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How AI is Supercharging Process Automation

In the midst of unbridled enthusiasm for artificial intelligence (AI) and all things automated, enterprises are diving headfirst into the Business Process Automation (BPA) space. By joining the two forces, there is a clear path of progression ahead.

Artificial Intelligence has become one of the most talked about topics of the 21st century, seen as an enabler of continual advance in process execution and user interactions The applications of AI and process automation are limitless. A new AI survey conducted by Deloitte reveals that two-thirds of business leaders used AI and automation combination to respond to COVID-19.

So how do the two technologies complement each other?

Through the use of Artificial Intelligence with automation, the BPA process-based applications continue to provide back-office processes satisfying to end users. The user experiences for digital customers and employees are becoming more personalised with the implementation of customizable user interfaces of AI based rule engines who can identify customers, understand their behaviour and even forecast customer responses. Leveraging the power of the technology duo, businesses can become more responsive, create personalised offers for customers based on their behaviour and instil loyalty.

Another application of AI and process automation is in enabling faster and more accurate decision making. Process Automation can ensure efficient running of processes and collection of process data. Factoring in the use of AI Technology, the decision making by humans can be significantly enhanced, using the data collected and running AI rules for intelligent ongoing improvements.

According to a report by Forrester, “The Sorry State of Digital Transformation”, up to 22% of businesses still do not have the process excellence and workflow automation in place that would help optimise performance. Further, Artificial Intelligence can lend a hand with supporting BPM initiatives by optimising the following:

· AI has many applications in improving customer support.

· An AI tool can monitor regular business processes to note where issues may potentially crop up. AI based rules can also trigger exception workflows for the resolution of any issues, hence completing the loop with process automation.

· An AI tool may optimise workflows to avoid spending more time than necessary on manual, low value tasks.

· AI can be applied to analyse the performance of any automated process for example it can monitor the time taken for processing an invoice or sales order and raise automatic alerts/ initiate alternate workflows if SLA’s are exceeded.

According to Mckinsey, AI can automate up to 45% of specific job roles, effectively managing tasks that would otherwise cost companies valuable time in completing. From the implementation of AI technologies within business processes, employees can focus on more high value tasks that have a significant impact on the company’s goals, without exerting unnecessary manual time.

Looking forward, the future of AI will be critical in improving the user experiences with BPA applications, through applying multiple AI techniques on user interactions and analysing the efficiency of workflows. The challenge is no if AI will be accepted as a future way of working but more on how businesses will apply the two technologies together as

“Intelligent Automation” to get the greatest return from these emerging technologies. As applications will provide a more enhanced experience, operations and strategy will effectively improve, setting a differentiation between organisations who are employing them, and those who are not.

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