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Your legacy systems can no longer adapt swiftly to market changes. As a result, you’re missing opportunities to enter new markets, identify unique customer segments, and introduce more innovative products and services to the world. What’s more, you’re paying significant amounts of money to license, support, and work around these legacy systems every year. These outdated and inefficient applications waste hundreds of thousands of dollars and thousands of your employees’ hours annually.  

 A survey by F5 found that 87% of organizations operate a combination of modern and traditional architectures and turn to modernization when legacy systems become too rigid to adapt to rapidly changing business conditions. Almost eight in 10 (77%) organizations are currently involved in application modernization.

But it isn’t easy. According to Deloitte, 40% of respondents cited “upgrading legacy systems/processes” as a top-three challenge to completing their digital transformations. It takes considerable time and investment to transform a legacy application into a modern, cloud-native one. Enterprises are prioritizing which applications to modernize and when. But in the meantime, businesses have to respond now to what’s happening in their markets.

When legacy systems are involved in a process with multiple human touchpoints, productivity drops due to the clunky experience and data silos. What's needed is a flexible, easy way to bring modern solutions to legacy systems, such as the integration with any environment, wrapped in an intuitive user experience. In doing so, businesses can streamline their workflows to automate critical processes and involve human decision-making or input as needed to complete.

This solution would integrate legacy and modern apps without the pain and cost of a full modernization project. You might want to do this just as a temporary measure until you are further along on your transformation journey, or it may even suffice for the long term. The point is: you need a solution now.

RPA-based “digital assistants” can help

But since many legacy systems are not compatible with APIs, modern cloud-native apps cannot be integrated into the same workflows with them. As a result, numerous silos exist in business processes that span across multiple systems or team members, such as employee onboarding for HR or invoice processing for finance. This creates pockets of inefficiencies that negatively affect KPIs.

Thankfully, we have Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to act as the glue to connect all these systems together. Since RPA automates the user interface to perform actions as a human would, it can string together pieces of any workflow.

Once you've alleviated the process gaps that your legacy systems create, it's time to make these automations accessible to all your employees. But how do you do this in a simple yet flexible way while staying conducive to each department's business needs?

Happily, leading RPA companies are beginning to introduce so-called "digital assistants" to help ease the digital transformation journey. These digital assistants help business users easily trigger any existing automation without having to leave their preferred screens or learn RPA. First, RPA is deployed to integrate the applications without replacing the underlying infrastructure. The digital assistant then brings automation to the employees, collaborating with them to complete their day-to-day tasks.

What to look for in a digital assistant

Not all digital assistants are created equal. Here’s how to judge if one will fit your needs.

  • Web-based: Digital assistants should be based in the cloud, which means that they don’t require software clients to be installed on desktop systems. Because they're accessible from a browser, users can leverage them from anywhere with an internet connection. Also, they don't require any additional IT overhead to set up and deploy. This increases time-to-value and cost savings for greater return on investment (ROI).
  • No coding required: Digital assistants should come out of the box for your employees, with no coding required to build the interface. Employees should be able to just click on the URL to get started.
  • Friendly, consumer-like experience: The assistants should not require any training. Employees should simply click on the process they want to run, and the digital assistant guides them through the steps. They can start contributing to the business and increasing efficiency right away.
  • Human-bot process orchestration: The mark of a true digital assistant is one that works with you to complete the process, even pulling in other teammates along the way. Look for a solution that incorporates human and bot steps into a single workflow, with the ability to complete tasks from a single screen.
  • Runs automations within popular desktop and web apps: Users should be able to run entire processes, end to end, from within software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, including Salesforce, Workday, Google Cloud Workspace, Excel, and more.

Why AARI fits the bill

AARI by Automation Anywhere is a digital assistant that fulfills all these requirements and more. It enables teams to collaborate with bots on process automations from a single, easy-to-use screen.

AARI is the flexible, quick, and easy way to modernize your legacy systems without hassles because it provides a consumer experience to RPA. With AARI, your employees don't need to interact with legacy applications and their complexities. They can complete the entire workflow from the single screen in a fraction of the time and effort it used to take manually. By making business operations more efficient, you improve the employee and customer experience, driving greater ROI for your business overall.

Everybody Needs a Digital Assistant.

About Sharon Liu

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Sharon is the Senior Product Marketing Manager at Automation Anywhere, focusing on front-office automation and cognitive solutions.

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