Natarajan Radhakrishnan, Global CIO, HGS, explains how bots and brains have changed over the years and even now, BPM firms have become creative with smart solutions when it comes to operating business as usual.
Presently, every industry vertical is looking at automation opportunities for various functions. Initially, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) was extensively used for automating repetitive tasks primarily for cost efficiency. Since repetitive tasks were automated, the human agents focused more on complex and strategic tasks which improved employee experience and thereby customer experience (CX). RPA has been widely implemented by businesses in their functions and the benefits have been completely harvested. Now automation has moved on to the next stage where we can automate more complex tasks requiring human intelligence, using Cognitive Automation. It can not only automate repetitive tasks but also the sophisticated, complex tasks.
In this wave, automation is not a stand-alone initiative. It is also getting combined with the power of Cloud, Predictive Analytics including Sentiment Monitoring, Natural Language Processing (NLP), and Machine Learning (ML), thus translating into Intelligent Automation. Intelligent automation can process huge amount of structured and unstructured data, analyse, understand and learn it on the go which is why Intelligent automation is much more successful and impactful. The technology empowers humans with advanced smart technologies and agile processes for faster, more intelligent decisions.
Today, automation is among the top five priorities for 7 out 10 CIOs. It is not only limited to repetitive tasks but can do complex and competitive tasks. It has evolved from tool-based automation to cognitive kind of automation where AI also comes into the picture. According to an IDC report, the largest area of AI spending was cognitive applications. This includes applications that automate processes which automatically learn, discover, and make recommendations or predictions. Investments in AI tech is climbing; The speed behind the adoption of RPA is also notable and RPA market is expected to be worth $5 billion by 2024.
Today, the entire globe is fighting the unprecedented pandemic situation. With the majority of the world’s working population working from their homes, bandwidth issues and other related infrastructure issues have emerged. Companies are developing self-help bots to help employees troubleshoot IT problems, which are also assisting support staff to tackle them. BPM firms have become creative with smart solutions when it comes to operating business as usual. For example, the HGS Digital team has developed a self-diagnosing bot called ‘HGSQuickEntry’. This is an easy-to-use mobile app that allows our employees to screen for any health issues before reporting to work.
The discussion around job losses due to automation is an important one – the consensus view from many analysts is that automation will create a class of new jobs. Digital technologies like RPA and Intelligent Automation have opened up new avenues of collaboration between humans and machines to solve complex business problems. With automation and AI taking the drivers’ seat, the existing job roles will evolve and the employees will need to upgrade their skillset.
Automation has multiple benefits that make it indispensable to businesses today. The future will see enterprises focusing on and encouraging human ingenuity, as a result of pervasive deployment of automation. While cutting costs is relevant perpetually, businesses are also moving into solving complex challenges to keep up with the future. Data has become the new valuable asset; organisations that are smart about leveraging intelligent process automation by adding a layer of cognitive technologies to RPA will be better placed to empower employees of the future and augment outcomes for both their business and their clients.