AI-powered automation helps people reclaim up to 50% of their time at work to focus on higher-value tasks, and that’s something we all need.

The Art of Automation: Table of Contents

I’m pleased to have been asked to write the foreword to the eBook companion of Jerry Cuomo’s podcast, “The Art of Automation.” Automation technology has been around for a long time, but in the past several decades, we’ve seen an explosion of information work in the enterprise.

Making AI-powered Automation work for you

When every business is a digital business (which is the case today), the proliferation of data is massive — far greater than humans can cope with alone. And making sense of this mass of data is just the kind of work that classic automation doesn’t address. Enter modern artificial intelligence (AI) technology, which can use algorithms to make sense of structured and unstructured data at a speed and scale no human could approach. Making this combination of Automation and AI — which we call “AI-powered Automation” — work best for you is, as Jerry says, an art.

Businesses spend billions of hours a year on work that strips people of time and keeps them from focusing on higher-value things. AI-powered Automation helps people reclaim up to 50% of their time, and that’s something we all need. If you analyzed how you spend your day, how much of it is taken up with tasks that add little value? How much of what you’re doing would you want on your LinkedIn profile? You wouldn’t have your profile say that you got all your expenses done on time. Instead, you’d highlight the new business you delivered, the IT vulnerability you identified before it impacted thousands of users, and the great value you built for customers. That’s one of the ideas behind The Art of Automation — you can give yourself and your business hours back thanks to the capabilities now available with AI-powered Automation.

The technologies behind AI-powered Automation

AI-powered Automation includes technologies that, together, form the building blocks to automate business and IT operations and to collect and interpret data, digitally. Among those technologies are concepts that Jerry and others discuss on the podcast and in this book:

  • Natural language processing, or the ability to make sense of human text and word input.
  • Unstructured data processing, or the ability to interpret and classify a given document or image.
  • AI for IT Operations (AIOps), where AI helps Site Reliability Engineers detect issues early, predict them before they occur, locate the source of the issue and recommend relevant and timely actions.
  • Robotic Process Automation, where software robots mimic human interactions with the desktop to perform tasks.
  • Visual recognition technology, like optical character recognition, that allows machines to read and understand data in all sorts of formats
  • Other AI tools that can help act on information, applying machine learning to past outcomes and patterns in order to quickly and accurately support decisions and actions and help predict and avoid potential problems.

These tools and capabilities have become even more critical in the past year as the pandemic has disrupted industries and ways of working, increasing our reliance on digital as a way to work, learn, communicate, shop and collaborate. Being responsive to your customers and serving them in new ways is more important than ever, and automation plays a vital part in facilitating that kind of modern customer interaction.

Automation and working with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

One example we’ve seen of this is at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). We worked with them on their claims processing, which, when we started, was an extremely manual, error-prone and lengthy process. Claims arrived by mail and by electronic communication. The VA required 700 staff to sort through this big volume of inbound requests in order to figure out how they should best process those claims. It was extremely error-prone because it was all done manually. Turnaround time was typically 7-20 days. It not only cost the department a lot of time, but the customer experience was poor.

By leveraging automation, we were able to improve that turnaround time to less than a day, with urgent claims processed in as little as five minutes with little-to-no manual intervention. Automation powered by AI freed up the time of 700 VA staff, allowing them to focus on customer relationships and high-value work. And it facilitated a massively improved customer experience.

Learn more about the Art of Automation

Modern AI, intelligent automation, AI-powered Automation — whatever name you give, it has one essential function: to give people time to focus on the things that matter. Things like relationships, creativity and decision-making. Things that really make an impact on your customers and the world. Things that help you grow your business and your brand. The kinds of things, in fact, that you would want in your LinkedIn profile. That’s the beauty and the art of automation, and this eBook explores all of its possibilities in detail.

The Art of Automation: Landing Page

Was this article helpful?

More from Automation

The future of application delivery starts with modernization

5 min read - IDC estimates that 750 million cloud native will be built by 2025. Where and how these applications are deployed will impact time to market and value realization. The reality is that application landscapes are complex, and they challenge enterprises to maintain and modernize existing infrastructure, while delivering new cloud-native features. Three in four executives reported disparate systems in their organizations and that a lack of skills, resources and common operational practices challenge business objectives. Executives know they must modernize. In…

IBM Tech Now: April 8, 2024

< 1 min read - ​Welcome IBM Tech Now, our video web series featuring the latest and greatest news and announcements in the world of technology. Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel to be notified every time a new IBM Tech Now video is published. IBM Tech Now: Episode 96 On this episode, we're covering the following topics: IBM Cloud Logs A collaboration with IBM and Anaconda IBM offerings in the G2 Spring Reports Stay plugged in You can check out the…

The winning combination for real-time insights: Messaging and event-driven architecture

4 min read - In today’s fast-paced digital economy, businesses are fighting to stay ahead and devise new ways to streamline operations, enhance responsiveness and work with real-time insights. We are now in an era defined by being proactive, rather than reactive. In order to stay ahead, businesses need to enable proactive decision making—and this stems from building an IT infrastructure that provides the foundation for the availability of real-time data. A core part of the solution needed comes from messaging infrastructure and many…

IBM Newsletters

Get our newsletters and topic updates that deliver the latest thought leadership and insights on emerging trends.
Subscribe now More newsletters