Bots, AI and the Next 40 Months

In a world that operates on billions of digits every day, humans are too slow and inattentive.  To adapt, we must automate the processing of millions of complex transactions on a daily basis, at speeds fast enough to satisfy impatient digital users. This adaption requires a massive level of digital transformation that can support operations, business processes and decision-making speeds faster than is humanly possible.

Historically, digital technologies get faster, cheaper, more powerful and smaller every couple of years. We humans, however, don’t. We operate in human time, a biological cadence influenced by the physical environment, our well-documented physical, mental and emotional limitations, and the universe that we live in. As digital interactions proliferate, so also does the volume of real-time data and required analysis. Most people are already at their limit of coping with the deluge of data, so we must now digitally augment our capabilities to handle the massive increases in the volume, speed and the complexity of it. These augmentations will involve OILS (optimized information logistics systems), supported by artificial intelligence (AI) and software for process automation.

Software robots (or “bots”) can be developed to analyze vast quantities of data without getting bored, make decisions based on codified decision trees that humans design, and then act in milliseconds.  In our research, 18% of digital leaders report intelligent process automation via bots is already having a large to very large impact on their businesses, however, it jumps to 41% by 2020. This represents a dramatic increase of 128% in just 40 months.

We – humans – already at our limit, must find a way to digitally augment our capabilities to handle the massive increases in the volume, speed and the complexity of data with bots.

Slow service annoys us. We are immediately frustrated with people and brands incapable of supporting our digital habits and expectations. To achieve a real-time operational tempo, companies must evolve from "human time" to "digital time." When enterprises can support digital time, they can close process loops faster, harness immediate feedback on what’s happening within the process itself, and act on those insights nearly instantaneously. The result: smarter decisions that enable businesses to operate like never before.

One of the biggest challenges enterprises face today in designing, developing and deploying OILS is upgrading core IT systems that frequently comprise of legacy systems incapable of supporting digital time. Though this is hard work, it is the key to winning.

Our research clearly shows widespread consensus that AI is one of the most important emerging technologies that will help overcome many of these technology and human limitations. Our survey respondents predict AI will be the top digital technology, with the largest impact on their work, by 2020. Currently, only 15% of the respondents think AI is having a large impact on their business. In the next 40 months, however, 46% believe AI will be critical – that’s a 207% increase in pro-AI sentiment.

Digital interactions are often supported by AI systems dependent on real-time analytics to provide contextually relevant and personalized experiences. In addition, as the number of mobile and connected devices with billions of connected sensors increases, so also does the associated data in the ether that needs to be analyzed and turned into actionable intelligence that can be used by AI systems to deliver real-time business value. No wonder, then, that executives in our research forecast big data/business analytics will have the biggest impact of all technologies between the years 2020-2025.

Download the full report for free here.

Watch the report video here.

  1. You Only Have 40 Months to Digitally Transform
  2. Digital Technologies and the Greater Good
  3. Video Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  4. Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  5. Virtual Moves to Real in with Sensors and Digital Transformation
  6. Technology Must Disappear in 2017
  7. Merging Humans with AI and Machine Learning Systems
  8. In Defense of the Human Experience in a Digital World
  9. Profits that Kill in the Age of Digital Transformation
  10. Competing in Future Time and Digital Transformation
  11. Digital Hope and Redemption in the Digital Age
  12. Digital Transformation and the Role of Faster
  13. Digital Transformation and the Law of Thermodynamics
  14. Jettison the Heavy Baggage and Digitally Transform
  15. Digital Transformation - The Dark Side
  16. Business is Not as Usual in Digital Transformation
  17. 15 Rules for Winning in Digital Transformation
  18. The End Goal of Digital Transformation
  19. Digital Transformation and the Ignorance Penalty
  20. Surviving the Three Ages of Digital Transformation
  21. The Advantages of an Advantage in Digital Transformation
  22. From Digital to Hyper-Transformation
  23. Believers, Non-Believers and Digital Transformation
  24. Forces Driving the Digital Transformation Era
  25. Digital Transformation Requires Agility and Energy Measurement
  26. A Doctrine for Digital Transformation is Required
  27. Digital Transformation and Its Role in Mobility and Competition
  28. Digital Transformation - A Revolution in Precision Through IoT, Analytics and Mobility
  29. Competing in Digital Transformation and Mobility
  30. Ambiguity and Digital Transformation
  31. Digital Transformation and Mobility - Macro-Forces and Timing
  32. Mobile and IoT Technologies are Inside the Curve of Human Time

