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Why does synchronized Integration, RPA, and Intelligent Automation (IRIA) need to work together?

Extract more value and boost your digital transformation journey by combining integration and intelligent automation capabilities. Read the blog to learn how

Abhijit Joshi / September 02, 2022

The starting point of any digital transformation project is the business needs, because business drives the transformation direction, speed, and success.

In our overall experience, we found three primary business needs being expressed across different industries:

  1. Reducing cost, operational time, and manual efforts in existing business processes
  2. Improving customer experience and, subsequently, revenue
  3. Improving the quality of business processes and increase employee happiness

These business needs refer to improving business processes on an existing set of applications. There are various types of applications involved in a transformation journey. In this blog, let us focus on three large groups of applications.

  • Integration includes all sorts of integration through API and middleware
  • RPA includes all sorts of process automation like RPA Low code & No code, Open source etc.
  • Intelligent automation includes solutions built on a combination of other tools and intelligent algorithms, and frameworks like Machine Learning, NLP, and Computer Vision etc.

For simplicity’s sake, let us call them IRIA, i.e., Integration, RPA, and Intelligent Automation.

Every organization has invested in some form of integration and automation product(s)

Look at your organizational application landscape with a narrow vision on integration and automation products and ask the following critical questions to yourself:

  • Are you able to extract the full value from the investment?
  • Are the products working tightly together to deliver more value?
  • Are the existing products individually expensive to operate?

If you have tried to answer the above questions, you would conclude there are more potential benefits to be realized by building synergies within these three technology groups; improved efficiency and effectiveness as well as reduced costs. When used in concert, they can help companies transform business by quickly transferring data with task automation, communication, and automation of processes across the business flows.

This is the first blog in a series where you will learn more about the synergies and values achieved when IRIA is working together. Starting with the why. Keep reading to learn:

  1. Does a Integration, RPA, and Intelligent Automation combination make sense? Potental benefits that can be achieved by using IRIA together
  2. Example of a possible solution with IRIA for your business needs
  3. The challenges of using IRIA together and how to overcome those challenges

Let us answer the first question of why a Integration, RPA, and Intelligent Automation combination make sense and what the benefits are

Everyone in the industry loves to talk about numbers so let us look at them. The solution consisting of IRIA can result in a significant increase in productivity (+30%-40%), reduce license costs (-20%-40%) as well as a reduction in human error (-65%-80%).

Additionally, by automating tasks, businesses can free up employee time to focus on more value-added activities resulting in the growth of employee happiness and customer satisfaction.

Please note that all the numbers mentioned in the article are based on our varied types of customer implementation experiences.

Let’s now focus on exploring possible solutions with IRIA for your business needs

Let us explore the IRIA-based solution with the analogy of the Stockholm transit system, which includes metro, buses, and more. 

Imagine your Integration application transferring data like the Stockholm metro with characteristics like short, fixed stops and high availability.

Your RPA applications are like mid-tier connectivity, such as Stockholm buses and taxies, with attributes like short, flexible routes and high availability.

Your Intelligent Automation applications are like last mile connectivity, same as an E-Scooter, E-cycle, walk or having your own car with attributes like a personalized vehicle, fully flexible, and 24x7 availability.

With the above analogy, you need all three modes of vehicles working together to complete the travel between your home and your office. i.e., If you want to complete the transformation journey, it is imperative to use a combination of Integration, RPA, and Intelligent Automation IRIA.

The solution you need to build should have

  • An integration component transferring data between two applications or data sources
  • An automation component automating manual process around the source and target application or data source
  • And intelligent automation automating activities like decision making, prediction, and classification etc.

Magic happens when Integration does a fantastic job of fast and accurate data transfer. And just before data transfer, RPA performs data operations/processing activities (collect/validate/write/update/reconcile) at the source and target application levels. 

Suppose you add intelligent automation of complex decision-making activities based on events or predict future events based on historical data. In that case, you have an almost end-to-end automated business process with a lot of savings and happy employees and customers.

In addition, the IRIA combination essentially helps streamline data-related activities like operations, quality check, refinement, and transfer, giving the benefits of achieving the objective of a data-driven organization.

Now, let's look at the answer to the last question referring the challenges of using IRIA together - and how to overcome those challenges

The biggest challenge in building an IRIA-based solution is the decision of where/when to use Intelligent Automation, RPA, and Integration – considering that all these technologies have considerable overlap in terms of capabilities. I go more into depth, and provide a concrete tool to use to determine when to use IRIA in my second blog.

Some architects may feel that there is no requirement for three technologies that can be consolidated into one. But based on our on-ground experience, most companies use all these technologies based on their core strengths. We have seen our customers maintaining a weighted decision matrix to make technology choices.

The decision matrix will include critical factors like data volume, process frequency, type of data, Return on Investment, license cost...etc. We will talk about the decision matrix in detail in my next blog. If you are interested in knowing the decision matrix, then please follow the series. Solution designers should choose technologies appropriate to a business solution that needs to be based on that decision matrix.

In conclusion, do we feel it is worth it?

The answer is yes. We can see that using Integration, RPA, and Intelligent Automation (IRIA) together can help organizations achieve their desired business goals more efficiently and effectively.

However, the abovementioned challenges must be overcome while implementing such solutions. But if they are adequately addressed, the benefits of using Integration, RPA, and Intelligent Automation together far outweigh the challenges.

Now you will say it is easier to say than successfully execute it. We are happy to share that we have helped customers successfully navigate or drive the transformation journey. My colleagues and I would be happy to discuss how we can help you in your digital transformation over a cup of coffee.

Tietoevry has strong capabilities in the Data domain across the Nordics and the rest of the world – including data strategy & analytics, Integration, RPA, and Intelligent Automation as a strategic bet that will realize significant value for the customer in the years ahead.

Eager to learn more about how IRIA can support your business? Don't hesitate to reach out!

Curious to know more? Don't miss my second blog where you will learn to identify when to use IRIA, including a concrete tool to use. Read it here!

Abhijit Joshi
Business Architect

Abhijit is a Digital Transformation expert focused on delivering value through AI, Automation, and Integration based solutions. He has strong experience in helping customers from the exploration stage to the transformation stage across industries like manufacturing and construction etc. He is passionate about the human and technology interface aspect of business transformation.

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