– By Allan Andersen, Global Director of Enterprise Solutions at Amelia, an IPsoft Company
Businesses have always been focused on technological advancements that can propel productivity forward, eliminate redundancies and reduce waste. But while that’s the goal on paper, enterprises don’t always know how to make it a reality. Faced with too many choices, they might think it’s best to wait it out and see which path is the best way forward.
That, however, may not yield the results that businesses are after, particularly when talking about artificial intelligence (AI). Accenture reported that three-fourths of organizations could go out of business if they fail to scale AI. That highlights the urgency with which businesses must act in order to stay ahead of the curve. Accounting firm Grant Thornton shared a similar sentiment, arguing that if privately held businesses don’t move first and utilize technologies like AI and automation today, they will miss out on their “biggest advantage.”
These are important calls to action, especially in the current climate. Now more than ever, businesses have been tasked with not just doing more with less but also doing things differently. Call centers were the tip of the iceberg as consumers stayed home and tried to wait out a pandemic that, at this moment, is still very much a part of our everyday lives. It’s hard to define a “new normal” when little feels normal and businesses are still trying to figure out how to prepare for whatever comes next. But when customers call, businesses need to be there to answer – and if market conditions change, they need to be ready to pivot.
Businesses have attempted to overcome some of their day-to-day challenges by relying on robotic process automation (RPA), but they have learned that isn’t enough to solve bigger and more significant challenges. While this technology might have been good enough for automating back-office tasks within a spreadsheet or other simple objectives, it couldn’t go far beyond that and often created unnecessary delays between processes. If something changed within the application environment, for example, an RPA bot might fail and require whoever built the bot to update it – and make additional updates if any other changes occur.
HyperAutomation is much more powerful than that. It can react to things in real time and perform much faster, attaining end-to-end automation of anything that can be automated. This is a vital differentiator. HyperAutomation is orchestrating automating through multiple methods including application programming interfaces (APIs), RPAs, accessing databases, etc. However, the true strength of HyperAutomation lies in its ability to utilize AI to intelligently diagnose and clarify how to perform automation when inputs are unstructured. It is easy to automate simple tasks based on structured information in spreadsheets, but it is challenging to automation based on live customer conversations or voicemails left by customers tired of waiting on hold. It is the future of orchestrated automation and will allow more businesses to thrive than ever before.
Historically, enterprises couldn’t do AI alone. It was – and to some extent still is – powerful technology that traditionally requires top-tier talent, thus limiting the ability for all businesses to implement it effectively. According to a report by LinkedIn, AI specialists have enjoyed 74% annual job growth. Hiring for robotic engineers, which are needed for automation and other AI-related components, has increased 40%. Demand for data scientists, which are tasked with using the data gathered by AI and other sources to solve business problems, has increased 37%.
With such high demand for the people who are responsible for building and amplifying what AI can do and accomplish for a business, many organizations could get left behind. This would be particularly problematic in the event of a talent shortage, which would raise salaries and spawn a competitive fight between the largest organizations. Not all would win out, and small and medium-sized businesses may be out of luck entirely.
This doesn’t mean they should give up and coast until they go out of business. Instead, they should look to AI solutions that meet their needs and do not require specific talent to apply and operate. Commonly known as “no-code AI,” these platforms allow business professionals to effectively plug-and-play artificial intelligence without the help of an AI specialist. It is the mainstream implementation of AI that can be done by business analysts and process experts and ultimately paves the way for an unlimited number of enterprises to take advantage of this technology.
The end goal should be a scenario in which certain tasks – be it customer support, product shipping and delivery, or something else entirely – are being handled most automatically and only exceptions need human attention. They need to get to a place to where tasks that can be automated are essentially hands-off, allowing AI and automation to do its job without interference. This attitude toward AI has allowed some of the world’s largest corporations to flourish and greatly scale to new heights.
Prepare for tomorrow
This year has served as a reminder to businesses everywhere that they must always stay on the cutting edge of technology and implement solutions that can help them overcome a wide variety of obstacles. Automation – specifically HyperAutomation – is a vital way for businesses to achieve that goal. No-code AI is another innovation that cannot be overlooked, as it will allow organizations to take advantage of this incredibly important technology without requiring the expertise of an AI professional. By relying on these and other technologies, enterprises can better prepare for the challenges of tomorrow.