Why AI Means Fewer Speed Bumps on the Road to Digital Transformation
With phones that function as personal computers and virtual assistants that can book plane tickets using only the sound of our voice, technology has certainly made daily life more convenient in the last 30 years. But what about the day-to-day procedures at your office? Are you still using “old school” legacy systems because you don’t have the resources – or time – to implement smarter digital solutions?
Moving beyond our familiar, yet inefficient workflows to create new business models that prepare our organizations for the future is daunting, to be sure
You’re not alone. In the recent Canon Office of the Future Survey, nearly half (42 percent) of CIOs and other senior IT decision makers said the cost of acquiring new technology, including time and resources, was one of the biggest barriers to transforming their workplace for the future. Chances are that despite technological gains, your business is still mired in manual tasks. From the push to electronic documents to soaring volumes of digital data, many companies today are struggling to manage the increasing amounts of information pouring in every day. And worse yet, they’re paying intelligent employees to handle mundane and time-consuming tasks instead of paying them to drive real value through creativity and thoughtful innovation.
Moving beyond our familiar, yet inefficient workflows to create new business models that prepare our organizations for the future is daunting, to be sure. But new tools in the form of AI, machine learning, and robotic process automation are available to make navigating the road to digital transformation a whole lot easier.
Here’s a look at how using AI to automate common workflows can help meet information challenges and provide significant long and short-term benefits for your business:
Improved staff productivity. AI can automate monotonous tasks typically performed by your staff, like classifying incoming documents by type (think invoices, contracts, non-disclosure agreements, etc.), and then associating these documents with corporate contextual information (client names, vendor codes, etc.).
Tailored outcomes. Not only are many AI technologies pre-trained to recognize a variety of document types, the best products can also be taught to recognize the ones that are specific to your company and industry by analyzing the distinctive combinations of words and phrases that are identified in small sample sets of each document type.
Faster cycle times. Automatically identifying various types of documents, extracting the informational entities they contain, and then enhancing them with relevant corporate contextual information facilitates easier and faster automated workflows for documents and the information they contain to enter a company’s information ecosystem. AI solutions can even automatically email notifications to the people who need to know when documents relevant to their work have arrived, and have been stored in the company’s document repositories.
Fewer errors. People make mistakes, and sometimes take lazy shortcuts,so by using solutions that automatically create document metadata (the who, what, when, and where of a document) can ensure consistency and compliance to document management policies across an organization—and that makes organizing and finding any or every relevant document when you need them significantly easier.
Autonomous learning. Many AI solutions can be placed into a continuous learning mode where user acceptance or correction of the software’s output enables it to automatically incorporate that feedback in a continuous “machine learning” loop, which can enable a system to immediately adapt to fast-moving corporate environments, such as offices with ever-changing client lists.
These new processes are on track to impact every facet of business, offering an unprecedented chance to innovate and grow companies, according to reports from PwC. And recent findings from Accenture also predict that organizations who embrace digital transformation will earn 26 percent higher profits.
For those whose companies have active implementations underway, your efforts will likely bring a competitive market advantage and emancipate your employees from the doldrums of their manual tasks. For those who don’t yet have a plan in place, consider having conversations about the best ways to invest in solutions for your workflow challenges.
The stakes are significant, but so is the opportunity. Companies who hesitate or fail to implement new models moving forward can expect to fall behind their competitors—fast. With AI rapidly streamlining the way we meet our information challenges today and in the future, there is no better time to get on board.