Re-examining Priorities for CIOs & CTOs: Using Intelligent Decision-Making to Accelerate Automation

Coming out of an unprecedented need for digital transformation in 2020, CIOs and CTOs are still shifting priorities into 2021. While the immediate push to accommodate changing workforces, industries, and expectations has slowed, there’s still work to do. CIOs and CTOs are now figuring out what to do next and where to put their priorities. 

Accelerated automation is one such priority many will choose, building from that platform of increased reliance on technology across the globe. Digital transformation, at the speed of 2020, requires efficiency and agility. In particular, CIOs and CTOs whose organizations struggled to adapt will see the value of automation in ensuring efficiency and agility remain a priority.

Modern, Accelerated Automation 

Gartner lists hyper-automation as a top tech trend for 2021 and beyond. While automation already exists in many capacities within organizations of all types and sizes, hyper-automation takes it further. 

But what’s the difference between hyper-automaton and automation, exactly? Traditional automation is all about programming AI to perform a specific, particular job based on historical data and input. Hyper-automation takes it a step further, using analysis and real-time data to act according to programmed rules.

For many CIOs and CTOs, this means looking at the patchwork of legacy technologies that have yet to modernize or streamline, and doing everything possible to automate. It also involves a cohesive strategy where AI, advanced analytics, machine learning, and other intelligent tech make automation even smarter. Hyper-automation is a big step forward from the past into the future. According to Gartner, organizations that use this technology will lower their operational costs by 30 percent by 2024. 

Accelerated Automation Across Industries 

There is no single industry where accelerated automation has a place. CIOs and CTOs in any industry, organization, or field should prioritize considering automation. From the financial industry to healthcare to customer service and construction, hyper-automation offers immediate benefits.

Let’s take a look at a few of those areas. In the financial industry, automation fed by machine intelligence monitors for fraud or suspicious activity, keeping clients happy and reducing risk. In retail, practically every process, including order management, transportation, inventory, and procurement is easily automated for smarter decision making. 

In all areas, automating as much as possible keeps end-to-end processes running smoothly and effectively. At the same time, it frees resources for manual oversight and control. Both the background, automatic processes, and the customer-facing manual interactions improve thanks to hyper-automation.

The supply chain is a particular area of interest to Gartner, as a place where hyper-automation fits easily. Many repetitive, non-value added human activities can be automated. Gartner believes that the future supply chain will have little direct human involvement, with workers focusing on strategy, customer service, and handling the AI.

Case Study: Swiggy

India’s largest online food ordering and delivery platform used automation well, even in the rapidly unfurling pandemic crisis of 2020. While using human-based intervention to ensure restaurant partners were checking staff temperatures and promoting hygiene, automation via AI took that further. The company built a deep-learning-based algorithm to monitor mask usage, with every delivery partner required to post a selfie when they logged in.

Swiggy taught the AI to look for a mask, refusing access credentials to delivery partners who did not match the model. All drivers were thus required to adhere to Swiggy’s safety rules, without necessitating human resources to get it done. This is on top of the existing AI and algorithm that ensures just-in-time delivery to benefit both the customer and the restaurant partner.

It may seem like a small step, but using the AI to automate mask compliance saved the company a lot of time. Every minute shaved off a pick-up and delivery means more customers served each day. Saved time is money in the bank, and automation is invaluable in making the most of time and human resources. 

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In our next article within the Re-Examining Priorities for CIOs and CTOs, we will explore personalizing and customizing mobile communications and contactless solutions. It is clear that contactless approaches are here to stay, for at least the near future, so make the most of it!

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