Automation is exploding. Are you ready for your boom?

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Digital Business AutomationExplosion. Disruption. Automation. What do they have in common? Any of these things might conjure up intimidating sci-fi scenarios in your mind, like robots taking over for humans as the world explodes, disrupting life as we know it. But, as an automation technology evangelist, I believe these three forces, when intertwined, are not only fundamentally good but also present a real, unmissable business opportunity. Let’s talk about digital business automation.

While automating business needs is not new, the use of digital automation is exploding and disrupting traditional business models. It presents an opportunity, almost forcing us to redefine the way work gets done. I firmly believe that automation is at the forefront of the next wave of digital transformation.

Where automation is headed

We recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to survey 326 global digital transformation decision-makers to evaluate their firms’ journey. In an upcoming webinar, I’ll share the results and trends we’re seeing.

In 2018, we’ll see a remarkable pivot toward new advances in automation, such as robotic process automation (RPA). New automation technologies will have profound implications to fundamentally reshape and digitally transform business. By coupling together automation with an ever-widening set of work styles, digital optimization can take place across a business: from streamlining back office processes and personalizing customer experiences, all the way through to better decision-making.

Common automation tools like chatbots, natural language processing, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are quickly growing in popularity. In fact, a recent report from the IBM Institute for Business Value states that 91 percent of C-level executives surveyed use some level of intelligent automation within their organizations – ranging from transactional “screen scraping” to complex transactions to AI-enabled interactions.

But let’s face it. Think holistically about how automating aspects of multiple work styles across your business can be overwhelming. You need to tackle everything from basic repetitive tasks to departmental work to customized expert work. You might feel like you’re blowing up your whole business. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. There’s a real opportunity for CIOs and line-of-business executives find the right inflection point together to start small. Use automation technology to underpin change in one part of your business. Then disrupt the competition and see impactful results in ROI, efficiency and better, more personalized customer interactions.

Small steps add up, leading to a digitally-enabled workforce and automation-at-scale. But that challenges you to identify where you are in your automation journey and what the path forward looks like.

Drive automation with speed and at scale

IBM advances in automation technology are evolving the way companies operate. Using automation, digital business leaders can gain efficiency and scale.

The path forward requires the right integrated automation software platform. Start where it makes the most business impact and then seamlessly build upon core capabilities like these:

  • Tasks: record and automate repetitive human tasks to quickly and easily automate mundane work, eliminate errors and free up employees to do higher value work
  • Content: provides secure, compliant management of all types of content, both structured and unstructured, to enable instant access to content as needed. Easily connect content to digital business applications and assure governance and compliance
  • Workflow: choreograph sequences of human and automated activities to ensure consistency of processes, maximize efficiency of work and provide visibility across customer journeys
  • Capture: automate data ingestion, classification and extraction from documents to eliminate manual data entry. Use cognitive abilities to capture data from unstructured documents and achieve ROI quickly
  • Decisions: manage, automate and underpin repeatable business rules to ensure operational decisions are easy to author and change. Execute in real time at high scale and consistent with documented policies.

Built into the IBM Digital Business Automation platform are low-code tools make it easier for you to build end-to-end automation solutions quickly. The automation platform also allows greater transparency across operations with integrated intelligence that enhances your knowledge workers’ productivity, with built-in ways to easily share reusable assets.

In addition to having the right integrated automation platform, IBM is uniquely positioned to understand how that platform connects to other technologies including blockchain, IoT and AI.

Join us and start reinventing your business with digital automation

Join me, along with Rob Koplowitz, VP, Principal Analyst, Forrester, for our webinar on February 8th to hear the top reasons companies are pursuing a digital automation strategy. You will learn why fewer than 20 percent of firms are still focused exclusively on legacy technologies to automate. And we’ll explore how the explosion of automation presents new ways for your business to scale, compete and deliver higher quality, without huge investments in more labor or resources. Register today.

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