The Future of Digital Business: Leveraging Automation & AI for Transforming Operations
Enterprises today are changing their ways of doing business by leveraging automation and artificial intelligence. These technologies are transforming how organizations and customers interact with each other, opening up new possibilities and enhancing the overall experience. When done right automation has proven to deliver real benefits including distinctive insights, faster service, and improved savings. According to a recent global report on the future of digital business:
- 90% of global businesses are engaged in some form of digital initiative.
- By 2025, 75% of business leaders will leverage digital platforms and ecosystem capabilities to improve their adaptability and make their platforms more future-proof.
- Almost 40% of executives believe that digital transformation has a direct effect on meeting growing customer expectations.
Leveraging automation which combines the capabilities of RPA, OCR, AI, Analytics, Process Mining etc. allows enterprises to maintain a hybrid workforce of humans and software robots, working in tandem to achieve key business objectives. The large-scale and growing adoption of Intelligent Automation has enabled businesses to automate more than just repetitive rule-based activities, create greater value from their human resources and streamline workflows/processes to accelerate their digital transformation journey. The key aspects that help businesses leverage Intelligent Automation to drive competitiveness are mentioned below:
Enhanced Quality and Compliance: Automation reduces errors and facilitates digital audit trail that increases accuracy and regulatory compliance.
Cost Reduction: Immediate reduction in operational costs and rapid return on investment can be achieved through automation.
Scalability: A virtual workforce can respond to growth events (e.g. organic, acquisitive) with speed, agility and resiliency. Once developed, automated solutions can be used to ramp up/down volumes easily
Employee and Customer Satisfaction: Increased employee satisfaction through a focus on higher value activities will, together with fewer errors, result in more satisfied customers.
Automation and AI for Upgrading Business Processes
Although many enterprises have started implementing automation and AI to further their digital transformation strategies, they are also aware of the possible challenges in implementation. One of the primary concerns amongst businesses is that the implementation of AI can impact existing IT systems and daily operations, leading to increased complexity, added efforts and disruption in critical operations. They are increasingly looking at platforms and tools that can seamlessly incorporate AI capabilities such as ML and NLP into existing processes and systems without disrupting current operations.
Enhanced Employee Efficiency
A widespread myth about automation and intelligence is that software robots will replace the human workforce, ultimately leading to job losses. However, automation capabilities can help in the better execution of manual and repetitive tasks, thus enabling employees to focus on more strategic value-add activities. Improved employee satisfaction and efficiency result in lower attrition and increased productivity, both of which are important factors to create a sustainable competitive advantage.
Harnessing the Value of Data
Organizations today have access to large amounts of data that can be used to make key business decisions and help in risk mitigation. Leveraging automation and AI can help businesses better integrate gathered data into the current ecosystem. In case the data is unstructured, AI can be utilized to transform information into a robot-friendly format. Together, AI and IA can help in unlocking insights that enhance human decision-making capabilities.
Organizations are recognizing the value of AI by investing in technology that assists it in achieving maximum value for their business. Let us look at some of the AI technologies that can help transform business operations.
Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT)
AIoT, an advanced hybrid of AI and the Internet of Things, offers niche capabilities that can both be leveraged once implemented together.AIoT involves intelligent, optimized and real-time orchestration of physical and digital processes across process control systems (PCS), manufacturing execution systems (MES), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other technologies to increase overall efficiency.
Interactive voice response (IVR) is an AI solution offering to drive market growth, because it can work with copious amounts of data. Leveraging conversational AI, businesses can improve user experience, IVR containment and omnichannel collaboration to maximize cross-selling and upselling opportunities. Conversational AI will also enable advancements in platform governance, microservices, application programming interfaces (APIs), natural language processing (NLP) optimization and bot repositories.
No Code AI
The growing need for technologies to accelerate and democratize the data science process has paved the way for advanced AI applications.No-code AI creates democratization, empowering line-of-business, management and operational teams with advanced analytical capabilities without requiring specialized data science skills. Many of these no-code platforms offer easy-to-use, visual drag-and-drop tools. One challenge companies face is that the complex workflows currently in use by most AI/ML models won’t allow them to implement no-code solutions. If organizations want to benefit from these tools, they will need to migrate to a more sophisticated eAutoML platform that enables true no-code, end-to-end automation.
Machine learning (ML) and hyper-automation
Hyper-automation works in harmony with AI/ML technologies and leverages digital process automation (DPA) and intelligent process automation (IPA). It also can automate inflexible and unstructured processes that in the past were non-automatable.
For hyper-automation initiatives to be successful, businesses cannot rely on static packaged software; automated business processes thus must adapt and respond to changing circumstances. Almost all of the leading process automation platforms are embedded with aspects of AI/ML to allow for responsiveness. While the Covid-19 pandemic caused an increased need for learnable solutions, these enhanced capabilities will continue to be used and improved long after it ends.
AI on the cloud
AI has become integrated into every aspect of human life. The next big opportunity in digital transformation is integrating the cloud with AI-powered devices to organize and retrieve data. This collaboration not only enhances the performance of AI-enabled devices, but also allows unstructured data sources such as conversations to be collected, analyzed and used to a company’s benefit.Merging AI and cloud to scale won’t be easy, but it’s inevitable. Companies need to think beyond implementing ML tools solely to enhance customer service, and to harness the power of the cloud to optimize the entire customer journey.
The future is here, and automation and artificial intelligence is certainly a part of it. Automation and artificial intelligence are the keys to augmenting business performance with technological innovation and human capabilities, and to solving important problems today. The increasing switch to digital has become imperative for enterprises to effectively align business strategies, not only as a response to this change but also to pave the way for digital transformation.