Soaring Out of the Process Silo - Digitally

Digital technologies often make life more convenient. Apps help us summon a car, pay for our lattes and even order ready-to-eat meals delivered to our doorstep. Experiences like these with our smartphones or smartwatches are fun, but let’s be honest: In the grand scheme of things, many of them are somewhat trivial.

Nonetheless, they are daily reminders of the apropos phrase, “Software is eating the world.”

What is less appreciated is the impact of “being digital” on back-office systems, applications and processes that are at the heart of most big businesses – processes that drive work that matters today and tomorrow. This includes everything from processing insurance claims, to caring for patients, to growing personal wealth. If you’re a chief operations executive, that means software is also eating your processes – with the hors-d’oeuvres soon to be served up in unseen, expensive and undifferentiated middle- and back-office functions.

Because in a digital world of algorithms, automation and AI, the platform BECOMES the process.

The Center for the Future of Work just published these business process findings as part of our latest research, which is part of our Work Ahead research series that provides insight and guidance on how businesses – and jobs – will evolve in the digital economy.

For many business leaders, digital platforms will increasingly serve as a potent fuel that launches processes out of their silos – and businesses into orbit – by digitizing small steps and closing gaps between customers, suppliers, partners and employees. Organizations whose processes are left lingering on the launch pad risk irrelevance.

Your work ahead – your ticket to the digital economy – is connecting “old” processes to new technologies. To understand what the future holds for the digitization of business processes, we surveyed 2,000 senior executives across industries and an additional 250 middle managers.

Six key findings substantiate the critical lessons learned in their journeys so far:

  • Digital is a two-stage, cost-plus-revenue rocket ride to outsized business process success. The average impact of cost reduction plus revenue increase on all core processes across the board – resulting from investments in digital – was about 4.6% in the last 12 months, according to respondents. In dollar terms, that equates to $364 billion in 2015. By 2018, respondents said the potential baseline revenue impact grows to a total of $770 billion.
  • Digital process leaders are unlocking additional digital potential energy at both the top and bottom lines. Leaders in process digitization are pushing the envelope way beyond the averages above, unlocking outsized gains by digitally rewiring all their core processes. Such companies say an 11% additional improvement to the top and bottom lines is possible today, and will grow to 19% by 2018. That’s a potential “Process Leader’s Bonus” of $700 million per company by 2018 across all the industries surveyed.
  • Managers are from Mars; senior executives are from Venus. Senior executives are more optimistic about process vision and execution than middle managers are. Only 22% of middle managers foresee significantly high impact on revenue from digital processes by 2018, compared with 39% of senior executives.
  • Software is eating processes. But that’s OK! In every functional area – such as HR and finance in the back office, R&D in the middle office, and sales on the front lines with customers – “the platform is becoming the process,” and is linking customers, partners, suppliers and employees for greater digital impact.
  • IT is universally seen as the function pushing digitized processes forward. The information services and technology function was rated as the leading business area by senior executives and managers alike for positively affecting cost and revenue today and in the foreseeable future.
  • The importance of analytics to develop insights and meaning-making is immense. Senior executives aligned with process functions foresee a 23% surge in the need for analytical skills by 2020.

New Process Operating Models for a Digital Age

Our Work Ahead research illuminates the fact that most businesses will invest more in all manner of processes to drive savings, unlock new potential, break down hierarchical silos and – quickly – fuel the engines of the business. By doing so, they will achieve escape velocity from “the way we’ve always done it” and soar into the heights of the work ahead to drive meaningful and lasting change.

