Just as rushed digitalization has led to challenges in poorly-prepared businesses, the same goes with adopting the not-so-magical bullet of AI/automation.
Advancements in large language models are driving a paradigm shift and reconfiguration across industries. New autopilots — akin to the super human assistants — can now learn rapidly and execute activities, from copying images into web forms to responding to emails and generating reports.
Meanwhile, intelligent document processing capabilities powered by generative AI (GenAI) and specialized AI are offering unprecedented efficiency, speed, and accuracy in document-intensive industries such as banking and healthcare.
Across industries, organizations are compelled to leverage innovation to create new value, streamline operations, and elevate customer experiences as they focus on outsmarting the competition.
New ways of working
Particularly, software bots can process information and forms of all kinds, and help with analysis, sorting, and filing to correct destinations. So:
Instead of taking on all administrative requirements, employees can step in selectively when the need for the human touch arises.
On the other hand, AI can bring intelligence into organizations at an incredible rate. The financial services industry, for one, is realizing how AI-powered automation can significantly enhance operational resilience amid ever-increasing consumer demands and overwhelming data volume.
AI algorithms also excel in analyzing large datasets at incredible speeds and uncovering hidden correlations and patterns in workflows.
Similarly, process mining capabilities can empower financial services institutions to identify gaps that cause lengthy customer service response times — for example, data entry errors or missing documentation.
The synergy of automation workflows and GenAI allows the automatic analysis of data such as transaction history and customer behavior in financial transactions. As anomalous transactions are automatically flagged, human analysts can already focus on verifying transactions and resolving fraudulent cases promptly. Bots can also automate the process of setting indicators in underlying applications to activate alerts in the future.
Business that can ‘reconfigure’ their operations to tap the power of AI and automation will be able to industrialize AI for various use cases, employ scalable solutions, and meet security/compliance mandates.
AI potential vs reality
In spite of the transformative potential of AI in enhancing workflows, optimizing innovation remains a pressing challenge for many organizations in the Asia Pacific region, where some markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines remain lagging in business AI readiness despite recent national AI strategies and roadmap.
This could mean that ‘reconfiguration’ success transcends mere AI adoption and requires meaningful integration at scale. There should be new approaches that harness the transformative force of AI through automation at its core, encompassing:
adept change management
In other words, while the synergy of AI and automation holds a lot of potential, it may be reckless to rush into adopting new technologies without a thorough assessment of an organization’s maturity level.
The right reconfiguration equation
So, based on the four key factors above: before anything else, underlying systems and processes that support the integration of AI and automation capabilities should be in place, and process owners and subject matter experts must man the rudder when it comes to such integration.
These experts have insights into operations, a nuanced understanding of customer needs, and intimate familiarity with internal processes — which help ensure that automation efforts are not only technologically sound but also aligned with the organization’s operational fabric and objectives.
While process owners and subject matter experts have deep insights into day-to-day operations, executive sponsorship remains critical for mobilizing resources, steering the organization towards its AI and automation vision, and fostering cross-departmental collaboration.
As technology replaces the need for manual labor in time-consuming and monotonous tasks, leaders must reassess workforce dynamics and urgently examine processes where people add value and how to reskill the existing workforce for these higher-value activities.
Ultimately, AI-powered automation is a powerful tool to drive digital transformation, but it is the people who breathe life into technology initiatives — or conversely, hamper these initiatives from realizing their full potential.
The onus is on leaders to drive effective change management that facilitates understanding, fosters adaptability, and cultivates collective ownership of the new direction.
Successful reconfiguration in the new AI era entails managing change holistically to make the human-machine dynamic work. Holistic change management can help ensure that stakeholders are aligned, empowered, and invested to optimize the positive impact of AI and automation on organizational processes and that employees keep pace with rapid innovation.