Home|Nintex Blog|What’s the difference between AI and automation?

What’s the difference between AI and automation?

Artificial intelligence was once a futuristic, faraway-sounding concept that has now become mainstream — without many of us realizing it.

AI, automation, and machine learning are changing nearly every industry, from entertainment and retail to public services and commerce, at every level, from cross-company to the individual level.

The technologies are part of a trend toward digital transformation, in which manual and paper processes are replaced with digital ones to keep pace with innovation and the evolving demands of industries, customers, and your employees themselves. As this occurs, it’s more important than ever to know exactly what technologies like AI and automation mean, and what they can do for your organization.

Automation for the people

Process automation is great for handling large-volume, mundane tasks. It frees people up to spend more time moving the business forward, instead of being snowed under by repetitive procedures.

A good example is employee onboarding. Administration, orientation, and general setup can require time and attention from multiple people across several departments. Their time costs money, and they can be more useful in other ways.

So, what’s the alternative? Use automation to assign your new starter their logins, software licenses, and equipment, add them to HR systems, schedule their orientation sessions, etc.

Now, imagine what your people could do with all the time they’re not spending on these routine tasks.

  • Human resources can focus on searching for the best new talent.
  • IT can focus on big-picture infrastructure needs instead of manually clearing stacks of support tickets.
  • Sales can concentrate on selling.
  • Operations professionals can concentrate on the future.

That’s what automation does: It helps your people harness the time they’d otherwise be expending on manual, repetitive tasks.

Smarter is better

AI and machine learning can bring a higher level of sophistication, the ability to analyze and process data more efficiently than ever before.

AI/ML systems get smarter over time because they learn by doing: performing processes over and over, analyzing results, constantly improving through experience. Unlike us, though, machines work and learn a lot faster.

Process intelligence

Let’s look at how technologies like these can help your organization optimize processes, cut costs and enable your employees to achieve optimal performance.

The Nintex Platform makes it easy to quickly create automated workflows, using a simple drag-and-drop interface with no coding required. Even better, once a process has been automated, it can then be optimized — fine-tuned to run as efficiently as possible.

Nintex calls this “process intelligence.” We give you the ability to instrument your processes with beacons that show when, where, how often, and how quickly they run. With this insight, you can see where processes slow down and break down — and when you can see these problems you can fix them by adjusting your workflows. In this way, you can steadily improve overall efficiency and make the most of your resources, all the time.

After all, a key point of digital transformation is to lighten the admin load for your people and spend less time and money on these processes. This ultimately means your employees will work with a little less tech fatigue and a lot more job satisfaction.


Want to give your digital transformation the boost it’s been waiting for and help your people realize their full potential? We can help you do that, at a low cost and with minimal work for IT. Give our products a try for free or get in touch to talk about your business needs.



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