Intelligent Automation has become one of those “all encapsulating” buzzwords, claiming to deliver everything from scale to better performance & operations. Unfortunately, relying on search engines to understand its meaning may leave you rather confused. Some would call it ‘an advanced form of RPA (Robotic Process Automation)’, while others use it interchangeably with the term ‘digital transformation’. So, let’s ignore the jargon for now and understand what it really means? And more importantly, how your business can benefit from it?

What is Intelligent Automation?

Simply put, intelligent automation is a combination of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and Process Orchestration. It offers a comprehensive, end-to-end solution to undertake digital transformation. It is not a stand-alone process, instead, it comprises of various interconnected technologies, organizing work across human-robot teams.

Below is a break-down of the key components that make up intelligent automation.

Components of Intelligent Automation

Business Process Management (BPM)

Business Process Management is the orchestration of end-to-end data-driven and function-driven business processes. This encompasses the efficient coordination of people, collecting data, preparing data, and decision-making based on the data. BPM takes a holistic and structured approach to optimize repetitive tasks. It does so by bringing human and automated tasks into a managed sequence of steps. Automation fits in BPM when business processes are analyzed and re-engineered to introduce elements of automation at different interaction points to replace human tasks or make them efficient.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

This is a software-based technology, not physical robots, that focuses on automating repetitive tasks to reduce human intervention in computer applications. By replacing simple tasks such as data entry, it allows employees to work on more important jobs that require decision-making and building customer relations. Examples are filling online forms, scanning and recognizing human-written documents, etc.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

Artificial Intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence by machines. Some of the common virtues of AI in the current business environment are sequence labelling, pattern recognition, intelligent decision-making, Natural Language Processing (NLP), chatbots, and sentiment analysis. Machine Learning allows software algorithms to learn from human actions and mimic them intelligently by automatically contextualizing the tasks.


Integration involves orchestrating processes carried out by human and robot teams. Like traditional Integration, Integration as part of IA also involves bringing together all enterprise data, systems, legacy, and front-end applications. However, compared to traditional integration, it is considerably straightforward, flexible, and agile. It comprises of a series of Cloud and on-premise based API connectors that use AI and ML to enhance the power of workflows. An example is an intelligent chatbot that can leverage APIs to do tasks requested by the user such as fetching the outstanding balance or looking up upcoming trips.

How does Intelligent Automation work?

Let’s now understand the role of each component in the overall lifecycle of IA.

Unlike conventional automation that relies on structured data inputs, IA starts with process discovery using AI-based tools. It takes inputs in the form of unstructured data such as work activities, human chat conversations, audio, and video files. Since such unstructured data makes up a large proportion of all business data, the ability to process it is critical for end-to-end automation.

It then analyses the data, identifies an optimal workflow, and proposes automation. IA is a self-adjusting process that allows end-to-end automation of any business process. With time, the need for intervention and management reduces.

What are the Business Objectives of Intelligent Automation?

The key objectives of Intelligent Automation are to:

  • Enhance customer and employee experience
  • Increase productivity through increased speed of processing
  • Save time and costs (by streamlining processes, automating repetitive tasks, and reducing human intervention)
  • Improve quality and reduce errors

Applications of Intelligent Automation

On your digital transformation journey, Intelligent Automation helps you avoid turbulence and safely reach your automation goals. Not surprisingly, the applications of Intelligent Automation are many. A few of the many effective uses of IA are below:

Cyber Security
Analyze networks and data structures, assess threats, and tackle possible security issues before they cause any real damage. ML enables computer systems to detect, interpret, and mitigate even an unknown threat. As similar threats repeat, the ML-enabled system keeps a record and gradually builds up over time. This saves the security teams a significant amount of time and effort.
Eliminate errors and improve efficiency. IA makes adhering to regulations, industry standards, and regulatory statutes, a smooth process. It achieves this by collecting (structured or unstructured) data, synthesizing it and then placing it in an easily usable format.
IT Incident Management
Mitigate risks and create an adaptive and flexible IT environment. Set up Automated Alerts to prevent incidents in a timely manner, and Non-Cluster High-Availability Failover to automatically direct workloads to standby systems so the system can run smoothly in case of any outages.

IA amalgamates human and bot teams to fill the gaps created by relying on a range of tools and/or overworked personnel. It thereby creates a more sustainable, smoothly running system.

