Leveraging AI, automation and human ingenuity to achieve a sustainable competitive edge is what IO is about, says this expert.

Across industries, the explosion of unstructured data is transforming markets. As new and innovative businesses disrupt the status quo and customer expectations constantly grow and change, it has never been more important for organizations to focus on digital transformation.

According to a report from Accenture and HfS:

  • Nearly 80% of organizations were concerned with disruption. Operations executives worry most about new digital entrants.
  • Nearly 80% of operations executives estimated that anywhere from 50 to 90% of their information was unstructured. On top of that, the data was largely unreachable and siloed across databases and systems.
  • When asked how their organization can best improve operational agility, 27% pointed to a comprehensive customer engagement strategy.

Businesses that are slow to utilize the powerful combination of technology and data to meet customer demands and transform operations risk falling behind the competition. Forward-thinking companies, on the other hand, are responding to these factors by aligning strategic priorities to Intelligent Operations (IO), a state of maturity that leverages AI, automation and human ingenuity to achieve a sustainable competitive edge.

How can your organization follow in their forward-thinking footsteps? Use the seven signs below to evaluate your IA maturity quotient.

  1. You know the power of process discovery
    A recent Forbes Insight survey found that 90% of senior executives believed their leadership recognizes the importance of process automation to future success. Transforming operations begins with understanding the current state of your business processes.

    Process discovery can help deliver an accurate picture of your operations and identify opportunities for automation by supplying process details that include:

    • length of time it takes to complete the processes
    • number of manual touchpoints
    • which systems are involved
    • order of tasks, and more.

    Insights from the discovery can be used to prioritize which inefficient processes should be re-designed or automated to generate greater operational efficiencies.
  2. You have prioritized workforce realignment
    While digital technology is important, human talent still plays a critical role in IO. When organizations find the right balance between human talent and digital workers, employees can spend more time on value-adding, strategic projects that cannot be handled by their digital colleagues.

    Intelligent automation technologies such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) that address routine, repetitive tasks allow your human workforce to focus on innovation.
  3. You are using data and analytics to their fullest potential
    In the Accenture and HfS survey, 90% of respondents said data-driven decisions will help them create pivotal customer insights. It is no surprise more than 85% of organizations are developing a improve analysis of their data assets.

    A plan for blending structured and unstructured data from internal and external sources should be a core component of your data strategy. Technologies such as cognitive capture help enterprises ingest and understand data in any format and across channels. RPA can also be used to help mine data from legacy systems that were traditionally operating in siloed departmental processes.
  4. Your business processes are infused with AI
    Companies have realized valuable gains from RPA alone, citing a more-than-25% improvement in employee satisfaction, efficiency and customer retention. However, with advancements in AI, substantial operational efficiencies can be unlocked when combined with automation technologies.

    Embedding natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) into your business operations paves the way to collect and process data faster, and automates your knowledge-based processes.

    The integration of automation, advanced analytics and AI positions enterprises to advance their ability to improve customer engagement and drive operational excellence.
  5. You are using the Cloud to empower your organization
    The Cloud enables organizations to scale effectively and quickly adapt to changing technologies within a secure environment.

    A single cloud or even multi-cloud approach provides for faster adoption of new technologies and reduces operating costs while improving business processes. The ability to easily add or remove services improves agility and flexibility.
  6. You have a robust ecosystem of partners
    Partnerships are an important piece of the IO journey. Competitive organizations form symbiotic relationships with start-ups, system integrators, technology and platform providers to achieve their transformation goals.

    Collaborative alliances with innovative companies in the market accelerate operational transformation faster than building technology solutions in-house.
  7. You are putting digital workforce management to good use
    As automation scales across the enterprise, the need to manage, monitor and govern automation deployments increases. From a compliance perspective, it is essential for IT to have visibility into what systems, processes and privileges are given to each digital worker.

    The most effective way to manage enterprise automation is from a single platform that provides insights, process orchestration and digital workforce tagging.

All signs point to transformation

Organizations that have checked off all of the factors in the list above are operating on a different level than those that are still struggling with manual processes and outdated technology.

A shift toward IO provides the right balance of human talent, intelligent automation and strategic partnerships.

By enabling modern enterprises to unlock more data insights, create exceptional customer experiences and improve the efficiency of business operations, IO creates a solid foundation—empowering your organization to work like tomorrow, today.