Intelligent Automation: Segregating the value amidst the hype

By Lionel Alva

Synposys: Automation is fast becoming a reality for the approach towards work in a digitized world. AI and automation are redefining the strategic imperatives for businesses today, especially in the Indian context. Can Indian businesses leverage Intelligent Automation effectively?

Automation is often deemed to be a polarizing word. However, it is also the key to unlocking business value. Is it any wonder then that many companies have embraced robots to automate repetitive tasks as they imbibe a digital shift in their operations? These companies are now attempting to scale these solutions using artificial intelligence in order to move beyond the ordinary and into the creative. The idea is to weed out bottlenecks and facilitate an efficacious and agile mechanism of working in a business ecosystem that is prone to disruptions.

Digitization has brewed a perfect storm for technological adoption and increased global competition that is ruthless and unforgiving. Nearly a decade of technological progress has been encapsulated in the past 18 months. “In the last year, people have increasingly resorted to digitisation. The vision of the government is to move towards a digitally empowered society. There needs to be the digital improvement of people. We have e-sanjeevani in terms of medicine being available. Such activities come under the framework of Digital India that has enabled these activities,” says Saurabh Garg, Chief Executive Officer, UIDAI.

Undoubtedly, India has taken great strides in the realm of digital transactions and already has a fairly robust infrastructure in place. Saurabh highlights that here are more than 300 schemes of the government of India which are under the JAM trinity. India can strengthen its digital democracy by, for example, Aadhar has 3 core principles of minimal information, optimal ignorance and a federated database.

Many businesses in India have exacerbated their efforts towards a holistic digital transformation in which automation plays an integral role. “When I think about holistic digital transformation, one of the first things that comes to mind is developing a digital culture that is infused with digital ethics. It is not about realigning processes or policies but about restarting entire business processes. A significant amount of training and capacity building are required to rebuild and connect the organisational culture. Once you have a good understanding of your workload, you can redesign your entire digital infrastructure. Taking this kind of insightful approach makes things easier as we move forward,” avers Golok Kumar Simli, Chief Technology Officer, Passport Seva Programme, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

Digitization has had a ripple effect not just on businesses but on consumers too. An era of social distancing has only pushed the mandate for digitization even further. Alok Bansal, MD and Global Head of BFSI Business, Visionet Systems, asserts,” Consumer behaviour has undergone a paradigm shift. According to research, the market for automation enabling technology has reached USD 66 billion. As organisations seek ways to automate, the advent of data digitization, optical face recognition, and self-driving cars will be advantageous. On the B2B side, AI and ML will be used to streamline operations in the manufacturing flow. Banking and finance with health care at the top of the list account for 66 percent of automations.”

Another aspect of this change is that many businesses have fast adopted a digital first approach.  Automation is set to become a reality for the approach towards work in a digitized world. Narendra Agrawal, Global CIO, Dabur India, observes that the desire to connect digitally has become a reality and has been widely adopted. Automation has the potential to increase efficiency significantly. Businesses need to put digital technologies into practise and see how they can use automation to leverage, restructure, and upskill the existing workforce.

With businesses and work being re-imagined, the years ahead are expected to continue fostering technological innovation as automation becomes a critical component in streamlining operations and maintaining business continuity.

(Excepts taken from The Economic Times Intelligent Automation Virtual Summit)


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