There are several reasons why an organisation may be using advanced technologies in isolation.

In the past, the barriers to digitalisation were extremely high, requiring costly investments and extensive expertise. But the rapid advancements in technology over the past several years have made digital transformation widely accessible.

For example, the introduction of low-code intelligent automation platforms has allowed many businesses and organisations to bring automation development in-house — by enabling smart workers and business analysts with tangential skillsets to be trained in low-code software development. They can then use this training to build out business automations for their organisations and gain benefits quickly.

Awareness of these benefits by combining multiple advanced technologies has only grown lately. And, in the recent past, RPA was the star of the show, now it’s AI. However, knowledge of the benefits of intelligent automation and the technologies it includes has skyrocketed — amid advancements, competitive pressures and demands for digital transformation.

Still, many organisations have fallen into the trap of taking a myopic view when it comes to their technology adoption. Their focus on solving a specific problem or improving a particular task leads them to adopt the best standalone solution for that need, without considering the entire end-to-end process. This can act as a band-aid solution, as opposed to taking a coordinated approach — where you look at end-to-end processes across your organisation and how they can collectively be improved to optimise operations.

This approach often has consequences for digital transformation down the road. For instance, a standalone solution may not integrate well with other systems in the organisation, causing data silos, duplicate work and other inefficiencies. While adopting a single solution may solve an immediate issue, it is can ultimately be a missed opportunity — to streamline operations, reduce error rates, enhance customer experience, save costs and drive innovation across operations.

How do organisations connect these advanced technologies?

The key to adopting advanced technologies is to ensure the procurement leads to a more agile infrastructure. The advanced automation landscape is continually evolving, so an infrastructure that can be upgraded — and have new technologies added — is critical to ensuring your initial investment goes the distance.

Adopting a low-code automation development platform that can easily integrate into your existing systems is worthwhile starting point. Any adopted platform should be able to interchange data with legacy systems. This enables organisations to digitally transform, without completely upending their existing infrastructure – the latter can be an extremely costly endeavour.

A low-code development platform means organisations can quickly get applications up and running. Robotic process automation can be used to build automations that connect your existing systems with your newly-built applications. These new applications address the functional gaps in your existing systems, providing a consolidated view across all systems.

This lays the foundation needed for digital transformation. By combining low-code technology with RPA and AI, intelligent automation capabilities are unleashed, paving the way for a wide range of process automation at scale. AI and machine learning can be paired to gain richer insights into the data you now have access to – thanks to your integrated systems, enabling data to move freely. These insights improve decision-making capabilities, which then improves outcomes.

For example with this infrastructure, organisations can support AI-assisted conversational messaging solutions and connect all communication channels into one feed — for an omnichannel contact centre and customer engagement management solution. Businesses can see what’s driving performance, offer self-service options to customers, and improve overall customer and agent experiences.

Together, this suite of solutions translates into more innovation, lower costs, greater returns, and happier customers and employees. Take some examples from the UK, where organisations are adopting a more holistic Intelligent Automation direction.

UK Power Networks improved its ability to deliver on customer needs by using low-code paired with AI to deliver numerous automation projects, transforming services for customers and unloading employees in the process.

Their automation projects included Smart Quote and Smart Connect. The former supports customer connection applications and automates critical points in the process. The latter reduces processing times through automated assessments — which issue instant approvals when all criteria are met, send automatic referrals as needed, and provide tracking and reporting capabilities.

The low-code platform and intelligent automation capabilities have been transformative for the company’s digital ambitions, leading the organisation to expand use of the platform across its operations to support on a wider range of projects.

Similarly, a UK council (Surrey’s Waverley Council) has been able to leverage a low-code platform to deliver new services and applications, achieving 100% digital autonomy as a result. The Council was able to integrate multiple telephony services with its CRM, thanks to an omnichannel contact centre solution — which enabled them to better manage calls and waiting times. The free movement of data from its applications and low-code platform to its contact centre solution has allowed for end-to-end citizen experiences. The result has been streamlined processes, cost savings and better citizen experience.

The key to long-term success

A holistic approach to automation allows organisations to leverage the power of multiple technologies — working in tandem to achieve greater efficiency, productivity and innovation — and improve customer and employee experiences. Your infrastructure needs to be continually refined over time and by measuring the effectiveness of existing automations, you can better understand the impact of your current digital efforts and identify areas for improvement. Adjustments can then be made to ensure outcomes continue to align with objectives and solutions continue to deliver real value to the organisation.