“Business Automation, in all its forms and names – hyperautomation, intelligent automation (IA), robotic process automation (RPA), test automation, and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) – is the heart of any successful operational excellence strategy and that it ensures the launch of a business’s competitive advantages,” says Satya Bolli, Chairman and MD of Prolifics in an interaction with with CIO AXIS.
CIO AXIS: What are the ways in which businesses can integrate analytics and AI in their daily operations and how does it help them?
Satya Bolli: Artificial intelligence has proliferated every business process in every industry. It has become imperative for businesses to harness the power of big data, powerful analytics, and AI technologies to maintain a competitive edge over their rivals. AI and analytics can be applied to various operations in a business, including streamlining job processes; aggregating business data; enabling better customer service and support; target marketing and generating more leads; streamlining the supply chain and shortening the delivery cycle; making the business more secure by enhancing cybersecurity; and several others. AI not only makes these processes more efficient but also reduces business costs. And, by analysing vast stores of structured and unstructured data, organisations can gain deep insights into the customers and overall business operations to deliver better results.
CIO AXIS: What are some of the functions in businesses that you think can be fully automated?
Satya Bolli: At Prolifics, we believe that Business Automation, in all its forms and names – hyperautomation, intelligent automation (IA), robotic process automation (RPA), test automation, and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) – is the heart of any successful operational excellence strategy and that it ensures the launch of a business’s competitive advantages.
Certain processes that can easily be fully automated today include customer or partner onboarding, invoice processing, employee onboarding, customer support, sales/customer-relationship management processes, social media management, account reconciliation, etc.
CIO AXIS: How does hyperautomation help in onboarding new talent and managing the workforce?
Satya Bolli: With the amount of talent large enterprises are looking to onboard today, it is almost impossible to manually carry out the different processes. Integrating hyperautomation in HRTech is the only way these processes can be replicated. With advancements in automation technologies and artificial intelligence, many HR tasks can be automated to improve employee satisfaction.
Automation can help increase productivity of the human resource department as it takes away excess pressure off employees by carrying out clerical work so they can concentrate on essential things such as strategy and decision-making.
Human resource professionals can gather, analyse and effortlessly update data using analytics and automate repetitive tasks making it easier to streamline onboarding processes and manage the overall workforce.
CIO AXIS: What does metaverse mean for businesses and how can they benefit from it?
Satya Bolli: The metaverse is definitely going to have a major impact on the business landscape in my opinion. It presents businesses with the opportunity to level up their customer engagement, experience, and retention.
Retail is one of the first industries jumping on the metaverse train. Certain retail and luxury goods brands have already launched their projects in the metaverse environment. For example, Nike allowed users to try virtual products when playing games in Nikeland, which is a micro-metaverse space built on the Roblox platform.
Another example is that of Balenciaga, which created a virtual store within the Fortnite game. The virtual store resembled the brand’s physical stores.
Legal services companies (like Clifford chance), globally are exploring the services required for legal issues and disputes arising within Metaverse and how to protect their clients from issues like data security, IP, copyright, and antitrust.
Apart from this, Meta has also pushed out the beta version of its Horizon Workrooms app to mitigate the lack of collaboration faced by employees while working from home on video calls. According to the website, it’s a “VR space for teams to connect, collaborate, and develop ideas, together. Meet teammates across the table, even if you’re across the world.”
This also shows that in the future, the metaverse could also be potentially used for staff training.
But I believe that for the metaverse to become mainstream, it would take nearly a decade at least.
CIO AXIS: How is Prolifics helping businesses speed up their digital transformation and reshape their future with automation?
Satya Bolli: Prolifics is helping bring its clients’ digital transformation visions to life. We help our customer to build a data-driven agile organization. We strive to deliver results faster and provide accelerators and solutions at any point on their digital roadmap or their entire digital transformation journey.
Our global team of consultants and experienced engineers provide solutions that guarantee immediate impact and deliver cloud and other digital solutions in a DevOps environment that are scalable to meet the client’s changing needs. We stay with our clients even after the implementation to provide managed services and to ensure a smooth transition.
