What is Cognitive Process Automation?

Photo by Joshua Sortino via Unsplash

Remember when everyone started slapping the label “smart” on everything? From phones to water and the wide range in between, it became a way to make a regular product sound fancy. And. let’s face it, it worked. Somehow when something is labeled well, it seems more impressive. More exciting. More … smart.

The same is true with Robotic Process Automation (also referred to as RPA). The phrase conjures up images of shiny metal robots carrying out complex tasks. Especially if you’re not intimately familiar with the tech industry and its automated contributors, Robotic Process Automation probably sounds impressive. Exciting. Smart.

This was once true, absolutely. What we know today as Robotic Process Automation was once the raw, bleeding edge of technology. Compared to computers that could do, well, nothing on their own, tech that could operate on its own, firing off processes and organizing of its own accord, was the height of sophistication. However, that this was only the start in an ever-changing evolution of business process automation.

Types of Business Process Automation

Although the evolution of BPA has changed, the foundation has always been the same: get your team focused on strategy, growth, and customer satisfaction. It would be easy to assume that large companies with enormous budgets would have automation nailed down; however, the reality is these organizations are some of the least streamlined organizations. The more processes, systems, and headcount in a company, the harder it is to transform it into a lean and mean machine.

As business leaders around the globe have recognized the need for dramatic transformation, they are not looking for dramatic company disruption. Innovation has helped ease the pain of implementing automation and getting the workforce back to the root of what they’re trying to accomplish.

Generation 1: Robotic Process Automation

The Benefits to Robotic Process Automation

The Downfall of Robotic Process Automation

Another key issue with traditional RPA is the cost. Organizations with millions in their innovation budget can build or outsource the technical expertise required to automate each individual process in an organization. It can take anywhere from 9–12 months to automate one process and only works if the process and business logic stays the exact same. Even a minor change will require massive development and testing costs.

Practical Application of Robotic Process Automation

As an example, you have an insurance policyholder that wants to file a claim online. The structured data in that form can be send to a Claims Adjuster, filed into the claims system, and fill out any digital documentation required. This eliminates much of the manual work required by a Claims Assistant.

Generation 2: Intelligent Process Automation

The Benefits of Intelligent Process Automation

Inherent Challenges of Intelligent Process Automation

The expertise required is large, and although you can outsource it, the algorithms require vast amounts of maintenance and change management. Any system, process, or technology changes requires a great deal of development.

Practical Application of Intelligent Process Automation

Take a standard CMS 1500 Claim form as an example. The way Machine Learning works is you create a “mask” over the document that tells the algorithm where to read specific pieces of information. This information can then be picked up by the Machine Learning and continue down the path of entering the data into systems, alerting a Claims Adjuster, etc.

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Generation 3: Cognitive Process Automation (Digital Coworkers)

Human Intelligence, Automated Speed

Practical Application of Cognitive Process Automation

Cognitive Process Automation learns from observing Claims Adjusters and creates its own algorithms for approving or denying claims. If it isn’t sure what to do, it will ask your team for help, learn why, and then continue with the process as seamlessly as a human. This level of technology can even help Underwriting teams determine straightforward policy administration, Finance manage Accounts Payable, and Human Resources put onboarding and offboarding on autopilot.

The Cost of a Digital Workforce

A digital workforce, like a human workforce, is pre-trained and ready to work for you. These bots specialize in their field just as an Underwriter, Loan Officer, or Accounts Payable Specialist does. With 80% of their needed knowledge already pre-developed, they can plug-and-play in just a few weeks, teaching itself what it doesn’t know. Since the technology can adjust itself, maintenance is near non-existent. This significantly reduces the costs across every stage of the technology life cycle. Compared to the millions required in RPA and IPA, Cognitive Process Automation can often be implemented for as little as the cost of adding one person to your workforce, but with the output of four to eight headcount.

Meet Your New Digital Coworker

You now can streamline and automate your business more efficiently and cost-effectively in a time where every company is striving to get lean and mean. With so many unknowns in the market, profitability and client retention are the goals of nearly every business leader right now. Employ your first Digital Coworker in as little as three weeks and see your break-even point in as little as four months.

Skeptical of Digital Coworkers in your business? Read “The Nail in the ‘I Can’t do Automation’ Coffin”

Want to learn more about Digital Coworkers in your business? Schedule a demo.

Unsure of where to implement a Digital Coworker? Check out our case studies.

Co-Founder & CEO, Roots Automation. Helping organizations free their people to focus on customers and other high-value tasks that build careers and experiences.