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The Cross-Section of AI, Big Data, and DevOps Is Making Intelligent Automation a Reality.

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Intelligent automation has the ability to radically alter back-office processes and unlock the human potential in your organization.

By Peter Piela, Head of Solution Development at AI Foundry

How many times have you heard that we’re on the verge of a quantum leap forward due to new technology? Probably too many times. That phrase is often used as hype to drive sales and marketing. But this time, at the dawn of this new age, it really does feel different. The combination of various technologies at once to produce something new and transformative feels real and substantial. Intelligent automation (IA) is groundbreaking technology that’s already making sweeping changes to the ways we work.

The implications are tremendous, and the impact will be far-reaching.

Let’s unpack what it means and try to understand IA systematically.

Building on RPA

The ability to program robots to perform repetitive tasks that deliver flawless data is nothing short of miraculous. That’s the domain of RPA, or robotic process automation, and the fact that it is now reality has forced organizations to rethink what they are capable of achieving and how fast they can get things done.

RPA delivers massive datasets ripe for analysis quickly and accurately. But the data itself is not enough; it’s what you do with the data that counts. When you start feeding it into multiple systems, you begin to shift RPA into the higher plane of intelligent automation, where action and interpretation of the data provide a roadmap for development.

With the advent of IA, the question for businesses becomes, “How can we make the best use of the opportunity offered by these new age technologies?”. Put another way, “How can we elevate our business processes via automation?”. 

In a nutshell, intelligent automation is the art of applying technology to your everyday processes to bolster productivity and enhance efficiency.

The Implications of IA

Intelligent automation can fundamentally alter the workflow of a company. After all, the system thrives on repetitive tasks, and it’s built for routine work. That’s the exact opposite of a human workforce, where repetitive, detail-oriented work can end up blocking people’s natural creativity and problem-solving skills and allows mistakes in the data to creep in.

One of the most beneficial aspects of intelligent automation is what it does for a workforce. 

By automating routine administrative tasks, the workforce is freed up for more creative and strategic thinking, which can only be a good thing for any company.

Four Primary Benefits of Intelligent Automation:

  • l Greater data accuracy (Robots are better at capturing, storing, and organizing data)
  • l Faster processing speed (People need to take breaks and cannot compete with automation)
  • l Happier, more engaged workforce (Staff feel empowered to think out-of-the-box)
  • l Creative thinking (New, interesting solutions emerge when staff are not consumed with tedious, manual tasks)

These simple benefits come together to lay the groundwork for an enterprise-wide transformation thanks to a higher level of problem-solving and decision making within the organization.

The 3 Big Factors Involved in IA

There are three fundamental technologies and practices which are driving intelligent automation: DevOps, Actionable Intelligence, and Big Data. What are they, and how do they interact?

  1. DevOps is tricky to define, but it is a very powerful multiplier of efficiency in a company. The right developers using the right technology and the right processes create a successful DevOps environment where rapid progress takes place. Online giant Amazon has a particularly helpful definition, stating that “DevOps is the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increases an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services at high velocity.”

  2. Actionable Intelligence – Enterprise data is typically obtained in many different forms, e.g. scanned documents, electronic documents, EDI feeds, … The challenge becomes one of finding the set of techniques and representations that transform the data into a form that best supports decision analysis. When data is gathered and processed in ways that aid decision-making, it can help companies to build knowledge using simple rules to aid complex decision-making. AI should also incorporate the ability to learn and improve over time.

  3. Big Data - None of this would be possible without the advent of massive datasets gathered, stored, and analyzed in real-time from multiple sources using highly performing and flexible  pipelines. These datasets are generally too large and complex to be handled by traditional data-processing applications, and therefore the insights generated by big data were unavailable until very recently.

AI Foundry is developing a platform it calls the Cognitive Business Automation Platform, which is designed to incorporate the latest in AI, machine learning, and machine vision to provide a higher level of problem-solving and decision making for document-centric business processes. No matter what industry you work in, the system can adapt to make it more efficient and successful.

The platform delivers accuracy rates of over 90% by “quickly extracting data from electronic images and documents with superior accuracy and minimal manual intervention.”

What Is Cognitive Business Automation capable of delivering?

  • l Using Machine Vision and AI to accurately process documents in the context of your business workflows and in real-time.
  • l Seamless integrations to your system of record using a comprehensive set of Public REST API interfaces.
  • l Self-service Robotic process automation using intuitive Robot builders.
  • l Self-tuning and adaptive machine learning models that continuously improve on user feedback.

Intelligent Automation may seem abstract at this moment in time, much like self-driving cars seemed like a nice, but unrealistic idea a few years ago. But there’s nothing abstract about what IA is going to do to the ways we work. From transforming a workflow with speed and accuracy to pre-populating forms, pinpointing errors, and completing low-value, repetitive tasks in a matter of minutes, the technology will have a liberating effect on a workforce and allow employees to shine.

To request a demonstration of what Cognitive Business Automation can do for your organization, get in touch today.

About the Author:
Peter Piela, Ph.D. is a a seasoned development manager with a track record of leading high-performance teams to create valuable, award-winning software products. As Director of Solution Development, he will lead a team of designers and developers to define, implement and package AI Foundry’s Agile Solutions, incorporating contributions from our technology partners, open source, and engineering team.

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