Authored by Neelesh Kripalani, Chief Technology Officer, Clover Infotech
Automation and artificial intelligence are changing the way we do business today. They are transforming how organizations and customers interact with each other, enhancing the interaction and overall experience. AI and automation are already disrupting virtually every business process in every industry. And as these technologies proliferate, they will eventually become a ‘must-have’ for enterprises to stay ahead of their competition.
With machine learning and AI, organizations are able to automate human-dependent redundant tasks, and additionally carry out computations that humans can’t. This will put organizations embracing these technologies on a pedestal towards faster digital transformation and achieve ‘digital-native’ status.
The ‘Humans vs Machines’ Conundrum
The challenge with such advancements in technology is the fear of such technologies replacing human workforce. Most organizations believe that as we move forward, automation bots, AI and machines will replace humans completely and set a new way of how businesses operate. This belief is too far-fetched as technology can never replace humans but only compliment them. Take for instance a vacation taken by a family – a concierge meets and greets the family, checks them in, takes care of their luggage and ensures that they are served well throughout their stay. The hotel can automate end-to-end process right from check-in to luggage management, except for the experience and human touch. Experience matters the most in any business and human connect can deliver it way better than automated self-serve models.
The question of whether process and machine automation will make human workforce more lethargic and their contribution miniscule is farcical. Automation and AI have come a long way today with data intelligence, digital twins, predictive analytics, and so on, but all of these are still an extension of processes that the workforce carry out. Even today, when the customer support is completely automated using IVR, and chatbots, most people still feel that connecting to a real person on call solves their problem faster than bots could. This insight might stem from the fact that humans are better at comprehending a problem more accurately than bots. And once the problem is identified, the bot can take over, sieve through myriad data points, and find a solution. This enables humans and machines to work collaboratively to make processes more efficient and optimized.
Another example of successful business transformation using automation was witnessed in the early 90s with the introduction of ATMs which led the banking fraternity to believe that these machines were going to replace ‘bank teller’ jobs. When, in reality, it enabled the workforce to switch to more complex jobs such as loan booking, underwriting, mortgage evaluation, etc. AI and automation can takeover redundant and repetitive tasks to enable the workforce to focus on more complex processes.
AI & Automation Transforming Businesses
With machine learning, cognitive intelligence, and AI, organizations worldwide have witnessed a tectonic shift in their processes and operations. The retail industry has transformed its supply chain with digital twin technology, object tracking, GPS based fleet management, IoT data capturing, etc. Healthcare has evolved dramatically with AI and machine learning to create more data and insights to the customer and the service provider.
AI has made large strides in recent years, including beyond-human capabilities in computer vision, natural language processing, and so on. From personalized product recommendations to finding anomalies in production to fraud detection, AI and automation has helped organizations to deliver consistent quality and foster growth.
The recent proliferation of AI and automation worldwide has helped organizations to reduce inertia across their value chains. It has enabled the workforce to push itself towards newer skillsets, complex tasks, and has empowered them to make decisions faster and collaboratively create a seamless customer experience.
Automation and AI are a ‘must-have’ to build a completely digital economy. They will enable organizations to innovate faster, set new standards and reach new milestones. They can also empower leaders to achieve their sustainability goals by digitalizing processes to make them more efficient and ESG compliant.