Humans and machines have different skill sets. Optimize what you do by embracing technology that can liberate you from repetitive tasks.
August 8, 2018
by Percy G. Johnson, Jr, Vice President Agile Solutions
You can’t see the forest for the trees. A quaint old expression that captures perfectly a situation that every business needs to tackle at some stage; getting so caught up in the details of a task that you lose sight of the bigger picture. Why are you taking this action? Where are you planning to go? What would you be doing if you weren’t so bogged down in the details?
One of the great promises of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the idea that your organization’s software will learn to manage a wide variety of repetitive tasks that take up so much of an employee's time and energy. This newly available time can be put to better use with the kinds of high-level strategic thinking that you want from your employees. .
Think about what could be achieved when automation is accurate, reliable and a key part of your engine room. You get to play to your very human strengths of creativity, problem-solving and working on a high-value workload.
What is a high-value workload?
Technologically, all the indicators suggest that we are on the brink of integrating a set of tools into our daily workflow that will transform the ways companies work at a granular level. There will be disruption and transformation in the workplace, and there will be a need for people to be redeployed and upskilled in what they do.
If the change is handled in a way that aligns with the corporate values and the mission of an organization, then it can be a very empowering process for everyone involved. “Leaders will need to put energy toward addressing the people issues that arise with automation, so everyone can get accustomed to being part of an organization that is constantly evolving,” explains PriceWaterhouseCoopers in a new white paper on automation.
For companies who skillfully handle the integration of AI, there is a huge upside. So much of the work we do today is tedious and repetitive. AI and automation that can handle tasks better than we can is on the horizon.
What this means is that valuable employees will have more time and energy available to focus on their high-value workload; tasks and ideas which have a material impact on the company’s bottom line.
Where is AI making an impact?
Benefits are being felt most keenly in the following arenas of early adopters;
According to French multinational CapGemini, firms are reporting a rough 10% boost in each of these sectors of their business, in areas such as customer satisfaction, sales from new products and services, and broader operational efficiency.
What kind of AI should I be investing in?
Beginning the journey towards automation is a daunting task for every business. Choices need to be made, and a good place to start is with your data. The way that structured and unstructured data is gathered and processed is critical to a company’s prospects.
Multiple functions in a business require excellent data to operate smoothly; from training algorithms to making decisions in a workflow, to identifying patterns over time, and automating repetitive activities. The act of gathering data itself should be automated with tools that automatically extract and integrate data from disparate sources,
The realization that AI will change the workplace has taken hold, and banking customers seem to be looking on AI developments in a favourable light. A major study of over 31 000 respondents by Accenture found that two-thirds of respondents would be happy to use software robots for banking services and are ‘attracted by the impartiality of advice given by robots’.
Yet, despite that ringing endorsement, there are immense challenges for deep learning and AI, and Computer Weekly content editor Karl Flinders lists “Implementation times, usability and interoperability with other systems and platforms” as the areas of AI that require the most improvement.
Security: Data monitoring and protection
Safeguarding your data is another key aspect of AI that can transform your business. There are massive security threats to data emerging from our hyper-connected world, and the US Department of Commerce estimates that companies in the US lose about $250 billion annually due to intellectual property threats.
Where the attackers themselves are deploying AI to create malware, it stands to reason that AI is the best way to combat those threats.
Software that can scan documents at scale, recognize when confidential information such as credit card details and social security numbers are present, and then handle those documents appropriately, are valuable tools in the quest for improved security.
At this stage, most of the AI adoption is coming from the giant public cloud providers such as Google and Amazon Web Services, who are doing important work in building systems that can be adapted and used at scale.
There are so many opportunities for sophisticated AI in the digital mortgage space that companies are clamoring to develop new products and services to address aspects such as the auto clearing of loan conditions, eClosing of a mortgage, tracking loans digitally and advanced workflows that are driven by data and analytics.
The shift to a faster, more efficient age of e-mortgages has begun. It promises to usher in a new era of focused, high-value work by people which is backed up by rigorous automation from machines that will unlock tremendous value for those companies that invest in the right technology and develop flexible systems that address the needs of mobile-centric, omni-channel hopping consumers.