The main goal of Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) is to allow organizations to mechanize processes involving structureless content such as text and images. This is done without the need for rule-based decision-making for large training data sets that 95% of enterprises cannot reach. In short, the ultimate aim of IPA is to minimize the number of tasks performed by manual workers which are required to develop overall productivity and efficacy.  

Benefits and challenges of Intelligent Process Automation  

The bright side of the Intelligence Process Automation has been categorized as its benefits. Here are some of the benefits of IPA and the answer to the question Why IPA?  

  • Blend of humans and bots – IPA can manage and coordinate the functioning of bots, systems, and manual workers efficiently. If the goal is an enterprise-wide solution then integration of the most sophisticated technologies is the only solution.   
  • Liberate workers from tedious tasks – Freeing up the manual laborers from repetitive, mundane tasks allows them to give more focus on tasks that need human creativity and intervention. Moreover, the decision-making part can be made easy by IPA because AI always works with informed decisions.  
  • Reduce risks and enable proper governance – When humans are working, the chances of errors are high and it is the direct opposite of what automation does. It minimizes the errors that can show up in various tasks such as in data entry. IPA also assures that any process will be completed even if the worker deviates from the organizational standards.  
  • Ensures visibility and smooth customer journey – It is quite difficult to get enterprise-wide results while using Individual Automation technologies. You can see the whole process with the help of IPA, which helps you to identify obstacles or points that may make the customer journey easier and smoother.  
  • Accelerates processes – IPA facilitates you not only to make dynamic changes to processes and the technologies that assist them but also to speed up end-to-end processing. This allows organizations to enhance their business processes continuously.  

The benefits of IPA are vast but there are challenges as well. Let us take a quick note of those challenges.  

  • Absence of highly sophisticated and skilled manpower.  
  • Difficulty in upskilling the employees and providing them the proper training.  
  • Disagreements from the side of manual workers and inefficiency in dealing with them properly.  
  • Hike in the number of cyber security threats.  
  • Difficulty in leveraging with the traditional/legacy systems.  

Applications of Intelligent Process Automation across different industries  

Leveraging IPA across various industries have contributed to the growth and increased efficiency of organizations. Some of the use cases or applications of Intelligence Process Automation technology are listed below:  

1. Health care

Pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers are increasingly using the data provided by the IPA to minimize mistakes and fraud while improving security and accuracy. The healthcare industry is known for the trouble in paperwork it generates. The use of IPA can be used in various processes such as admissions, discharges, staff appointments, billing, test results, and many more.  

2. Financial services

IPA is already being tested and proved to be efficient in the financial services sector to increase accurate credit models to strengthen lending processes, know client preferences and sensitivity and boost trade execution and routing. Assisting in the digital transformation of top business operations by automating valuation processes, loan applications, account payment operations, and business rules are some of the existing opportunities for Intelligent automation in the financial world. As a matter of fact, 20-25% of the cost can be saved by finance companies that use intelligent automation.   

3. Insurance

Chatbots with NLP (Natural Language Processing) are actively used in insurance companies to automate and enhance customer experiences. In particular, they are employed in the framework of Intelligence Process Automation to automate appointment scheduling and to use a self-service model to make it easier for customers to choose an insurance policy.  

4. Construction

The application of IPA in the construction industry enables organizations to remote handling of autonomous machines, automation of invoices, documents, and estimates management, and use VR (Virtual Reality) for training and project planning. 

5. Manufacturing

IPA not just allow the manufactures to automate manufacturing and workflow but also supports orders, purchasing, inventory, and delivery of products as well.  

6. Oil and gas industry

Automation of data analytics, live report generation, security checks, supply chain management, etc. enables oil and gas industries to scale up their operational efficiency.  

7. Retail industry

Intelligent Process Automation in the retail industry allows automation of various departments and processes including human resource processes, sales analytics, return processing, and many more.    

Wrap Up  

Now we have an idea about how IPA can be applied in various sectors for myriad purposes. Gradually the employees of your organization will be able to easily adapt to the technology and help you work more efficiently and productively. There are challenges as well and it is common for every new innovation, but the benefits of employing Intelligent Automation outweigh those challenges at the end of the day. 

 

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Anurag Rastogi

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