- November 12, 2019
- Posted by: Ramkumar
- Category: Strategy
Intelligent Automation – Overview
Companies are optimistic about the prospects of humans and bots working together. Hence they are welcoming intelligent automation into the workplace.It is assumed robots and humans will bring their own unique strengths in this collaboration. This collaboration will result in improved productivity and better customer experiences. AI has already gained a negative reputation of being perceived as job thieves. This has not prevented the business in discovering the beauty of pairing human and machine intelligence. People are creative, innovative and inventive. Machines are more suited to mundane tasks that people either dislike or find it difficult. For instance to identify patterns from vast amounts of data can be mentally exhausting for the humans. With advances in AI technologies, this activity will be a cakewalk for machines. So intelligent automation can relieve humans from repetitive and mundane tasks. This can allow people to focus on analytical and strategic insights. People can make predictions and can make use of their uniquely valuable human capabilities.
Already many enterprises have seen impressive gains in productivity, cost management, accuracy and customer experiences. 58% of companies have already started with automation journey. Companies are using robotic process automation (RPA) as they move forward to adopt intelligent automation. Robots are embedded with capabilities like speech and image recognition, natural language processing and the ability to learn data to make decisions and predictions.
Automation can have implications on talent and workforce. Companies have responsibilities in assigning new roles and responsibilities. They also need to provide retraining to the employees. Fortunately human workforce are open for automation as they have seen improved gains in their job satisfaction. This has overshadowed any barriers that can come with embracing bots.
RPA to Intelligent Automation
Companies have embraced RPA for a reason. RPA helps in automating the routine tasks. This helps in reducing the processing time dramatically and improve quality through less error reduction. Hence RPA frees up the human resources for more strategic and customer focused activities. RPA also has significant limitations. Bots only follow logical rules based processes. They do not recognize patterns in data or extract meaning from images, text or speech. RPA are programmed to process functions like invoicing without understanding the underlying logic.
This has led companies to move from RPA to Intelligent automation. Intelligent automation is a combination of RPA and AI that takes applications to move beyond the routine tasks. They help in making contextual decisions. AI is applied to the raw data and RPA uses these outputs to transact using the target systems.
Organizations automating at scale are likely to use a combination of RPA and AI. They will use it as an enterprise wide intelligent automation strategy. Companies using RPA and AI as a combination report increase in their revenues.
Gains from Intelligent Automation
Companies using the intelligent automation strategy report higher returns in workforce capacity, cost reduction and revenue increases. Companies on an average have been able to reduce costs by 24% and improved revenues by 8%
RPA combined with AI is the most important factor for increasing revenues. The highest gains in the backoffice workforce capacity are reported by the organizations with the right processes in place. Leaders who have a clear understanding on how to capture value from intelligent automation are able to reduce costs by 21%
Preparing Workforce for Intelligent Automation
Companies are optimistic that AI will increase productivity in the backoffice and with core business operations. Inspite of this clarity many companies are not yet prepared for the change in roles, tasks and how tasks would be performed. Companies need to retrain their employees to the next phase of roles. Most of the current jobs performed by the human workforce would be done by the bots in future. Very few companies are actively reimagining jobs for the future. This is critical to automation success.
At present lack of skills available is one of the barriers to scaling intelligent automation. Companies need to actively fund investments for retraining their employees. Rewriting existing job descriptions is not sufficient to realize potential gains of intelligent automation. Companies should reimagine work and redesign every job. Organizations need to equip people with new skills. They should encourage employees to create and redefine roles to emphasize entrepreneurialism. They should foster complex thinking, pattern recognition, creativity, curiosity along with emotional and social intelligence.
Future of Intelligent Automation
Intelligent automation is going to be the future. Firms are optimistic in moving away from task based automation to incorporating AI. In future, human and automation together can improve business and quality of life for the workforce.