CIO AXIS: How do you think AI is going to change the way businesses operate in future?
Satya Bolli: AI is changing how businesses comprehend internal and external processes across various sectors, from healthcare to transport and banking to engineering. AI is transforming businesses across the world, regardless of size and scope, including helping create opportunities for developing nations to grow.
AI is allowing businesses, especially marketers, to personalise products, services, and offers to consumers, 63 percent of whom expect personalisation and believe they are recognised as individuals when sent exclusive offers, according to a report by Accenture.
AI technologies are generating value in products and services across a wide range of sectors and businesses alike. Companies are using AI to personalise product recommendations and marketing campaigns, demand forecasting, find production anomalies, automate processes, identify fraud and cybersecurity breaches, and simultaneously reduce the cost. Moreover, there are new generations of AI being developed to further aid business processes and systems. We believe that our customers will strive to create an AI-First strategy in every aspect of digitalization to stay ahead of the competition.
CIO AXIS: How are Intelligent Automation and RPA solving the problem of inflation, talent shortages, and supply chain disruption?
Satya Bolli: Several studies have shown that intelligent automation cuts business process costs by 25 percent to 40 percent. And, when deployed enterprise-wide across multiple processes, these savings can add up fast.
Now coming to the problem of talent shortage, which RPA and IA can solve in two ways. In task-heavy industries, automating transactions can help reduce the requirement of headcount. Secondly, and more importantly, RPA and IA can drastically improve employee experience and ease. When repetitive administrative tasks are automated, employees are left with more time for strategic work that is usually more fulfilling and value-driven.
Not just for end consumers but even for tech companies, a combination of low code/ no code platforms, RPA, and intelligent automation is cutting down the need for an army of technocrats to build or modernize the systems. The new platforms are built innovatively in weeks and months than years dramatically enhancing go-to-market for clients.
Moving on to supply chain disruption, from order processing to inventory management to demand planning, there are a few links in the supply chain that RPA and IA cannot enhance.
For example, organisations can make use of an RPA bot to check inventory levels and initiate a purchase order when supply levels dip below a specified threshold without any human intervention. RPA can also be used to collect data from orders and deliveries to analyse the insights for enhanced demand planning and forecasting.
The warehouse is turning into “awarehouse”. The lack of adequate workforce is forcing Logistics to embrace automation, integrate with AMR solutions, and provide real-time information about the inventory. Companies are also looking to optimize the warehousing and transportation processes to cut the supply time and reduce operating costs.
CIO AXIS: How can business intelligence be integrated into powerful enterprise analytics?
Satya Bolli: The velocity, variety, and volume of data is exponentiating. Enterprises want to have a 360-degree view of their customers with respect to their buying behavious, history of orders, their social status, and life stages and preferences. All the data is needed to be captured at the point of sales and to be processed in real-time for generating business insights for actionizing. Enterprises are opting for modern data stack to build capabilities to handle a large set of data at speed and run AI/ML to generate insights. The internal stakeholders are demanding this data to be shared quickly, easily, and in a secured way. Enterprises are also looking to monetize this data and explore new business models. We are also helping these enterprises to migrate to the modern data stack using accelerators and helping them to build data quality and data observability solutions to troubleshoot and reduce downtime.
CIO AXIS: Interest levels in business automation have been on a rise but the rate of implementation and growth remains slow. What do you think is the reason behind that?
Satya Bolli: I think that there is a lack of readiness for a new work environment where people work together with AI technologies. There is also a fear of jobs being replaced by AI, which is not entirely justified because yes, jobs in certain areas will be taken over by AI but at the same time, several more will be created in emerging fields.
And then, there is also change fatigue. The fear of change is innately present in humans but coupled with “unsuccessful” past experiences of management changes, it can turn into a complete nightmare.
Lastly courage thru innovation. Technology is changing very fast. The options are enormous, and the possibilities are endless. Enterprise leaders are required to build a courageous team to challenge the status quo and take a path of innovation to continuous improvement with a fail-fast approach.