Trendwatching: Hyperautomation lifts our thinking to the next level

It’s time for another trendwatcher blog, it’s been a while. Since Harmonizer provides data aspects of automation, any related topic peaks our interest. Recently, we heard from one of our customers, about the trend of hyperautomation, and luxury modern communism. We wanted to explore this topic further, and understand what it might mean for technology developments more broadly and integrations specifically.

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It’s time for another trendwatcher blog, it’s been a while. Since Harmonizer provides data aspects of automation, any related topic peaks our interest. Recently, we heard from one of our customers, about the trend of hyperautomation, and luxury modern communism.

Modern Communism

They referred us to an article on Medium that they had read. We were stunned at this line of thinking. At least, anyone would be paying attention when reading an article with this title:

“A future without work”

This article explores the concept of turning the trend of hyperautomation into a modern version of communism - having all people fairly share in the proceeds, resources and wealth that machines generate for us, leaving us to just spend time with loved ones and working on hobbies or volunteering! It further goes into the hypothesis that there is a way to deploy automation to the point that we are all provided for. Is it a utopia or is it real?

Modern Realism

We know this might sound (and actually, be) a fairly naive way of thinking. After all, capitalism seems to agree quite well with humankind so far, for better and often for worse.

The old saying of money makes the world go ‘round, would have you believe that money functions as the WD40 to keep cog wheels turning in society. In previous versions of communism, cog wheels invariably got stuck on egos, bribery and corruption and other power struggles. It begs the question of how this Modern Luxury Communism evolution would be better, automation or no automation, hyper or no hyper. After all, humans will be human and “culture eats strategy for breakfast”.

In addition, there has been talk about us working less for a long time. It was predicted around 80 years ago that by now, we would be working half the amount we actually are. Yet we are not - in spite of some experiments with four day work weeks, it appears that now more than ever, you need between 2-4 jobs as a family to stay afloat. With recent geopolitical developments, oil, gas and food prices have skyrocketed as well, further pushing us away from the Luxury Communism dream.

Does it even matter for hyperautomation?

At a technical level, probably not. Also, rather than a holistic debate on societal structures and operations, most of us are focussed on what hyperautomation means for our jobs. This has been going on for a long time. Ever since the first Industrial Revolution in the mid- 1700s, people have been worried about losing their jobs to machines.

At the moment, the fourth Industrial Revolution is set to take place, with hyperautomation playing a lead role on the center stage. And again, we would take a more moderate stance on this. In all previous Industrial Revolutions, jobs have evolved rather than disappeared. To put it even stronger, the population on earth has exploded and we still seem to pretty much keep up with job growth. We would therefore expect that hyperautomation will provide new avenues for gainful employment, alike all the preceding technical advancements of previous Industrial Revolutions.

What actually is hyperautomation?

About halfway through this blog, it might be timely to actually define what hyperautomation is. We liked the below definition, because it makes it clear in simple language:

“Hyperautomation is a framework and set of advanced technologies for scaling automation in the enterprise; the ultimate goal of hyperautomation is to develop a process for automating enterprise automation.”

It therefore includes things like process mining, Robotic Process Automation, Low/No Code, iPaaS for integrations (yay! that’s us), Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and other intelligent forms of machine led decision making. It is a true meta-trend.

Going beyond cost and time savings alone, hyperautomation aims to better utilise data in optimised ways for the machine processes it leans on, so that better decisions can be made based on insights that were unavailable in previous settings.

Some interesting use cases are available as well. This trend is not just science fiction at all. We know this, because we have worked on some of them. Take our Espria case as an example, and here, you will find several other use cases that can be implemented today in the common operational domains of accounts payable, order to cash, travel and expenses, and just any standard way documents get processed, really.

Communism, Capitalism, Realism or hyper automation: Does it matter for integrations?

As we read more and more about the subject of hyperautomation, we found that Harmonizer ticks a lot of boxes already. Writing this blog actually assisted us in our own thinking about Harmonizer’s value and what ‘box’ it fits into.

Some prospects ask us this exact question, what box we fit into, and where we would have previously said: cloud integrations with some automation, perhaps the meta concepts of hyper automation allows us to better express the end-to-end value a platform like Harmonizer can bring.

Circling back to the article then, in conclusion, it argues that as a result of hyperautomation, there will be an imposed shortage. A situation where there are theoretically enough resources to satisfy everybody, but not in practice, due to our human nature. The author concludes that there is hope though, because all it takes is the will to do it and change our human tendencies, which could be there with the future generations. The article argues that they have shown more care for each other and genuine concern for sustainability and related topics (we would concur and refer to Greta Thunberg and her movement as an example) than previous generations have.

We hope so, it truly sounds like a dream. However, whether the people that say automation creates new jobs are right, or whether it’s the other camp that argues modern luxury communism: Either way, integrations are like toilet paper, salt, or maybe more apt: glue. You will need them, no matter which way the future looks. Hyperautomation gives us language to express how far Harmonizer can go, together with great partners and clients.

Photo by yang wewe on Unsplash

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