Intelligent Automation System: The Buyer’s Guide

intelligent automation

Intelligent automation is changing the way we do business and as it grows in popularity, it is being used in nearly every (if not every) sector of the economy. 

Intelligent automation systems can extract, organize and produce vast amounts of information and they can help to automate entire workflows and processes. 

Is it any wonder then that more and more businesses are embracing intelligent automation systems? 

The only potential problem is, these systems aren’t free. This is why it is so important to understand what you’re looking at and which processes are best to automate in your business. 

And this will vary depending on the nature, industry, and size of your company. 

That’s why we’ve put together this buyer’s guide. 

Below, we’re going to address what intelligent automation is, as well as: 

  • What you can do with intelligent automation systems 
  • Why you should invest in intelligent automation systems
  • What to consider before investing in these systems 
  • How to invest in the right intelligent automation systems for your business 

So let’s start with a quick recap/definition of what intelligent automation is. 

What is intelligent automation?

Intelligent automation (IA) is the name given to the integration of robotics from different emerging technologies. For example, the combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotic process automation (RPA) to create a more intelligent way of automating business processes. 

These intelligent automation systems can transform the efficiency of functions such as finance, accounting, HR, recruitment, and customer care. 

In a nutshell, intelligent automation is able to create smart business processes and workflows that not only take on repetitive, manual tasks but that can also think, learn, and adapt on their own.

Plus, when it comes to data extraction and processing, intelligent automation is important for handling unstructured data. And given that most of today’s data is unstructured, this is a game-changer. 

What can you do with intelligent automation systems?

In this next section, we’re going to take a look at some examples of what you can do with intelligent automation systems and how these are commonly used in businesses. 

These examples can show you just some of the ways that these tools can be beneficial to a range of industries, so you can begin to build a picture of how intelligent automation systems could be applied to your own business. 

Some of the most popular uses of intelligent automation systems include: 

  • Handling insurance claims or online applications in real-time 
  • Robotic accounting 
  • Extracting data quickly and efficiently from documents such as invoices, bank statements, applications, sales orders, etc. 
  • Digitally onboarding new customers or clients 
  • Document collection and validation (for example, credit applications)
  • Directing and delivering information to the relevant departments within a business 
  • Indexation of incoming emails
  • Sorting and finding data from financial databases
  • Updating records and databases
  • Analysing shipping data, reducing bottlenecks, and preventing delays by optimizing the available resources 

It’s worth noting that these are just a few of the ways intelligent automation is applied in businesses. There are lots of other ways that these tools can be used to help improve efficiency. 

So when it comes to implementing these in your own business, you need to decide which functions need the most support. But we’ll look at how to do this in more detail later in the guide. 

Why should you invest in intelligent automation?

We’ve briefly touched on some of the benefits of intelligent automation already in this guide, but we’ve only really scratched the surface. 

We’re now going to look at some of the key benefits of intelligent automation systems in more detail and the reasons why you should consider investing in your own. 

Some of the top benefits include: 

Increasing the efficiency of your processes 

Even the most talented team member can only achieve so much during the working day. Whereas robots can achieve in a matter of microseconds what it takes humans minutes or even hours to complete. 

So by automating labour-intensive processes, you can save time and make your business functions more efficient.

Not only this, but intelligent automation systems can work 24/7 – unlike humans! This means they can keep working away even after business hours. 

Improving the customer experience

One of the biggest benefits of intelligent automation systems is that they can make tasks much quicker. And in today’s digital world, where many expect instant gratification or results, response time is crucial. 

So by using intelligent automation, you can cut down on waiting times and allow customers to get answers or support outside of the usual 9 to 5 hours working day. 

This can drastically improve their experience with your company. 

Boosting productivity in the workforce 

These systems can also be great for empowering your employees and boosting workforce productivity. 

This is because intelligent automation tools can take on repetitive, mundane tasks, freeing up the time of your employees to focus on more important tasks. 

This is beneficial to both employers, employees, and the overall success of the business. 

Cutting costs

Another huge advantage of intelligent automation is that it can help you to cut costs to your business. 

When implementing automated systems, work gets completed faster and as we mentioned, it can be performed 24/7. This means that you get a greater output for less money. As such, you tend to see a faster and higher return on investment (ROI).

Reducing the risks of an error  

Finally, by using intelligent automation systems to take on repetitive tasks, you can reduce the risk of human error. 

After all, employees can become tired or complacent when handling and entering vast amounts of data, especially if it’s homogenous. Robots will not tire and, therefore, are unlikely to make a mistake.

What do you need to consider before investing in intelligent automation? 

While these intelligent automation systems may be extremely beneficial, they can also be costly. As such, there are some considerations you need to make before parting with your cash. 

To ensure you don’t waste your time or money on the wrong systems, we’ve pulled together a list of these considerations below:

Which processes you want to automate 

The first important consideration is going to be which processes you want to automate with intelligent systems. You need to identify and understand which functions will have the biggest and most positive impact on the business. 

The good news is, you can use something called process mining to help your business see the full picture of your processes. These tools can help you determine which should then be automated. 

If you’re still unsure, look at what areas of your business contain the most repetitive tasks, and this is usually the best place to start. 

Whether you understand the processes in enough detail 

It’s easier to deploy intelligent automation tools and systems when you fully understand your processes. As such, you need to get to grips with these as soon as possible. 

Again, you can use your data mining tool to help you do this. 

The technical requirements 

You also need to determine if the new software or automation tools will work with your current tech stack. If not, it might be time to make some upgrades. 

Another important consideration is the type of data you’re extracting, storing, and sharing. If it’s sensitive or requires you to follow specific regulations, you also need to make sure you have the right security measures in place. 

Lastly, you need to decide whether you need to improve existing business processes before automating them. This is because you shouldn’t try to automate a process that has flaws in it already. 

Whether the whole team is on board 

And finally, before you make a big investment, you want to make sure the whole team is on board. To do this, highlight the benefits they will receive from any new systems and the problems these will solve. 

How to invest in the right systems for your business 

Once you have considered all the above, it’s time to start shopping around. Now you know what processes you want to automate and, therefore, the types of systems you’re going to need, you can begin to evaluate different providers in line with your requirements.

The best way to do this is to run an online search and then to speak with a representative from the company you want to work with. You can also speak to several companies to see who is offering the best price and intelligent automation tools. 

Once you’ve found a vendor that offers the perfect system for your business at a price, you’re happy with, then you can finally sign on the dotted line.

In summary 

Intelligent automation systems can have a number of benefits for your business and are well worth investing in. That said, you don’t want to choose the wrong systems or providers. So before you commit to a system, you need to consider:

  • What processes you want to automate, and which will be most beneficial to the business 
  • Whether you understand the process in enough detail to automate this effectively 
  • The technical requirements and which systems will be best 
  • Whether other team members are on board – if they’re not, you need to win them over

Then, once you’ve done that, you can begin shopping around until you find the perfect provider.  

Further reading 

If you would like to boost your understanding of intelligent automation, the systems, and technologies involved, and see some real-world examples; we’ve got you covered. You can check out some of our other handy guides below: 

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