Intelligent automation (IA) — empowered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) — is rapidly becoming a driving force behind modern business success, helping to streamline and scale decision-making across organizations. Intelligent automation simplifies processes, frees up resources and improves operational efficiencies, and can be applied across various functions.
As the capabilities and adoption of intelligent automation broaden, we’ve begun to see new ways of business take shape. Here, we’ll explore how intelligent automation has evolved, the ways in which it’s shaping business in 2023, and how IA is anticipated to grow in the future.
The Evolution of Intelligent Automation
The evolution of task automation spans human history, beginning as early as the Mayans automating water transportation, people have developed systems to reduce the burden of monotonous tasks. As technology made its way onto the business scene in the nineteenth century, automation brought about faster and more efficient ways to perform business tasks.
Now in our modern age, it’s the infusion of AI and ML that has brought forth a new wave of automation known as intelligent automation. AI tools for HR, finance, and seemingly every other industry are sweeping the business landscape and transforming work as we know it. This powerful fusion marks a paradigm shift, allowing businesses to streamline operations, make data-driven decisions, and optimize efficiency like never before.
Benefits of Intelligent Automation in Business
Implementing automation in the workplace has allowed businesses and their employees to outsource manual and time consuming tasks, enabling employees to not only get their work done faster, but shift their focus to more strategic and impactful initiatives to drive business outcomes. Let’s take a look at the various ways intelligent automation benefits businesses.
By automating repetitive (yet necessary) tasks, intelligent automation empowers the workforce to focus on strategic initiatives that help drive greater business outcomes. Manual paperwork and reporting has always been, and will continue to be, essential to business functions, however intelligent automation helps reduce the time and manpower required to carry out these tasks. This boost in efficiency not only accelerates operations but also fosters a culture of innovation and creativity for employees.
Intelligent automation minimizes the need for manual labor and streamlines processes, resulting in significant cost savings. This doesn’t necessarily mean less jobs will be available, but that businesses can focus on recruiting and employing higher skilled roles, while outsourcing lower skilled tasks to automation. With these resources optimized, businesses can reallocate manpower to high-value tasks that truly drive businesses and innovation forward.
AI-powered automation leaves little room for human errors in the way we so often encounter with manual processes. Ensuring precise and consistent results across all processes, intelligent automation greatly reduces the risk for human and manual errors, which not only helps businesses run more smoothly, but eliminates errors from snowballing due to early detection. This elevated accuracy translates to higher customer satisfaction and increased credibility for business.
As businesses grow, intelligent automation seamlessly scales to meet the increasing demands without compromising efficiency. From end-to-end accounts payable automation to automated employee onboarding, intelligent automation’s flexibility allows businesses to adapt swiftly to market changes, scale for larger business operations and more customers, and stay ahead of the competition without missing a beat.
With the mundane tasks automated, employees are free to concentrate on strategic decision-making, nurturing talent, and creating a culture that breeds success. Moreover, streamlining tasks like manual data entry and other time-consuming administrative tasks provides employers with an opportunity to help their employees invest in more strategic and career-growing skills and SMART goal setting. This empowerment enhances employee satisfaction and drives long-term growth for organizations and their workforce.
How Intelligent Automation is Transforming Business Processes
Streamlined processes, outsourced administrative tasks, and accurate data are just a few of the benefits of harnessing automation. As IA has been applied to business processes, we’ve witnessed transformation in all areas of business, from instant customer support to optimized supply chains.
Intelligent Automation has revolutionized customer service by deploying chatbots and virtual assistants that handle customer queries and support requests 24/7. These AI-powered bots can understand natural language, provide instant responses, and offer personalized solutions based on customer data. This automation has not only improved response times but also reduced the burden on human agents, allowing them to focus on more complex customer issues.
Financial processes have undergone a major productivity and efficiency boost by automating tasks like invoice processing, accounts payable and receivable, and reconciliation. By leveraging machine learning algorithms, IA systems now accurately classify and extract data from invoices, reducing manual errors and speeding up the entire financial workflow. Furthermore, IA helps with fraud detection and compliance monitoring, ensuring financial operations adhere to regulations.
One of the more critical impacts of intelligent automation in financial operations is in data security, fraud detection, and prevention. By leveraging AI-driven algorithms, financial institutions can proactively identify and address potential fraudulent activities in real-time. Intelligent automation constantly monitors transactions and recognizes patterns indicative of suspicious behavior, helping protect businesses and their customers from financial losses and reputational damage.
Moreover, compliance monitoring has become more manageable and effective with the assistance of IA. Financial operations need to adhere to a plethora of regulations, and automation technologies ensure that businesses stay on the right side of the law. By automating compliance checks and reporting, IA systems alleviate the burden on financial teams and provide timely and accurate insights into regulatory adherence.
HR is largely a human skill, but there are various manual processes that intelligent automation has streamlined to improve functions such as recruitment through candidate sourcing, resume screening, and employee onboarding. AI-powered tools scan resumes for relevant skills and experience, shortlist candidates, and even conduct initial interviews, saving HR teams countless hours and helping to identify the strongest candidates to grow a business.
Performance management and employee engagement have improved with the help of IA as well. HR teams leverage IA to assist with employee onboarding by automating paperwork, training schedules, and orientation materials, which help provide a consistent and streamlined employee onboarding experience, which deepens engagement and promotes higher retention.
Meanwhile, AI-powered performance management system software helps unlock actionable employee performance metrics that provide a holistic view of employee development, enabling HR and managers to identify strengths, address weaknesses, and nurture a culture of continuous improvement for a highly skilled and productive workforce.
