Much has been written about the potential of Intelligent Automation (IA), an important component for any enterprise-level Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform, to build business value through amplified output and decreased overhead. Indeed, digital colleagues such as Amelia have already proven the ability to deliver just that. However, in addition to enhancing individual segments of an organization, IA builds value through automating complex tasks across multiple business areas.
Efficiency Through Unity
Autonomic platforms like 1Desk automate workflows across disparate IT and shared services, while a cognitive agent like Amelia makes the unified system accessible to all employees regardless of technical know-how via a Natural Language Interface (NLI). By connecting multiple departments (HR, IT, Accounting, etc.) inside a central unified hub, organizations can design and implement complex workflows that are inherently more efficient then if they had to cross different business silos.
For example, the onboarding of a new employee involves several steps across numerous departments, e.g. facilities (securing them a workspace), payroll (setting up direct deposit), HR (educating employees on corporate policies), and IT (providing a work laptop and log-in credentials). In a siloed organization, this can be a woefully inefficient process because it relies on human middleware (and often multiple service ticketing systems) at each individual step as opposed to error-free, always-available processes driven by machines.
The advantages to implementing an IA solution across an organization are multifold: It allows processes to be executed at machine speed, frees employees from burdensome low-level tasks and — perhaps most importantly — reduces operational costs.
A unifying IA solution makes the process far more effective by automating workflows, including steps enhanced by the NLI. Continuing with the new employee example, reserving a laptop and creating log-in credentials virtually simultaneously can become one intelligently automated step; meanwhile, a cognitive interface gathers bank routing and account information for the employee’s direct deposit. With IA, the whole process can all be handled by a single integrated workflow needing limited human intermediation.
- For Further Reading: Your Employees Will Thank You for 1Desk
In addition to automating tasks, it becomes easier to bolster process efficiencies when they exist in a central hub. The NLI empowers managers to easily tweak workflows across multiple departments (e.g. an HR manager can simply say or type, “Please issue laptops with additional RAM to all new Marketing hires.”) or extract information for improved decision making in the future (e.g. an accounts payable manager can ask, “What percentage of freelancers use direct deposit versus live checks?”). IA also allows workflows to be monitored and analyzed in real time, by both humans and machines. in order to ensure process compliance and drive future efficiencies.
The Efficiency Edge
The advantages of implementing an IA solution across an organization are multifold: It allows processes to be executed at machine speed, frees employees from burdensome low-level tasks and — perhaps most importantly — reduces operational costs.
A report from Accenture states that one of the distinct advantages of “AI-powered intelligent automation is its ability to solve problems across industries and job titles.” The report also goes on to predict that AI has the potential to double economic growth rates by 2035, including boosting labor productivity by up to 40 percent. “A significant part of the economic growth from AI will come not from replacing existing labor and capital, but in enabling them to be used much more effectively,” the report states.
The takeaway is that if your company is not investing in IA, then you are at a competitive disadvantage. And while a company could choose to automate in a piecemeal fashion, the true efficiencies will come through organization-wide unification of corporate workflows.