Intelligent Automation (IA) – Part 1


Simon Abela co-founder at STABS.
Inspired by the book – “INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION: Learn how to harness Artificial Intelligence to boost business & make our world more human” by Pascal Bornet, Ian Barkin, Jochen Wirtz, Simon shares his thoughts regarding a subject his passionate about.


Intelligent Automation (IA), also called Hyperautomation, it is one of the most recent trends in the broad field of artificial intelligence. IA is a cutting-edge combination of methods and technologies, involving people, organisations, machine learning, low-code platforms, robotic process automation (RPA), and more.


Historically, agriculture was the first industry to be automated. The process of automating agriculture took over a thousand years. The outcome today is a thriving and highly efficient agribusiness. The level of automation has continued to increase, even since the 1990s. This is represented by the decline in the percentage of the global workforce working in this industry, falling from 44% in 1990 to 28% in 2017. Automation in agriculture has mainly been through the use of tractors, combine harvesters, milking machines, and hay press machines. In parallel, the share of undernourished people in the global population has also decreased from 19% to 11%. Thanks to automation, the agriculture industry has been able to increase its productivity continually, solving one of the most pressing world issues.

The Industrial Revolutions started over 200 years ago, automating “blue-collar” work in the agricultural and manufacturing industries. They provided massive and structural benefits to our society, such as the reduction of famine and an increase in standards of living, and they relieved people from laborious manual work. IA, also called Hyperautomation, is one of the most recent trends in the broad field of artificial intelligence. It is a cutting-edge combination of methods and technologies, involving people, organizations, machine learning, low-code platforms, robotic process automation (RPA), and more. IA to improve the way we do things – working smarter and not harder Intelligent Automation (IA) will have a similar impact of increasing output produced while reducing the human workforce needed Today, more people die from overwork and stress than from wars. More than 75% percent of people are dissatisfied with their jobs, which they view as too tedious and repetitive.

Now take a look at the table below- Note that the older the company, the less profit per employee it generates. Successful companies require fewer and fewer employees; they are more and more automated, and they are less labor- intensive than their older peers.

Have you ever wondered how we all spend our working day?

The below is a survey done on how we are presently spending our day and the target to improve this;

We often ask how can this be improved? The principle is to 1) Automate tasks by use of Intelligent Automation 2) Augment by increasing the work value output 3) Abandon tasks which are of no or limited value Intelligent automation (IA) initiatives enable deployments in months, the technology can be scaled to infinity, and payback periods are usually less than a year.

The use of Intelligent Automation (IA) to increase Business

Here is an example of an IA initiative used by LEGO to create a new digital business. Lego launched new digital businesses embracing video games, social networks, blockbuster movies, and crowdsourced platforms. With that, Lego increased its net profit by four times in 10 years, from 300 million euros in 2009 to 1.1 billion in 2019.

Use of IA to have Customised offers Netflix achieved impressive results from the algorithm it uses to personalise recommendations to its 100 million subscribers worldwide. Netflix estimated these customised search results saved it $ 1 billion in annual revenues that would otherwise be lost to cancelled subscriptions.

Use of IA to Boost the costumer experience 80% of a customer journey can become digitally touchless and fully omnichannel. 76 As an impact, we have seen companies increase customer satisfaction as measured by the NPS by more than 15 percentage points, reduce the contact centre workload by over 50%, and quintuple the “service to sales” ratio (number of up- and cross- sales during a service interaction).

Use of Intelligent Automation (IA) to reduce amount of deaths caused by Human Errors. In 2017 there were approximately 56 million deaths caused by the graph as per below.

The following is a tragic story – Emily was two years old when she lost her life after a pharmacy technician filled her intravenous bag with more than 20 times the recommended dose of sodium chloride. “Medical- care workers are dedicated, caring people, but they are human. And humans make mistakes,” said Emily’s father. Precisely because it is not human, IA can check prescriptions and catch lapses in compliance with physician instructions and standard medical protocols.

Other medical applications of IA include the remote monitoring of patients’ health in their hospital rooms in real time. Such systems collect patient’s visual information, body movement data, and vital data (such as heart rate or blood pressure) 24/ 7.