Intelligent Process Automation: A Strategy to Combine Synergistic Digital Capabilities

Intelligent Process Automation: A Strategy to Combine Synergistic Digital Capabilities

Intelligent Process Automation

Intelligent Process Automation: A Strategy to Combine Synergistic Digital Capabilities

What is IPA

Intelligent process automation and RPA are related processes, but IPA has a wider scope. RPA is used for specific processes based on the rules while IPA is used for more complicated operations. IPA is a newer solution Intelligent Process Automation that helps organizations move beyond the limitations of RPA. Intelligent automation incorporates components including AI/machine learning, Natural language processing / Generation, Robotic Process Automation, Predictive analytics / Advanced Analytics, Smart Workflow, and Cognitive Agents.


While RPA is great for automating routine, rules-based tasks, it falls short in an agile automation environment or in designing processes flexible to changes within the environment. The newer solution Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) helps organizations move beyond the limitations of RPA. IPA enables organizations to automate processes that involve unstructured data, including text and images but without the use of rule-based decision-making or huge training data sets that are beyond the ambit of over 90% of enterprises.

How does IPA help?

IPA works on a convergence of technologies that produces automation capabilities that significantly enhance business value and competitive advantages for businesses. Intelligent automation enables more complicated tasks to be handled by process automation, leaving humans free to engage in higher-value tasks. IPA can handle varied data formats and can be used for more complicated operations. McKinsey reports that IPA helps in automation of 50 – 70% of tasks resulting in 20 – 35% annual run-rate cost efficiencies.

IPA and its relevance for the enterprise

The self-learning and ‘intelligence’ of the solution provides higher efficiency to businesses in terms of time & effort savings and better overall customer experience. As a blend of humans and bots, IPA can handle the functioning of bots, systems, and manual workers efficiently. IPA adds value to businesses and enterprises where:

  • Workers and manual laborers are involved in repetitive, mundane tasks.
  • Risks are high and need to be reduced and to enable proper governance – With higher human element, the chances of errors and thereby risk are high.
  • Total visibility and smooth customer journey are mandatory to get enterprise-wide results.
  • Dynamic changes to processes and the technologies are involved in speeding up end-to-end processing.

Given the above ways in which IPA is meaningful and relevant for enterprises we can look at the enterprises and industry segments where it has made significant impact. These include:

  • Pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers use the data provided by the IPA to minimize mistakes and fraud, leading to improved security and accuracy.
  • Financial services sector that can increase accurate credit models to strengthen their lending processes, know client preferences and sensitivity, and boost trade execution and routing.
  • Insurance companies that are using chatbots with NLP (Natural Language Processing) to automate and enhance customer experiences.
  • Construction industry organizations that use IPA for remote handling of autonomous machines, automation of invoices, documents, and estimates management, and for training and project planning.
  • Manufacturing companies that automate manufacturing and workflow, support orders, purchasing, inventory, and delivery of products.
  • Oil and gas industry uses IPA for automation of data analytics, live report generation, security checks, supply chain management, etc.
  • Retail industry uses IPA for automation of various departments and processes including human resource processes, sales analytics, return processing, and many more.

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