It’s not hyperbole to say that hyperautomation has become essential for the day-to-day running of many processes.
Firms that adopt Hyperautomation aim to streamline already automated processes across their business using artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA), machine learning (ML) and other technologies to run without human intervention.
However, hyperautomated systems will create and require a huge amount of data, as well as increasingly large amounts of storage capacity.
The cloud has proven to be an invaluable data storage option. It has proven to be an elegant solution for data storage. According to ExtremeTech, on a single cloud cluster, Google can host and serve petabytes of YouTube videos and store all of a person’s emails and documents.
DIGIT spoke with Ross Gray, CEO of Cloudsoft, to discuss Hyperautomation, the cloud, and how businesses can utilise the data storage tech to maintain Hyperautomation processes.
Automation and hyperautomation
Hyperautomation is an extension of traditional automation, in what Gray calls an ‘if this, then that’ model – focusing and digitally enhancing primary tasks and processes, using multiple tools, to reduce the need for human intervention.
Simple processes can be automated to make businesses run better, saving vital time, and giving staff the chance to focus on other areas of the business.
Gray says that, with Hyperautomation, you are getting a “more sophisticated, orchestrated picture” of automated processes: “You are building on things. We don’t get anywhere in one day, so it is a kind of evolution of what was there before.”
The term Hyperautomation is an overarching, operative theme that encompasses more than just boosting automated processes within a firm, Gray says.
To begin the process of Hyperautomation, a business leader must first assess what they have, what areas need more automation, or whether it is even needed at all.
“You need to want that business process, and you need to see value in it,” Gray says.
“Maybe you’re running a process that you could outsource, or you could buy a piece of software that does the whole thing rather than make the decision to automate it yourself.”
Despite this, Hyperautomation is becoming increasingly sought after as the world moves further into a digital age. According to research by Gartner, Hyperautomation is one of the top 10 strategic technology trends of last year, with a recent survey showing that 85% of participants will “either increase or sustain their organisation’s Hyperautomation investments over the next 12 months”.
Gray comments: “Talking about scale of the Hyperautomation enabling technology market, in 2022 it’s going to be worth just under $600 billion. And that’s increased from what we thought it was going to be.
“Last year, it was in the neighbourhood of about $450 billion so, by [Gartner’s] categorisation, it seems enormous and will probably encompass a huge amount of the value of IT organisations.”
Gray also believes that Hyperautomation has more of a role to play and can really support some businesses going forward: “I think it is going to help organisations to do more with their existing investments.
“The more established, more technologically indebted organisations have got the opportunity to get leaner and to integrate things more and Hyperautomation can help them to compete better.”
The future is bright, the future is Cloudy
As we become more automated, the need for data storage also increases. The amount of data created and consumed both by automation and, in turn, Hyperautomation is huge, and it must be kept somewhere.
Traditional data centres are becoming unsuitable to store vast amounts of data, and would need to become progressively larger, taking up space, increasing costs and having a negative impact on the environment.
Cloud storage has become a strong option for businesses to hold large amounts of data easily and cheaply, without having to maintain data centres themselves in-house or off-premises.
The technology has expanded exponentially during Gray’s time working with it over the last 15 years. During the last year alone, thousands of firms have moved their business practices online, creating more data and requiring more places to store it.
Commenting on his first foray into the cloud, Gray said: “It was exciting but challenging to begin with. We are seeing a real difference in the types of customers that are using it and how they’re looking at it.”
Cloud services have now expanded, moving from simply having storage and computing as utility services to being able to offer a variety of off-the-shelf products, such as managed databases and speech recognition.
To legitimise the Cloud as a major platform for data storage, more established companies in sectors such as financial services have now begun moving some of their practices and services onto public cloud services, joining innovators such as Netflix.
“There is a lot of movement towards being ‘cloud ready’ in highly regulated industries, as technology leaders recognise its strength as a space for speedy innovation,” Gray says.
However, while public cloud is certainly seen as “the new normal” for lots of organisations, we are beginning to see big firms looking to leverage the cloud.
Not every workload can or will be moved onto public cloud – cloud is just one part of a complex technology ecosystem for most large organisations.
Leveraging automation using the Cloud
There are many ways in which Hyperautomation can use the Cloud as part of its operations. Gray says that the Cloud can provide reliability, security, availability, and plenty of innovation.
“There are things like AI and machine learning, which you can take advantage of within your hyper automated environment.
“Lots of the software that you might be automating between is likely to run on a public Cloud, but it’s going to depend on the specifics of what you’ve actually got whether those particular candidates or software are good candidates for automation.
“It’s a platform that things are going to be running on and it gives you the tools that can enrich Hyperautomation.”
Not every application is going to run using Hyperautomation, however. Within your business, you must decide what will need to be automated and what can still be carried out through traditional methods.
Parts of the workplace will continue using legacy processes that are unlikely to need automation, Ross says.
Despite this, Gartner predicts that by the mid-century, 70% of large global enterprises will have 70 concurrent Hyperautomation initiatives running within their business. Could these run without being leveraged by the Cloud?
“There is probably going to be Cloud in every one of them,” Gray comments. “The real question is how they run across the different environments, plus the complexity and instability.
“In any one Hyperautomation process an organisation will want to have confidence that it’s available and resilient, and if there’s one weak link, that could cause issues.”
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