As the adoption of digitalization is rapidly increasing, automated technologies and tools are concurrently evolving and improving, setting the foundation for a whole new era of hyperautomation – one that can revolutionize the education industry.

With the relentless demand from enterprises to shift to digital business models, hyperautomation shifted from being optional to vital. This advanced automation technology enables businesses to streamline their workflows, help them to achieve agility and resiliency. But what exactly is hyper automation? How does it work? How can organizations, specifically educational institutions, implement it in their daily operations?

Started from the foundation of RPA

Hyperautomation was built on robotic process automation (RPA) success while addressing its limitations by adopting artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies to optimize enterprise automation. Comparative to other automation tools, RPA was widely embraced by organizations due to its ease of use and intuitive nature that can potentially save human effort by 70% and cut processing time by 90% [1]. However, the technology has a severe drawback for enterprise use as RPA is restricted to automating predefined and repetitive tasks only. The advanced hyperautomation takes RPA to the next level by combining AI technology to facilitate intelligent processes that recommend the next course of action - instead of executing the same activities until told to stop. By using RPA, AI, machine learning, and Low Code/ No Code tools, hyperautomation improves the overall system's efficiency in many different ways, from enhancing productivity, capitalizing on valuable data to aiding organization leaders in making better and timelier business decisions.

Revolutionizing the education sector

Hyperautomation can help educational institutions reduce the heavy administrative load and complete procedures faster with fewer errors. Most importantly, the framework can assist the administrations in transforming the education sector. But how exactly is this technology being used by educators?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

By extracting data such as GPA, test scores, and extracurricular activities, RPA can aid the faculties in screening and evaluating prospective students, which makes the decision–making procedures more efficient and more accurate. Moreover, it is stated that colleges and universities can support a 250% increase in application volume by using RPA [2]. This technology is also used to autonomously file applications and attachments, evaluate financial aid requests, schedule course loads, and determine whether graduation requirements are met.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

AI has already been implemented in the education sector primarily for testing and grading purposes, such as automated grading software or plagiarism checker tool. As AI continues to evolve, the technology is hoped to identify and bridge the gap between students and administrations, which can subsequently increase education proficiency. The most remarkable advantage of AI is personalization. Students have different needs, preferences, and learning styles. Thus, personalizing their learning courses is the ultimate solution for educational success. By analyzing the students' learning abilities and progress, AI can help the administrations identify each student's specific needs and problems to create the most appropriate learning program for them. The technology can also help students personalize their study programs by recommending suitable majors and suggesting course schedules. In addition, the Wall Street Journal noted that AI could be profoundly beneficial during the admission process as the technology can examine data points outside of applications [3]. AI can analyze a student's genuine interest in attending the school by evaluating various factors such as how many times they click on email links or how quickly they respond to an in-person interview invitation. Most notably, some universities use AI to predict which students are likely to drop out and why, so the administration can intervene with corrective measures.

No/ Low – Code Platforms

No/Low–code platforms are a vital part of more complex applications, aiming to reduce the need for programming languages such as Java and PHP. The technology simplifies stacking software, helping organizations customize their workflows and approval chains without advanced coding knowledge. No/Low–Code platforms can track students' vaccination status, collect assignments remotely, support students in reserving equipment or study room, and authorize Wi-Fi access. Recently, Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA) has successfully implemented a new Relationship Management System using no-code platforms. The new system automates data collection for internship programs which saves hundreds of labor hours for the administration. Piet Dekker, a consultant at HvA, stated that "We can now match supply and demand for practical assignments and internships much better. In addition, we have insight into the progress we can guide students much more efficiently" [4].

Are you ready for the future?

Looking forward, hyperautomation is expected to cut businesses' operational costs by at least 30% [5], which enhances organizational productivity, agility & cost efficiency. It is also indicated that most organizations are expected to have at least 25% of tasks automated by 202. Gartner has estimated that the worldwide market for this technology will reach $596.6 billion in 2022 [5], with educational institutions embracing hyperautomation extensively, not only to speed growth and attain goals but also to stay ahead of the competition in a disruptive world. However, establishments need to be realistic about whether they are ready for the changes that hyperautomation requires. While the success of the implementation depends on one's technological capabilities and resources, educational institutions need to take their organizational cultures – if they are prone to changes, into consideration as well. Another crucial consideration is the speed of implementation. Educational leaders need to develop and adhere to a stipulated project time frame to achieve a desirable result; otherwise, the technology would be outdated by the time it is integrated. Hence, before embarking on a hyperautomation journey, organizations need to contemplate extensively whether they are ready for this transformation to achieve a successful application.

Author Tran Diep Trinh