A short guide to demystifying intelligent automation

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AI and automation are fast becoming mainstream, but does that mean we will all lose our jobs? Here are 10 of the most common misconceptions about intelligent automation and why they are not true.

Myth #1: “Robots will take my job”

While one noticeable benefit coming from automation is effort reduction, intelligent automation has actually created more jobs in industry over the years than it has replaced. Intelligent automation and robotics shouldn’t be viewed as a threat. Its sole purpose is to improve productivity and operational effectiveness, enabling people to focus on quality, analytics, and enhancing client relationships. Intelligent automation also provides a great opportunity to implement an organizational change management program that enables your employees to upskill and acquire new skills for the future.

Myth #2: “I can’t work with robots”

We’ve already seen how robots play a significant role in the workforce, and there’s increasing use of mobile applications and virtual agents that allow users to work hand-in-hand with robots to simplify daily tasks. Automation of a task is one thing, but making data-driven decisions on how to split responsibilities between a virtual and human workforce is a rising topic in intelligent automation-enabled organizations. We’ve observed that working with robots can improve customer experience by 78%, reduce cycle time drastically, improve process accuracy by 50%, and enhance SLA compliance by 39%. Aren’t these enough reasons for you to love your robot colleagues?

Myth #3 – “Automate first, worry later”

If you automate a bad and inefficient process, you are likely to get a badly automated process. Capgemini’s ESOAR methodology provides a step-by-step guide on how to go about automating your operations. By following these simple steps – Eliminate, Standardize, Optimize, Automate, and Robotize – ESOAR can help you achieve best-in-class processes – with the robot executing the boring stuff, while you focus on what’s most important.

Myth #4 – “Robots don’t make mistakes”

Not true. If robots aren’t properly prepared, any unhandled, unforeseen, or technical exception in the artefact can cause a robot to produce an error. This could result in a breakdown and impact your budget through manual rework and artefact modification. We’ve seen a lot of projects that started as small internal proof of concepts that haven’t delivered the expected business benefits, because profound knowledge of processes or experience wasn’t injected into the mix. It’s important to spend time and effort understanding your business requirements, assessing scenarios, and ensuring you have the right solution design as well as adequate levels of testing. Only such a level of preparation will result in a working solution that delivers consistent benefits.

Myth #5 – “Robots are still years away”

Robots are here and they’re here to stay. More and more businesses, engagements and teams are adopting automation to simplify everyday business operations. Within Capgemini alone, we have deployed hundreds of robotic and AI solutions. In addition to our Digital Global Enterprise Model (D-GEM) repository, our “AI Gallery” – part of our Perform AI initiative – lets you look at the solutions that are ready for ideation and deployment, and those that have already created tangible business results.

Myth #6 – “Automation only works on high volume transactions”

We’re aware of the benefits that automating high-volume tasks provide, but automating certain low-volume tasks can also generate significant outcomes. A key focus of automation is reusability, as it helps increase scale. Applying intelligent automation to critical business processes can improve the quality of your services, by reducing manual intervention and the risk of human error, and enable you to provide it 24/7. It’s vital to think “out of the box” and utilize a wide plethora of available technologies to enable end-to-end automation and really transform your business instead of just automating it.

Myth #7 – “Robots = AI”

This is not true. There are basic automation solutions such as the workflow automation solution, robotic desktop automation (RDA), and robotic process automation (RPA) that are widely deployed. You don’t need to be a data scientist to deploy robots to automate your everyday tasks. There’s also been a rising trend in merging pure-play automation such as RPA with AI. On top of that, AI can further enable you to unlock more benefits, which sometimes don’t even need RPA to enable intelligent automation. We shouldn’t forget adding analytics into the mix, where Intelligent Process Automation in essence = RPA + AI + Analytics.

Myth #8 – “Developing robots is difficult”

All you need to develop a robot is a business challenge, the drive to learn something new, and an open mind. The vast range of technologies at our disposal, combined with our rich experience, enables us to easily predict the numbers of challenges you might face while starting out. As you proceed with more projects, you might be faced with more demanding business problems, which is a golden opportunity for you to upskill your people.

Myth #9 – “Bringing intelligence to automation is just a buzz-word”

With advancements in AI, transformation accelerating technologies, and automation itself, “intelligent” is no longer a buzzword on a poster. It’s both the reality and a necessity. For example, adding optical character recognition (OCR) to RPA is very well known solution; but true intelligence starts when you apply natural language processing (NLP) to understand the content and intent of the document or email conversation itself, which enables end-to-end automation at scale. The list of quick wins enabled by AI components is growing faster than ever before, and this enables organizations to automate what was not automatable before.

Myth #10 – Automation can wait

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are robots. The concept of automation in business is as old as IT and BPO itself. RPA has also been in practice for a couple of years now. It has already been proven that intelligent automation has serious benefits and businesses, as well as people, are already experiencing its positive impact. The longer you wait to automate, the more benefits you stand to lose.

To learn more about how Capgemini’s Intelligent Process Automation offering can stimulate the erosion of organizational silos around your front, middle and back-office processes, resulting in the emergence of a new, borderless, highly automated client-centric organization, contact: marek.sowa@capgemini.com

Marek Sowa helps clients to transform their business operations leveraging the combined power of AI and RPA to create working solutions that deliver real business value.

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