Technology plays an integral role across every area within a business -- human resources, customer service, marketing, sales, and more. Throughout the IT organization, there are processes that can be automated to augment work for staff, making operations more efficient while enabling employees to perform higher-value work. In today’s world, while everything cannot and should not be automated, there are many business processes and functions that may have the underlying infrastructure to support artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies.
To accomplish the level of support at-scale and at-speed that consumers have come to expect, business leaders must prioritize a holistic automation agenda. While these strategies have clear benefits, it is important for IT leaders to help others understand how to extract optimal value from them.
Here are three concepts that should be embraced organization-wide to increase efficiency, productivity, and business value from automation:
1. The right technology. Enabling and leveraging the right technology should be the primary objective now because the “wait and see” approach doesn’t always set teams up for success. There is a reason we don’t walk from one city to another -- we use cars, trains, and airplanes because it is the most efficient option available. Humans gravitate toward things that add value to what they want to achieve and what adds purpose to their lives -- whether that is from an experience, safety, convenience, or a reliability perspective. Companies must understand that people are adopting technologies faster than they ever have in the past. “Wait and see” won’t help organizations propel into the next iteration of their businesses because consumers will end up moving to other brands that have already adopted new technologies that they perceive add more value for them.
While the right automation technology is important to remain competitive, integrating an effective set of processes and best practices is an important first step. Automation and AI are the best enablers in understanding and providing the right predictability that is needed to leverage data. Putting these technologies together with speed is critical for companies to scale successfully, differentiate themselves in the market, and establish competitive advantage. Data at operational speed, automation, and AI are the ingredients of the secret sauce that can empower corporations to be more profitable and scalable, and to keep competition at bay.
2. Pattern-based thinking. The approach to aggregating data-driven insights has historically been points-based, so the information being gathered can guide more effective decision-making. This is a very reactionary approach and is not necessarily future enabling. The education system focuses on mathematics and science to help identify data points that lead to proof-driven decisions. The world has evolved and developing and deploying patterns-based experiments at speed is already becoming a differentiator for organizations.
Organizations need to transition to a pattern-based model, where the patterns in data rather than the individual metrics, themselves, guide decision-making – they must evaluate patterns while keeping data points in the purview. Companies that will grow are those that evolve to use patterns with proactive momentum. Technologies like AI bring forward the capabilities for improved diagnosis of patterns and rapid garnering of insights. For example, in the financial services industry, leveraging patterns to drive profit has been a business model for many years. To become a global and futuristic organization, adopting the patterns-based approach is a must.
3. The connection between the past, the present, and the future
Real value is unlocked when a company can comprehend the connecting link between the past, the present, and the future. This concept fits within the pattern-based thinking model, as it enforces a deeper understanding of what happened in the past, and as a result, what is happening in the present, and the patterns that will shape the future. While there are benefits to reactive decision-making, a lifetime journey that is driven by pattern-based insights unlocks new opportunities for value creation. The result is a set of simulations that can immediately be deployed to benefit the customer journey and market opportunity. By leveraging data from the past and present to develop an understanding of the patterns that are driving the business, organizations will be more equipped to make future decisions.
At the end of the day, data strategy is about creating value for the customer while understanding the market as a whole. While value can be derived from many aspects of business strategy, organizations that have recognized and unlocked the connection between the past, the present, and the future are the ones that have delivered true value as it is perceived by their consumer.
According to MIT, more than 60% of jobs done in 2018 had not yet been “invented” in 1940. Technology has enabled business and process advancement in ways we never thought was possible before. When I step back and think about what automation has done for us and our future, I recognize that it is going to drive significant change -- AI, and automation are future enabling and will encourage us to continue to innovate. Organizations that recognize what automation can do for them, while also developing a culture that is focused on gleaning value from these initiatives, will set themselves up for long-term success in gaining the most out of their AI and ML technologies.Sandeep Sachdeva is VP of AI and Automation at Sogeti USA, part of Capgemini. Sandeep has over 25 years of IT experience. He focuses on building, grooming, and enabling data and AI transformational journeys for clients, while also helping companies secure value from their data.