Artificial intelligence and automation are two trends that promise to revolutionize the workplace, so what happens when you bring them together? "Intelligent automation" is the use of AI technologies to automate business processes and workflows. It encompasses a variety of topics in AI and machine learning, including robotic process automation (RPA) and natural language processing (NLP).
Developments such as Google's self-driving cars and IBM's Watson supercomputer are just a few of the flashiest examples of intelligent automation. Organizations of all sizes and industries stand to benefit from the competitive advantages, such as higher productivity and faster turnaround times, that intelligent automation can provide.
Of course, the key to successfully applying intelligent automation is understanding where the opportunities lie. So how can businesses best put intelligent automation into practice?
1. Start with a proof of concept
Instead of rolling out intelligent automation across the enterprise, begin with a quick and achievable pilot project. The insights you obtain here will help you be more successful when going wide.
Understand, too, that you need to have realistic expectations at the start about what intelligent automation can achieve for you. Avoid creating too much hype or overpromising, which can lead to confusion, resentment, and resistance.
2. Choose the right processes
The key question for your organization is: which processes should you automate first?
Ideally, your first foray into intelligent automation should be a project that is low-risk and easily achievable. Look for areas that can show maximum results while minimizing the inconvenience of the transition for your business. Processes and workflows that are rule-based, time-consuming, dealing with structured data, and requiring a high degree of accuracy are ideal candidates for automation.
3. Involve business and IT
Intelligent automation offers the opportunity for business and IT teams to collaborate like never before. Because intelligent automation requires a great deal of tech expertise, IT (or a third-party tech partner) should be charged with the details of the implementation.
Meanwhile, the business team monitors the effects of the pilot via careful selection of metrics and KPIs. By involving key stakeholders in the project from the very beginning, you'll be more likely to win support from across the organization.