Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of automation anywhereA leading worldwide provider of enterprise RPA.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
When AI and automation merge, it will be comparable to the genesis of the PC or the Internet – a pivotal moment in history that will permanently reshape our world.
Our future relies on robust economic growth. This is the sole means through which we are capable of supporting our infrastructure, healthcare, and social safety net. Historically, growth has been driven by two factors: the expanding workforce and the rising productivity of existing workers. However, this paradigm is now undergoing its first-ever transformation.
Currently, countries like the US, China, and Japan are experiencing labor shortages as older employees near retirement age and there are insufficient young workers to fill the gaps. In order to compensate, productivity must increase at an accelerated pace to meet ambitious growth targets. But what happens if we fail to achieve this? As growth decelerates, society stagnates.
The recent advent of practical generic AI is propelling the next phase of automation technologies – and vice versa – and is widely acknowledged by business executives as indispensable for growth and efficiency. According to our annual customer survey, 88% stated that AI is crucial for successful business process automation, and 72% revealed that their organization intends to augment their investment in their AI and automation initiative by an average of 17% within the next year.
AI combined with automation is the novel framework for accomplishing tasks, affording the ability to identify and conduct processes solely through technology. Organizations now possess the capability to embrace AI integrated with automation to address their most pressing challenges. Below are various use cases applicable to specific industries.
Studies conducted by the American Medical Association and the University of Wisconsin demonstrate that primary care physicians in America spend approximately six hours per day, during and after clinic hours, engaged in the predominantly manual process of updating electronic health records (EHRs). This amounts to roughly two hours dedicated to direct patient care for every hour devoted to EHR updates.
By leveraging AI combined with automation, medical records can be gathered and synthesized to extract meaningful information. Physicians can prompt the technology to generate a medical summary based on the extracted information, directly within the EHR. Once reviewed by a “human in the loop” – a process that requires significantly less time compared to creating a summary from scratch – the technology can automatically make the summary available to the provider, patient, and other authorized parties.
We estimate that this approach could save physicians 70%-80% of their time, address staffing challenges, alleviate burnout, and contribute to improved patient outcomes. This represents a substantial increase in productivity amidst a persistent shortage of doctors and nurses.
Finance and Accounting
Invoice processing is resource-intensive, typically entailing manual entry of vendor invoice data. According to SAP Concur, manual invoice processing costs $31 and requires an average of 17 days. Additionally, manual input often leads to payment delays due to data entry errors, and inconsistent invoice formats alone pose challenges for process automation.
AI combined with automation can significantly enhance the productivity of finance teams. This can be accomplished by streamlining the data entry process, as inconsistent formatting and data entry errors are no longer an issue. Generative AI can identify any deviations, alerting a “human in the loop” for swift verification and progression of the workflow. It can aid sellers in generating personalized emails, freeing up employees’ time for other tasks. Moreover, it can automatically update budgets and capture data for real-time expense analysis and forecasting.
We anticipate that this streamlined process can help businesses save an average of 33% on invoice processing and boost productivity by 30%.
Manufacturing companies collect data from myriad sources. Gathering and compiling competitive data, as well as transforming it into a useful format, is often a labor-intensive undertaking. This process is also vulnerable to errors and inadequate information, thereby negatively impacting an organization’s customer journey analytics, real-time analytics, decision-making, and resource allocation.
AI combined with automation offers an effective solution. The collection and preparation of relevant data from diverse sources can be automated. Subsequently, generative AI can analyze the pre-processed data, uncover patterns and correlations, and generate summary reports to expedite analysis efforts. It can also generate competitive analysis and compare/analyze competitive information such as pricing, campaigns, and customer reviews. These analytics can then be incorporated into campaign automation to optimize marketing operations.
We estimate that the digitalization of processes could enhance productivity by up to 100%, enabling the identification of precise insights and revealing patterns in extensive datasets that would be challenging for humans to detect. It can boost manufacturers’ competitive advantage by providing real-time market insights and analytics, facilitating the development of faster-to-market products with unique differentiators.
How can organizations increase the likelihood of success when implementing AI combined with automation to tackle these use cases? Based on our research and firsthand experience working with companies, we have found that the most successful organizations:
• Have an executive sponsor who focuses on enterprise growth and productivity and champions the automation platform’s capacity to drive tangible business outcomes.
• Regard AI combined with automation as a collaborative initiative between business leaders and IT, with both parties establishing and prioritizing clear, exemplary KPIs centered around productivity gains.
• Initiate new endeavors in the cloud with a comprehensive, interconnected automation platform, with plans to gradually migrate existing tools and efforts to the cloud.
• Encourage employee engagement and civic development efforts, including incentives for upskilling and contributing, so that employees experience a direct increase in productivity.
Any organization seeking to incorporate more technology into their processes or aiming to fully utilize data analytics can benefit from augmenting their transformation with AI combined with automation. These investments will far surpass investments solely in traditional robotic process automation. They will also set organizations on a trajectory to overcome growth and productivity challenges in order to ultimately thrive.
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