The pandemic, intensification of geopolitical uncertainties, and a looming recession have put the world through nothing short of a turmoil of disruptive occurrences in recent years.
And what have such disruptions resulted into? Evidently, these have cost the global economy a great deal of money, with projections from the UN, the IMF, and the World Bank putting the cost at between $4 trillion and $22 trillion. What becomes critical in such scenarios is for us to prepare businesses to be able to respond flexibly. Also, organizational resilience becomes crucial. With insufficient data and inadequate predictive abilities, companies run the risk of under-preparing and over-reacting.
AI AND AUTOMATION FOR FINANCIAL SUCCESS AND IMPROVED EFFICIENCY
By its very nature, resilient organizations enable a seamless transfer of data and information across networked systems, unified integration, more effective connections, effortless processes, and a free flow of information. Such companies leverage AI, automation, and intelligent insights to perform better financially, be more productive and profitable, and outperform the competition. They can anticipate challenges or seize opportunities. Mars Inc., for instance, networked partner systems across the value chain to provide real-time product movement and inventory visibility, improve brand resilience, and reduce traceability time from four days to two hours. Similarly, a Dutch multinational conglomerate in healthcare technology and consumer electronics used automation to eliminate inefficiencies and gain better insight into risk, cash flow, and performance. With this, their finance team could secure the required data and information and steer the business in the right direction, bolstering overall resilience. There was a significant impact on the revenue, with blocked payments reduced by 90 percent and collections improving by 21 percent.
UTILIZING DIGITIZATION FOR OPERATIONAL RESILIENCE
To ensure operational resilience and predictive decision-making, we must focus on digitizing processes and documents, connecting parties and customer processes, seamlessly sharing data and information, using data to generate insights that support human decision-making, and empowering cross-functional teams to innovate and collaborate faster.
A multinational brewing company struggled with secondary market visibility and sales force productivity in Africa. Several factors made it difficult to implement a sophisticated technology solution. These included inadequate IT infrastructure, long power outages, poor and expensive internet connections, limited IT knowledge, and language issues. But by utilizing an app with offline capabilities, the company empowered employees to leverage technology by themselves. The result was: boom! And why? This gave them a substantial competitive advantage as the sales team’s productivity experienced a significant boost.
Also, of the huge amounts of data and documents companies generate, nearly 80 percent are unstructured. Yes, it is! And hence, digitization becomes critical to transforming this information into structured data that can be harnessed, summarised, and analyzed. We can further utilize this data to create a digital process framework and gain a more comprehensive view of our business operations. Moreover, businesses can then re-plan, optimize or automate to improve outcomes.
To fully reap the benefits of intelligent automation, the data it utilizes must be contextual and accessible in a usable format in almost real-time. Therefore, related systems should be integrated within and across organizations to share data faster and at scale to create a common vocabulary for seamless information exchange. Insights can be gained through collaboration, but this is only possible when information sharing is seamless. And its benefits can be immense. Consider this: a Fortune 50 F&B brand increased employee productivity by 70 percent by connecting multiple distributors through cloud-based data exchange.
FUTURE-PROOF YOUR BUSINESS
The time has come for humans and digital workers to collaborate, and the ‘how to ensure this’ lies on the shoulders of business leaders. We must understand how AI, automation, and intelligent insights can help businesses identify challenges, overcome them, and outperform the competition. If we want to become more resilient and future-ready: making predictive decisions through the intelligent use of data is key!
About the Author:
Sateesh Seetharamiah is the CEO of Edge Platforms, EdgeVerve Systems Limited (An Infosys Company), and a board member and Whole-time Director at EdgeVerve. Sateesh is an industry veteran with three decades of rich experience in entrepreneurship, management consulting, IT leadership, and supply chain. Sateesh believes in AI and Automation’s immense potential in transforming future enterprises. With deep-rooted experience in the supply chain, he pioneered the Internet of Things (IoT) in its early days. Sateesh is one of the founding members of EdgeVerve and comes with rich experience in the product and platforms domain. Being a passionate technologist, Sateesh has been instrumental in establishing many foundational technology capabilities that drive today’s EdgeVerve strategy. In addition, he has been on the board of various start-up firms in the IoT and pervasive computing space.
EdgeVerve Systems Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Infosys, is a global leader in developing digital platforms, assisting clients to unlock unlimited possibilities in their digital transformation journey. Our purpose is to inspire enterprises with the power of digital platforms, thereby enabling our clients to innovate on business models, drive game-changing efficiency and amplify human potential. Our platforms portfolio across Automation (AssistEdge), Document AI (XtractEdge), and Supply Chain (TradeEdge) helps inspire global enterprises to discover & automate processes, digitize & structure unstructured data and unlock the power of the network by integrating value chain partners. EdgeVerve, with a deep-rooted entrepreneurial culture, our innovations are helping global corporations across financial services, insurance, retail, consumer & packaged goods, life sciences, manufacturing telecom and utilities, and more.
Featured image: ©Blue Planet Studio