IA has optimized supply chain and inventory management by helping businesses predict demand, automate order processing, and manage inventory levels, leading to less waste and higher profits. Machine learning algorithms are available to analyze historical data to forecast future demand, enabling businesses to maintain optimal stock levels and reduce carrying costs. Intelligent Automation also facilitates real-time tracking of shipments, ensuring timely deliveries and efficient logistics, and improving the customer experience.
Intelligent Automation has enhanced marketing and sales efforts by providing personalized customer experiences and automating repetitive marketing tasks. AI-driven analytics study customer behavior and preferences, enabling businesses to target their marketing campaigns more effectively, and help to write clever and enticing copy for more persuasive marketing campaigns. Further, IA allows marketing and sales teams to automate email marketing, lead generation, and follow-up processes, increasing sales team efficiency and conversion rates.
Real-World Examples of Intelligent Automation
Financial tech company bluesheets revolutionizes financial management for accountants, financial teams, and operations departments by offering end-to-end workflow automation that covers everything from digitizing documents to match financial data, automatically extracts key data points from reports, and even helps with tax coding for compliant and accurate financial reporting. By offering a ‘plug and play’ solution with no implementation cost that requires minimal training, bluesheets democratizes the use of AI for teams across industries while helping organizations achieve significant cost savings.
With an intelligent character recognition (ICR) technology boasting over 99.5% accuracy, manual data entry becomes a thing of the past, allowing ops teams time to be allocated to higher-value tasks. And bluesheet’s language and currency agnostic features empower globalization and automation across firms with international operations.
Embracing intelligent automation, like bluesheets, transforms businesses financial data management. With end-to-end workflow automation, business leaders can ensure accurate financial reporting and analysis, ultimately enhancing overall employee and customer experiences.
Omni is an all-in-one Human Resources Information System (HRIS) that frees HR and management teams from the burden of administrative cycles by automating the entire end-to-end employee lifecycle — from recruitment and onboarding to employee engagement and payroll — allowing them to redirect their time to strategic work that drives business growth.
In leveraging IA, Omni offers HR teams the tools such as automated performance reviews, smart onboarding, and digitized payroll for customized performance management solutions that cater to the unique needs of individual employees, consistent and streamlined onboarding programs to deepen engagement and promote an enduring company culture, and accurate, timely payroll that minimizes overhead costs and ensures compliance across regions and varying currencies, and so much more across each step of the employee lifecycle.
Utilizing IA, like Omni, ushers in a new era of people management where HR teams and managers not only have the capacity to focus on strategic and impactful efforts like employee engagement and company culture, but now have access to the unique insight and pinpointed data necessary to construct meaningful change within their organizations.
Overcoming Challenges and Concerns with Intelligent Automation
IA is not only changing the way we conduct business, but helping reduce the complex challenges that come along with it.
Intelligent automation reduces administrative burdens by automating time-consuming tasks from budget calculations to inventory predictions and beyond. While administrative tasks are essential to running a successful business, outsourcing these tasks frees up valuable time and resources for business leaders to focus on more involved strategic initiatives that can’t be automated, helping businesses get ahead.
We all learn bias — both implicitly and explicitly — from a young age, it’s something that permeates all areas of our lives and most certainly the way we conduct business. By utilizing AI algorithms in business, intelligent automation helps to minimize biases in decision-making processes, such as performance appraisal bias, ensuring fair treatment and diversity in hiring, promotion, and performance evaluations, making for a more equitable world of business.
With intelligent automation, leaders gain real-time insights into their business practices, spending, and even employee performance, enabling them to address issues promptly and make data-driven decisions that benefit their business. IA helps managers close the feedback loop in a more timely and effective manner, streamlining people management and offering unique insights into everything from customer behavior to business spending.
The Future of Intelligent Automation
We’ve seen what IA has done so far for business, but there’s so much more to come. Let’s take a look at what the future has in store for intelligent automation.
As technology continues to evolve, we can expect AI and automation to become even more sophisticated, delivering more comprehensive solutions and unlocking new possibilities for business processes.
From AI-driven personalization tailoring products, services, and marketing messages to individual preferences to autonomous vehicles and delivery drones, there’s no limit to how IA will change the way to do business.
With the emergence of more sophisticated IA business solutions will come a new era of AI disciplines. You can expect to see graduates coming out of higher education with degrees focused around artificial intelligence and automation, and entire roles and departments built around leveraging and managing IA for business.
As intelligent automation continues to shape the future, staying updated with the latest trends and technologies will be critical. Business leaders must invest in training and development to leverage the full potential of intelligent automation.
Additionally, fostering a culture of innovation and embracing change will be essential to effectively integrate intelligent automation into business processes. Organizations should actively encourage collaboration between human employees and automated systems to create synergistic workflows and optimize productivity. By proactively adapting to the evolving landscape of AI and automation, businesses can gain a competitive edge, deliver superior customer experiences, and achieve long-term success in their respective industries.
Future Proof Your Business With Intelligent Automation
Intelligent automation has already become a game-changer for businesses in 2023, and will continue to evolve into 2024 and beyond. Its benefits, from increased efficiency and cost savings to empowering your workforce, make it an indispensable tool for business leaders and managers. Embracing solutions like bluesheets will enable your organization to thrive in a future where automation is the key to success.
bluesheets is a Singapore-based technology company that ingeniously delivers a holistic and intelligent commercial perspective for Financial and Insurance Service Firms so that you can move complex industry data sets into a simple, clear and automated journey.
With bluesheets' Smart Inbox technology, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group (MSIG) reduced costs, improved staff morale, shortened claims processing time 60%, and increased fraud protection - all within the first month of deployment.
To help you stay ahead of the curve in this digitally-saturated economy, here are our top five digital transformation trends to keep your sights on in the year ahead:
By setting up an automated workflow for processing financial data with bluesheets, CAP Advisory provides the best experience to their clients through thoughtful, analytical accounting consultation.