Intelligent automation represents the overall umbrella of technologies that enable the transformation and automation of business processes by leveraging any combination of software robotics, cloud, artificial intelligence, and smart machines.

It comprises basic robotic process automation and cognitive automation and is enabled by rules-based macros, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing.

At its most basic level, robots — “bots” for short — automate the steps in a process instead of having people move transactions from one step to the next.

At its most complex level, cognitive systems draw on historical data to handle exception processing, deliver algorithmic analytical forecasts, and make judgments to resolve customer issues and complement knowledge workers to provide new insights.