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Why Indian Businesses Need The ‘Intelligent Automation’ Edge In 2021

IA is helping organizations significantly reduce costs, increase revenue, and enhance customer experience, in addition to boosting productivity - thereby helping create a virtuous cycle in the long run.

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Intelligent Automation (IA) can help CXOs achieve the fine balance of improving agility, while reducing costs. But how can your organization gain much more benefits, in addition to enhanced productivity?

The findings of a recent survey by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services1 indicate that IA has virtually permeated every function/department within an organization. Business leaders acknowledge that automation of routine and cognitive tasks frees up an organization’s resources to focus on higher value work, and will simplify approval mechanisms to fast-track the decision-making cycle.

Unlike its predecessors, IA is not hard coded into any systems. The beauty of IA is it uses artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to help create autonomous systems that constantly learn from experience, and rapidly adapt on a minute-to-minute basis. As they rely on real-time data, they are also far more flexible and can quickly adapt to fast changing scenarios and business environments.

IA - the change driver

Organizations are automating their IT systems to help their IT teams move up the value chain, so they can spend more time and efforts on projects that help unlock additional value for the business. One other key focus area is workforce productivity, and conversational AI can enable employees with greater self-service options and easy access to essential applications - such as leave input systems, payroll modules etc - via a voice-enabled digital assistant. We are also seeing automation deployed heavily around decision making, with organizations relying on AI/ML to trigger automated decisions or recommendations to a human for further action. Businesses are able to perform an in-depth analysis of the data and decode patterns to make the right decisions well in time.

Leaders who are at the forefront of infusing IA deeper into their business processes have lauded the initial results from IA projects - enhanced employee satisfaction and improved engagement, greater productivity, increased efficiency, and higher customer satisfaction, amongst others.

Given the unprecedented situation we are witnessing globally, more and more organizations are bound to embrace IA in a holistic way to regain and sustain business growth in the new decade.

Transcending growth orbits with IA

Four ways in which organizations can look to instil IA into their organization’s DNA:

1. Tightly align IA to the overall business strategy: A piecemeal approach to embedding IA will not work wonders. Organizations should devise a holistic strategy to redefine the parameters that are core to the business and look to embed IA across all business processes.

2. Create a robust technology base: The success of any IA project typically depends on three core elements: (a) advanced automation, (b) a modern, secure, high performant cloud infrastructure, and (c) advanced analytics - and all these three elements must work coherently, in parallel, for transformational benefits.

3. Pick the right technology partners: Instead of reinventing the wheel, an easy way to get started on deploying IA is by collaborating with the right set of technology providers and implementers, who might have already embedded IA in their product stack.

4. Educate and empower employees to become IA evangelists: Organizations should have effective communication programs in place to make employees understand and appreciate how IA can help usher in transformational innovation and improve process efficiencies. A consensus-led approach to driving change, with CXOs leading from the front, will make the journey easier and smoother for all employees.

Why industry experts believe IA will go mainstream in 2021

IA is helping organizations significantly reduce costs, increase revenue, and enhance customer experience, in addition to boosting productivity - thereby helping create a virtuous cycle in the long run. Global leaders recognize the need for a productivity booster, and acknowledge that IA can be that booster shot. Yet, analysts and industry experts opine that organizations have barely scratched the surface when it comes to unearthing greater business value from IA. In 2021, IA is expected to move beyond just hype, and well into the mainstream

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Debashis Singh

CIO, Mphasis and Sriram Rajan, VP-Technology Cloud, Oracle India

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Sriram Rajan

VP-Technology Cloud, Oracle India

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