Prepare Now for AI & BPM

Prepare Now for AI & BPM

Prepare Today to Transform Your Business Processes with Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has long been regarded as the basis of science-fiction fantasy. But technological advances in recent years have given rise to AI applications in everything from automobiles to personal digital assistants. As the technology continues to evolve, companies are finding new ways to use AI to help automate parts of their businesses. It only makes sense, then, that AI is poised to have a huge impact in automating business process management.

Corporate executives and managers at all levels of the enterprise need to ask themselves how they can streamline and automate processes throughout the business in order to increase productivity and respond quickly to shifts in the marketplace. Digital transformation is widely regarded as table stakes for any company that wants to survive, much less succeed. But the creation of competitive advantage goes much deeper than simply making sure you have the latest technology at your disposal. It means finding ways to automate processes and reduce redundancies at all organizational levels − from the C-suite to the front line − in order to make your business more efficient and responsive to change. When done right, it creates the foundation for a more agile organization that can adapt as technology, society and competition evolve.

AI is often considered to be the future of computing and possibly the greatest driver of innovation in the next decade. Already it is showing up in autonomous vehicles, voice controlled digital assistants and devices with facial recognition. This is just the beginning. The power of AI to augment human capabilities and change our perception of business problems is gamechanging when we look at how it can be applied to processes throughout an organization.

AI and Business Process Management

In many ways, AI is a natural partner for business process management efforts. AI can help automate routine tasks, improve user interfaces and analyze large amounts of data. The data analysis, machine learning and predictive analytics capabilities of AI make it possible to automate many basic decision-making processes in an organization. The consultancy McKinsey & Company estimates that AI can automate as much as 45 percent or more of any particular job, allowing workers to focus on higher level mission-critical activities that cannot be as easily accomplished with technology.

But what problem is AI really trying to solve? The traditional top-down business model no longer applies in today’s fast-changing business climate. Each person within an organization needs to be able to solve their own problems. This means that companies must empower a broader group of workers in the organization to develop solutions to meet their business needs. By moving this level of decision making further into the line of business, companies streamline deployment of efficiency and creativity. Employing AI in this process makes it possible to predict what needs to be done and be proactive in the process by analyzing patterns in historical data and anticipating any roadblocks or constraints in the process.

Delivering AI to the Mainstream User

There are a number of barriers to implementing AI on a wide scale. Most notably, the cost of developing AI applications is prohibitive. With fewer than 10,000 accomplished AI scientists in the world, the cost of employing AI specialists is beyond the reach of most IT organizations.2 Instead, companies like Google, Microsoft and Amazon, which have the resources to pay the high salaries commanded by AI engineers, are leading the industry in developing the complex AI algorithms and the APIs that will allow business software developers like K2 to integrate the technology into their own platforms.

Using these tools to add AI to existing BPM tools helps reduce the amount of time spent on certain tasks, improving customer experience and reducing costs − without building a pool of data scientists and data modeling toolsets in-house. This cost-effective approach opens up at least two broad categories of AI benefits to users deeper in the organization: natural language interfaces, and data-driven insights derived from the larger context in which the business exists.

Voice Interface

AI-driven natural language interfaces make interacting with the application easier and speeds up the process. The AI interface could automate many of the steps just by understanding the words spoken and the business context of the request. In addition, AI and machine learning make it possible for the application to learn from each interaction and streamline the process for the next time.

One major advantage of AI is its ability to employ natural language responses, conversational dialogue and language translations along with the ability to gauge intent to streamline and automate common tasks such as filling out forms. AI can analyze key phrases within the text of a user’s request to get an idea of a person’s intent and automatically fill in a form with the appropriate information.

Business Context

AI’s machine learning component will have a huge impact on productivity. With each interaction, the system acquires more data about how decisions are made and applies statistical analysis to develop rules around decisions and how they are made. Productivity gains are achieved because machine learning looks at historical data and uses predictive analytics to spot trends and make business decisions based on this data.

It is helpful to look at how this technology might play out in a practical application. The primary critical asset of any company is its workforce. The amount of paperwork involved in managing employee schedules and processing time off requests can be a challenge for even the most efficient human resource departments. This is an area that AI can help improve efficiency. Instead of having to sit down and manually complete a form, employees can simply speak to their computers or devices and specify the dates they want to take personal time off. The AI interface will understand the context of the request, access data regarding an employee’s schedule, approve the request and automatically complete and submit the form. The AI-enabled business process management (BPM) application can also access data regarding upcoming events, such as critical customer meetings or other potential conflicts, and suggest alternate dates that would be a better time for the employee to take time off.

In this case, AI goes beyond simple voice recognition. It must actually understand the context of the request and take into account an employee’s life, schedule and their role in the company and apply the appropriate business process rules to the situation.

BPM for healthcare is another area that AI can have a huge impact by helping doctors and nurses capture information about a patient’s symptoms, medications and other health issues, organize this information, and fill in the appropriate forms. With natural language processing, doctors can simply speak to a device that translates and interprets the information and automatically fills in the appropriate forms. By eliminating the need to manually enter the information, AI would improve productivity by saving time and reducing errors and ultimately saving lives.

Preparing for the AI future — today

While AI still has a long way to go before it becomes completely integrated into business processes, organizations need to take steps today in order to be prepared to successfully implement AI in the future. The key to this success is data. AI depends on data − lots of it − and companies need to digitize their processes today to capture as much of that data as possible for tomorrow.

Companies already using the K2 platform will be able to integrate the historical data captured within their applications to populate future AI applications. Combining the power of K2’s process automation platform with AI interfaces empowers business managers to develop their own solutions while freeing up IT resources to focus on higher-level issues.

As AI continues to move out of the realm of science fiction into real-world applications, companies that embrace AI as part of their ongoing digital evolution will be the real winners.

How will AI help transform your business processes? Let’s find out together.


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