Hyperautomation: What it is and how it will transform business operations


Are you trying to convince your manager to invest (more) in automation? Or are you the manager who went a bit over budget with automation tools and you’re wondering if it was worth it? Or maybe you’re just exploring the vast space of workflow automation tools and wondering: “Is this the future of real work, or is it just fantasy?”

In this post, we’ll share with you the key facts you need to know about hyperautomation: what it is, why it is important, what are examples of hyperautomation tools, how businesses can use them, and how hyperautomation is predicted to evolve in the next few years.

What is hyperautomation?

Gartner defines hyperautomation as “a business-driven, disciplined approach that organizations use to rapidly identify, vet and automate as many business and IT processes as possible. Hyperautomation involves the orchestrated use of multiple technologies, tools or platforms.”

Examples of hyperautomation tools are:

  • no-code/low-code application platforms (N/LCAP)
  • workflow automation tools (WAT)
  • robotic process automation (RPA)
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
  • chatbots and conversational agents

The hyperautomation-enabling software market has been rising in the past two years and is expected to reach $596bn in 2022.

How is hyperautomation different from automation?

Automation refers to the accomplishment of a specific task without manual or human intervention. For example, you can use a no-code workflow that creates tickets from form submissions automatically, instead of doing this manually. Automation is well-suited for repetitive, boring, regular, rule-based, software-based, and time-consuming tasks at small scale.

Hyperautomation refers to the combination and connection of several automated workflows, thus creating an orchestrated automation. This orchestration feature takes automation to the hyper level, allowing businesses to scale individual processes. Taking the example above a step further, you can add this workflow alongside an ML model or service that detects the sentiment of user reviews, a chatbot that assists customers, an application that processes text from invoices, and a database synchronization to keep the information up-to-date – all these forming a hyperautomated business.

Why do we need hyperautomation?

The examples above highlight the two main benefits of hyperautomation: increased productivity and seamless scaling of business operations. Without automation orchestration, business departments risk working out of sync, thus impacting the overall progress and costs of the organization.

Gartner points out that hyperautomation is driven by two forces: operational excellence and digital acceleration. Operational excellence is reflected in profits (businesses being able to deliver faster or cheaper), whereas digital acceleration is reflected in adoption (attracting more customers at a faster pace).

To get to that point, organizations can go two ways. Traditionally, they can increase productivity by hiring department-specific people or IT-skilled engineers who can set up automations. IT teams become fusion teams, where employees with different skills can directly contribute to the automation processes needed in their department.

In short, hyperautomation helps organizations to save costs, increase efficiency, and overall improve their business model. On an individual level, employees whose tedious tasks are automated have more time to focus on meaningful and creative work, which in turn increases their job satisfaction.

How are businesses leveraging hyperautomation?

According to a Gartner studybusinesses have on average 4 automation processes. This number seems low even for small businesses, considering how many individual tasks are on the to-do lists of employees in every department. However, 80% of senior business executives say they will spend more on digital initiatives in 2022, aiming to accelerate their business (65%) and go to market faster (71%).

Businesses in all industries can leverage the power of hyperautomation. For example:

  • eCommerce can automate almost the entire journey, from announcing product launches, sending and analyzing emails, issuing invoices, tracking packages, running inventories, and notifying customers.
  • IT can automate DevOps and SecOps use cases like contributions to a repository, critical incident response, or vulnerability disclosure.

What is the future of hyperautomation?

Gartner foresees four trends in hyperautomation in the next few years.

1. Orchestrated automation processes

“By 2024 diffuse (siloed) approach to hyperautomation initiatives will drive up initiative specific total cost of ownership by 40-fold, making adaptive governance a differentiating factor in financial performance.”

Think of how many different apps and services you use in your daily job, and how many more your colleagues from other departments use as well. In fact, 78% of business professionals use three tools from different categories to accomplish their daily tasks, which is not really practical or efficient.

In the next few years, businesses will try to turn these disparate (disconnected) automations into orchestrated (connected) hyperautomation workflows. For example, you can have one workflow that synchronizes data between the Sales Pipedrive and Marketing Hubspot.

2. Automation marketplaces

“By 2024, growth of “automation marketplaces” will propel 80% of the large enterprises to pivot to principles of composability to minimize operational interdependencies and maximize value of hyperautomation initiatives.”

Businesses will change the way they deliver their digital products, replacing packaged applications (like individual projects or products) with composed applications (in the style of catalogs or markets). Think of these “automation marketplaces” as curated, interactive exhibitions.

For example, in a workflow automation marketplace, you would not only see a list of integrations, but also sort them by industry or function, try out automation templates, and learn from supportive content––maybe even tailored to your personal role.

3. Vendor-agnostic hyperautomation

“By 2024, the lack of standardization and uniformity in vendor pricing structures will continue driving 40% of clients to increase hyperautomation vendor-agnostic business capabilities.”

It’s hard to find the one tool that ticks all the boxes: affordable price, powerful functionality, intuitive UI, blazing speed. Commonly, businesses are willing to compromise on some features for the sake of simplicity and keep their processes on one platform––at the risk of vendor lock-in.

Hyperautomation tools can diminish this risk, since they make it possible to interconnect apps and services. As a consequence, in the future businesses will move away from a commitment-based model to a consumption-based model, preferring to combine features of different tools until it’s a match for their use case.

4. Infrastructure automation

“By 2024, 40% of organizations will use managed service provider hyperautomation offerings to fill infrastructure operations gaps fortifying a foundation for TCO and scaled automation.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies to go into remote work mode. But with employees working around the world, it’s challenging to ensure smooth connectivity, data security, incident response management, timely decision-making, and ongoing support and maintenance.

To create a solid infrastructure for these processes, businesses will rely on hyperautomation tools. For example, with no-/low-code tools you can build workflows for automatic incident response or database monitoring.

Start automating!

Going back to the questions in the introduction, we hope the information in this post helps you make a compelling case for automation in your workplace, rest assured that your investment in automation tools is worth every penny, and dare to explore the hyperautomation space.

One more thing: 3% of hyperautomation professionals characterized their organization as having a high impact on hyperautomation governance. Are you going to be among them?

At n8n, we are helping companies hyperautomate their processes by providing a powerful workflow automation tool that allows them to connect third‑party services and in-house tools. And the best part is: with n8n you can automate for freeTry it out yourself and see how n8n can accelerate your business operations.

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