Examples of processes automated using IA

An increasing number of organizations are already integrating a wholesome architecture of IA for their day-to-day operations. Luckily, it’s not too late to jump on the bandwagon because clearly it is here to stay. I have listed a few examples below of how organizations are using IA across the world:

A retail chain uses RPA to collect more information on customer calls and decrease the time taken for first-time resolution (FTR). As a result, the customer service agents of this organization are able to spend more time sharing special offers and deals, to improve relations and in turn, grow the business.

A banking major is using Intelligent Automation strengthened with Machine Learning (ML) to analyze encrypted traffic and detect malware, helping to improve network accuracy and security.

Used in a different capacity, these make it easier to effectively manage compliance requirements and enhance audit-promptness with safety laws and regulations. As more data is gathered, over time, the system can optimize and continuously improve the accuracy of end-to-end processes.

An insurance conglomerate uses predictive analytics to help insurers assess past insurance claims and prevent future accidents.

Chatbots, one of the earliest implementations of IA, are being used by almost all enterprises today to help ease the workload of their sales and marketing teams. Chatbots interpret (unstructured) data in the form of text or voice questions and display user-specific, contextual answers.

Large Telcos today use software bots to perform routine maintenance tasks in a more scalable and consistent manner.

How you decide to adopt IA is entirely upto you. The important point is to get started! There are various factors that you would need to keep in mind when you set out to implement Intelligent Automation for your enterprise. These include the size of your organization, your budget, and most importantly, your business priorities.

Choosing the right platform to set up Intelligent Automation is critical

Are you ready to enhance your org chart by bringing in bots as co-workers?

Torry Harris’s enthusiastic team of automation experts and bots(!) will be happy to assist you through each step of your business’ digital transformation journey. We will critically assess the process and technology readiness of your business to develop automation workflows that are best suited to your needs.

Related Posts

Conversational AI - Rewriting the rules of customer engagement

Conversational AI- a sophisticated data-driven technology enabling human-like dialogue across digital platforms–is empowering businesses from diverse industries to deliver quick, friendly, scalable, and personalized customer experiences round the clock.

What to Look for in an iPaaS Vendor - The Top Five Criteria

In 2008, a significant outage in its data center prevented Netflix from sending DVDs to its customers for three days which prompted the company to rethink its IT architecture.

Impact of Generative AI Trends, technologies & outlook

Generative Artificial Intelligence (Gen AI) has taken businesses to the edge of a new frontier that promises unprecedented levels of productivity, innovation, and new revenue streams.


Whitepaper - Migrating to a hybrid integration platform (HIP) makes your cloud journey easy
Digital transformations tend to focus on the desired high-level benefits such as greater efficiency and profitability, more operational and business agility, and better customer experience.
Whitepaper - Why Governance is the key to ROI in Digital Transformation
It turns out that a major common contributor of almost all transformation flops is poor governance. Digital transformation involves every aspect of an organization and everyone in it. Structured governance is essential to ensure that everyone takes the same approach to common goals, in a coordinated, timely way.
Whitepaper - 7 Steps to Successful RPA Implementation
Intelligent Automation is boosted by the growing demand to digitize and automate business processes at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic requires rapid workplace transformation.

Analyst Speak

THIS recognized as a notable vendor by Forrester in its 2024 report on the API Management Software Landscape.

(THIS) has been cited among notable vendors by Forrester Research in its report ‘The API Management Software Landscape, Q1 2024’. The report recognizes Torry Harris as a provider offering API management solutions with a geographic focus in the EMEA & APAC regions.

Forrester cites Torry Harris- Vendor analysis for application modernization and migration services

Forrester observes that the initial rush to “lift and shift” to the cloud has now been replaced by a focus on modernization and digital transformation. Cloud migration is the first step in a long journey to take advantage of the latest cloud-native technologies and services.

Torry Harris is a Strong Performer in The Forrester Wave™ for API management solutions

Torry Harris is a 'Strong Performer' in The Q3 2022 Forrester Wave™ for API Management Solutions. This report shows how each provider measures up and helps technology architecture and delivery (TAD) professionals select the right one for their needs.

Past Webinars

On-demand webinar
Empowering your SME customers for the new DIGITAL normal: role of APIs and Microservices in the current climate
SMEs in particular, hard hit by physical constraints, acutely need to be digitally connected and empowered towards identifying sales and service opportunities.
On-demand webinar
Microservices Governance: Best practices for CSPs
A well-thought-out governance approach can help offset the costs of implementing Microservices and deliver higher benefits from your investments.
On-demand webinar
Practical use-cases to monetise Open Banking APIs
In this webinar, Thomas Zink – IDC research director for European financial services talked about the revenue potential of API enabled use-cases and how to overcome barriers to adoption.