The new whitepaper from the Center for the Future of Work is entitled: “The Work Ahead: Soaring Out of the Process Silo”. It can be downloaded at: https://www.cognizant.com/FoW/the-work-ahead-soaring-out-of-the-process-silo-codex2436.pdf

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You Only Have 40 Months to Digitally Transform?

We (consumers) have all changed as a result of digital technologies and platforms. Enterprises must now follow and transform, in order to support these changes and compete. Our adoption of digital technologies produces oceans of data that are today changing the competitive landscape. Digital leaders will be those organizations that use business analytics to offer deep insights into customer behaviors, wants and needs, develop new products and services, and ultimately innovate and exploit new business opportunities. Tomorrow’s winners will need to digitally transform in order to take advantage of this data. While all industries in our study believe digital transformation is important to their future success, belief does not always translate into action; our data shows many are still failing to act. One of the most surprising findings in our study is the magnitude of difference between digital leaders and digital laggards. Digital leaders anticipate huge business impacts from a wide range of digital technologies over the next 40 months, while in many cases, digital laggards don’t. These differences are reflected in each group’s priorities, budgets and strategies, and will guide their future competitiveness. 

Breaking IT

There are now over 7.6 billion mobile devices around the world – more than there are working toilets (4.5 billion)1 . By 2020, a projected five billion smartphones will be connected to the Internet with access to millions of mobile applications. Near ubiquitous access to mobile and digital technologies has resulted in massive volumes of new data available for analysis, skyrocketing customer expectations and the need for speed. These forces are shaking up IT. IT managers in our study believe the business impact of mobile technologies on their companies will jump 78% by 2020; this, in turn, will elevate the importance of cybersecurity. In fact, respondents list cybersecurity as the technology issue with the biggest business impact on their companies over the next few years 

The migration of business and commerce to mobile devices is forcing IT departments to rethink, redesign and restructure. Sales, marketing, payments and customer service are migrating to mobile and digital environments. You may think mobile is already huge, but executives in our study think its business impact will increase by another 105% in the next 40 months. Big demands and expectations from mobile and digital customers are already producing unprecedented stress on the ability of “traditional” IT to respond and out-perform the competition. Traditional IT environments were never designed for real-time speeds; moreover, conventional business processes were not designed for real-time operational tempos. 

Download the full report for free here.

Watch the report video here.

  1. Digital Technologies and the Greater Good
  2. Video Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  3. Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  4. Virtual Moves to Real in with Sensors and Digital Transformation
  5. Technology Must Disappear in 2017
  6. Merging Humans with AI and Machine Learning Systems
  7. In Defense of the Human Experience in a Digital World
  8. Profits that Kill in the Age of Digital Transformation
  9. Competing in Future Time and Digital Transformation
  10. Digital Hope and Redemption in the Digital Age
  11. Digital Transformation and the Role of Faster
  12. Digital Transformation and the Law of Thermodynamics
  13. Jettison the Heavy Baggage and Digitally Transform
  14. Digital Transformation - The Dark Side
  15. Business is Not as Usual in Digital Transformation
  16. 15 Rules for Winning in Digital Transformation
  17. The End Goal of Digital Transformation
  18. Digital Transformation and the Ignorance Penalty
  19. Surviving the Three Ages of Digital Transformation
  20. The Advantages of an Advantage in Digital Transformation
  21. From Digital to Hyper-Transformation
  22. Believers, Non-Believers and Digital Transformation
  23. Forces Driving the Digital Transformation Era
  24. Digital Transformation Requires Agility and Energy Measurement
  25. A Doctrine for Digital Transformation is Required
  26. Digital Transformation and Its Role in Mobility and Competition
  27. Digital Transformation - A Revolution in Precision Through IoT, Analytics and Mobility
  28. Competing in Digital Transformation and Mobility
  29. Ambiguity and Digital Transformation
  30. Digital Transformation and Mobility - Macro-Forces and Timing
  31. Mobile and IoT Technologies are Inside the Curve of Human Time