Experimentation in Intelligent Automation will not result in standardization for a good amount of time and until then, we have arrived at an era of Automatic Art in the services world.
2017 will be heralded as the apex of automation experimentation. As organizations seek to automate business processes and drive extra productivity from their IT investments, they will break free from convention and marry artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and analytics in new ways to enable business innovation.
Much like automatic art where trailblazers like Jackson Pollock allowed his unconscious to take control in order to escape historical constraints, business leaders must experiment in combining new technologies to solve old challenges. The best solutions will arise organically, paving the way for a more agile future. We’ve officially entered the automatic art era in business automation, where today’s moonshot ideas will become tomorrow’s standards.
Embracing automatic art
Reaping the benefits of automation today and tomorrow is not about embracing any one product or technology, but a strategic blend of many.
This transformative period of recombinant innovation is about more than recycling the automation successes of yesteryear into new products and offerings – it’s about marrying concepts like artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics to create value.
Developing best practices
What began as an artistic, creative process will gradually evolve into a more scientific approach to business automation. Eventually, organizations will identify the core automation practices that drive value for the business and seek to codify their use. These will vary by industry, company size and age, but standards will gradually develop from the successes that integrate intelligent automation, machine learning and AI.
At Capgemini, we’re creating frameworks (such as our Automation Drive suite of tools and services) to support these fledgling efforts for innovation and help organizations instill structure around their automation metrics, integration and analysis. Regardless of the specific processes that businesses choose to codify, it's vital to adopt a platform that provides a mechanism for continual improvement and refinement.
Example: redefining the financial close
My colleague Marty Borcharding recently spoke with Forbes.com about how CFOs are leveraging automation and robotics to spend less time on the financial close and more time on driving added value to the business.
Early experiments have helped CFOs achieve more than a 25 percent journal elimination, up to 90 percent reduction in time spent on intercompany reconciliation, and 70 percent reduction in time spent on closing and reporting. He calls this movement The Smart Close, and it’s redefining how CFOs and their teams support the broader business goals.
Taking advantage of creative chaos
As organizations experiment with ways to drive the most value from their automation efforts, needs for greater standardization and control will follow. However, businesses shouldn't let concerns over manageability deter their current creative efforts; processes and best practices can and will be created around intelligent automation systems.
All businesses will continue to face greater demands to use the data they collect and create efficiency. Rather than identifying one silver bullet that will work for everyone, the automatic art revolution will produce a handful of the best technological mashups to meet these diverse challenges.