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December 20, 2021

Journey To An Intelligent Ecosystem

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This will be a complicated journey fraught with difficult decisions, but it also offers willing organizations a chance to reflect on the outdated processes and systems that have been holding them back for years. Once you’re familiar with the terms associated with intelligent automation, you can explore the ways in which IDWs evolve and begin to understand the possibilities that emerge when they become trusted colleagues.

This will be a complicated journey fraught with difficult decisions, but it also offers willing organizations a chance to reflect on the outdated processes and systems that have been holding them back for years. Once you’re familiar with the terms associated with intelligent automation, you can explore the ways in which IDWs evolve and begin to understand the possibilities that emerge when they become trusted colleagues.

I’ve been talking about talking to machines for decades and recently found myself having a familiar conversation over coffee with the CEO of a publicly traded tech company. Once again, I was hitting on the ways conversational AI and, more broadly, hyperautomation will destroy the status quo.

“Putting technology to work will be as simple as asking for its help.”

“Using conversation to engage machines’ vast problem solving powers can literally make anyone a technologist.”

“Humans will be able to leverage advanced technology without a formal understanding of how to create and deploy software.”

“Eventually, we’ll even put technology to work by having software build new software.”

The CEO smiled and said it all sounded amazing, but I could tell the immediacy wasn’t hitting home. This person helms a company that, at that very moment we were talking, was managing projects to build bots for Slack and Teams to make their own apps available through those conversational interfaces. I was left waiting to see if he’d realize that his organization is literally undermining their own platform’s graphical UI in an effort to accomodate a conversational one.

You’ve probably noticed that there’s a whole lot of software integration going on in the world. While it can be handy using your Gmail account to log into loads of other software products, there’s no pot of gold waiting for those jockeying to be the product that everyone else integrates with. When conversation becomes our primary interface with technology, nobody is going to ask their IDW to login to an email account or an airline website to look for flight information. They’ll just ask, “When is my flight to Phoenix?”

Really, the missing link in the creation and widespread adoption of hyperautomation is a scalable interface. Graphical UIs will never scale to meet the requirements of hyperautomation. This goes well beyond the issue of being too cluttered and overwhelming, it’s often the very processes graphical UIs render that need to be automated the most. Conversational
AI is the missing link, the infinitely scalable interface. Not only does it handily obscure the mess of systems (and graphical UIs) running behind the scenes, it also binds your ecosystem, creating a feedback loop that can evolve automations for all of your users (customers and employees).

For this CEO, that frightening realization is waiting around the corner: once adoption is resolved, conversational interfaces will undoubtedly scale in ways that will completely obscure graphical UIs. My point in telling you this is to make it clear that hyperautomation isn’t an integration effort, it’s a restructuring effort. The journey toward creating an hyperautomated ecosystem of intelligent digital workers will be arduous and complex, but it will also be a time of self-discovery.

The process by which IDWs become more useful and wise is, in and of itself, a way for your workforce to take a deeper look at the many monotonous, daily tasks they perform and ideate on ways to automate them and then evolve those automations. So while it’s a lot of work, it’s also a highly rewarding process that can elevate the individual members in your organization and help unify the whole they represent.

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