Leveraging the power of artificial intelligence (AI) for decision making at multiple levels in the organizations has opened a vast landscape of opportunities for growth. In the year 2020, we saw organizations scrambling to build newer resilient workflows powered by digital technologies - to mitigate risks and ensure business continuity at scale. Advanced technologies driving digital transformation endeavors that saw years of innovation and research were implemented in a span of months as a response to the pandemic and the work from home imperative.
The sudden rise in technology adoption and digitization endeavors have created ripples across business landscapes and companies - Automation with cognitive capabilities being a common theme across all initiatives. The benefits and advantages realized by adopting AI embedded technology solutions have cemented its place across all CXO agenda lists.
As we enter 2021, we witness early adopters gaining significant ground with well-established competitive advantages - across product offerings, customer experience, and operations. More and more companies will seek to pioneer technology adoption across their portfolios to actualize unrealized gains for their businesses and customers. The year 2021, will witness a substantial expansion and adoption of AI-powered technology in essential and meaningful ways.
On a broader scale, AI will continue to drive impact across our lives in multiple ways; however, the following trends will foresee maximum traction:
1. Rise and rise in demand for IPA (Intelligent Process Automation)
According to Forrester’s research, "25% of Fortune 500 companies want to implement and invest in (IPAs)". The technology brings intelligent automation at scale by keeping automation at the center, flanked by AI and advanced analytics capabilities - It unites critical components to create newer differential capabilities, which ensures long term success.
IPA eliminates time-consuming, repetitive workflows - It increases operational efficiency and reduces overall process cycle rates. In 2021 and beyond, IPA solutions will provide business owners with complete visibility of their processes, intelligently automates repetitive work, analyzes data in real-time, identifies outliers and bottlenecks, and predicts possible future outcomes.
2. AI will process unstructured and semi-structured data at scale
The extensive growth of the digital economy has resulted in the explosion of big data. The demand for advanced analytics solutions to make informed decisions from the generated data is on the rise. Process owners witness an inflow of a plethora of documents from multiple channels and in various formats. More often than not the data is extracted manually by human operators for further processing - it leads to an increase in operations costs, long cycles, human errors and hampers productivity.
In 2021 and beyond, enterprises will leverage machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP) and Fuzzy logic technologies in addition to Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to process unstructured data from a wide range of formats and ingestion channels. Operators can then deploy automation on top of the ML and NLP layer to facilitate transactional activities across the enterprise.
3. Data analytics, powered by AI, for the connected Enterprise
As multiple companies attempt to embrace newer technology solutions, the ability to monitor operational performance becomes increasingly important. Siloed technology platforms (ERP, CRM, CMS, etc.) only provide visibility into the processes that their platform handles. These standalone systems do not provide insights to a user in a holistic and drilled down manner.
To attain visibility across multiple functions, organizations need to leverage process intelligence technologies that can provide a single source of truth - across business units, roles, operations, and even geographies.
Augmenting various business processes with AI-powered data analytics and automation can enhance decision-making effectiveness, collaboration, and operational intelligence and efficiency. Fostering a data-driven intelligent automation mindset and growing out of the pilot stages will ensure long-term growth.
Mindshare for AI-powered automation and its benefits indicates proactiveness towards understanding business processes from a wide spectrum of perspectives - across all levels in the organization. It will play a crucial role in the digital transformation journey for all companies.
In 2021 and beyond, more organizations will keep intelligent automation solutions as a priority in the digital transformation plans. As an enterprise realizes, it creates the path to enhance operational efficiency, reduce costs, establish a competitive advantage, and mitigate risks by making business processes more resilient to disruptions.
About the author
Dr. Akhil Sahai, Chief Product Officer, Founding Member, Kanverse