Skip to Content

Connecting intelligent automation and innovation in business

Lalitha Kompella
Oct 5, 2023

When the entire enterprise is connected and processes are intelligently automated, organizations can innovate and to create lasting, sustainable value and tangible business outcomes.

In Arthur Conan Doyle’s first short story about fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, a mysterious letter is delivered to Baker Street.

Dr Watson asks him what it means – and Holmes replies, “I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

He was right, of course. It’s unwise to shape new ideas without any data. But we’d add, it’s not just about the presence or absence of data, but about the quality, specificity, and the insight it reveals.

The more of it you have, and the timelier it is, and the more comprehensive it is in scope, and the more relevant it is to your purpose, the better you’ll be able to innovate and to put momentum behind your ability to create value.

Data + intelligence = information

What’s needed first is an approach to digitizing and integrating business processes. Data drawn from individual areas of the organization is just that: it’s data. It’s partial. It’s like being given directions for ten miles of a 100-mile trip.

What’s also needed is the introduction of smart technologies that help to organize, streamline, and prioritize all that data, so that it starts to make sense and becomes a basis on which judgements can be formed and decisions made. That’s when data stops being data, and becomes information.

At Capgemini, our Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) offer is a case in point. Its aims are to integrate and automate business processes, and reduce and eliminate any sources of friction (see Figure 1).

By introducing robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), and smart analytics, businesses can make data actionable. The workforce is given the information and the tools to gauge the status of things, and to identify and respond to challenges and opportunities, so a climate of creativity can emerge and evolve.

Figure 1. An approach to end-to-end advisory services for Intelligent Process Automation

An approach to end-to-end advisory services for Intelligent Process Automation

Transformational differences

When you can see everything, and when smart tools help you spot key facts and trends, you can think in new ways, and then develop and implement your innovations in ways that radically transform entire processes, rather than merely tinkering around the edges.

Let’s take a look at how an approach such as Intelligent Process Automation can make a difference in foundational areas of the organization.

Human resources

The ultimate aim of HR includes the ability to attract candidates and to support and retain employees.

A smart and frictionless HR operation can, for example, extract information from a CV, pre-create contracts, schedule interviews, validate documents, and source and recommend candidates.

We’ve found that a smart, integrated solution such as IPA can typically deliver a 40% reduction in cost of service and productivity savings of 50%.

Finance and accounting

Similarly, an intelligent and integrated approach to finance and accounting can enable information to flow seamlessly in areas including accounts receivable, cash applications (the matching of information), invoice processing, and employee expense management.

For example, a smart, automated approach to the SAP operations of a Swedish multinational power company rapidly and accurately processes millions of invoices. Benefits include the automatic processing of 550,000 transactions a year, the automatic dispatch of 82% of tickets, and the automation of a full 100% of daily scheduled runs.

Supply chain

Supply chains probably provide the most tangible demonstrations of the case that can be made for integration and intelligence, since they are by their nature physically disparate.

A smart, cohesive, and comprehensive approach can increase accuracy and efficiency in the creation, editing, and transmission of purchase orders; in shipment document creation; in order status tracking; in updates to workers’ timesheets and inventories; in smart transport planning; in supplier risk assessment; and in demand forecasting.

For instance, a European multinational food packaging and processing company integrated and automated functions across its operations. The benefits in supply chain management alone include the use of AI to reduce the time taken to process inbound warehousing documentation from eight hours to just two hours.

Customer operations

A smart and seamless model can be a major factor in a business’s ability to attract and retain customers. Relevant customer operations areas include query classification, creating and updating tickets, generating call transcripts, automating audits, providing near-live translations, sentiment analysis, and contextual pop-ups to assist customer agents.

For example, a multinational healthcare organization uses AI-powered virtual assistants for sensitive personal conversations with patients. The aims include the ability to reduce their pre-and post-surgery burden, provide treatment guidance in a discrete and interactive conversational format, offer a supportive and caring approach facilitating peace of mind, and to answer pre-defined scientific and fact-based FAQs.

As a result, productivity has increased 225%, and there have been over 100 instances of minor continuous improvement of the items implemented.

The Connected Enterprise

The examples above have been drawn from individual business areas within organizations – but as we made plain earlier, benefits accrue to an even greater degree when the entire enterprise is integrated, and when intelligent processes are brought to bear. When everything is connected, and when everything can be seen and examined, organizations find it much easier to innovate and to create lasting value.

It’s what we at Capgemini call the Connected Enterprise – an approach we use to seamlessly orchestrate an integrated, intelligent ecosystem of people, processes, and technology that drives enhanced, sustainable business value and outcomes across your organization.

In short, a Connected Enterprise can innovate based on knowledge and insight. It can twist theories to suit facts, rather than vice versa.

We’d like to think Sherlock Holmes would approve.

This article is published in the new edition of our Innovation Nation magazine. Read more from our special feature on “Automation and the data-powered organization” and download the full magazine.

Meet our experts

Lalitha Kompella

VP & Global Head, Analytics and Intelligent Automation, Capgemini’s Business Services
Lalitha, a seasoned expert with more than 30 years of experience in digital, consulting, and transformation, currently leads Capgemini’s Analytics and Intelligent Automation Practice in Business Services. She has played a crucial role in establishing an advanced analytics platform and launching a Generative AI Center of Excellence within Capgemini’s global Business Services division.

Marek Sowa

Data & AI for Enterprise Management leader
Marek Sowa is head of Capgemini’s Intelligent Automation Offering & Innovation focused on adopting AI technologies into business services. He leverages the potential hidden in deep and machine learning to increase the speed, accuracy, and automation of processes. This helps clients to transform their business operations leveraging the combined power of AI and RPA to create working solutions that deliver real business value.