Intelligent workflows 101: Revolutionizing the way your business works

Don’t just optimize one task, reimagine an entire workflow

We often read about the power of emerging technologies and their collective potential to remake entire industries. But in practice, we tend to focus on one part of a business, for example, the back office. Think help desk tickets, processing payments, and job applications.

What if we took an end-to-end approach to remaking a workflow, and embedded technology at every step of a process? Intelligent workflows do exactly that.

Become a Cognitive Enterprise Through Process Transformation

Business leaders have a tremendous opportunity to change the way they operate.

Today, they can accelerate and expand digital initiatives and transform the way they create value and sustain differentiation. The “outside-in” digital transformation of the past is giving way to the “inside-out” potential of using company-owned data with emerging technologies.

The impetus for change comes from within, that is, the opportunity to redesign workflows and use technologies to make it faster and easier to get work done. That can be work in a call center, a supply chain, or payables processing.

A Consumer Products company increased their billing practitioner’s efficiency by 35% while increasing customer satisfaction by 25%.

Business platforms are at the core of a Cognitive Enterprise where a range of unique capabilities can be deployed to establish a control point over value creating activities. Business platforms combine data, unique workflows and expertise to drive competitive advantage.

Multiple People, Platforms, and Technologies – One Process

Think about the last time you applied for a job. You probably submitted an online application, waited a few months for an email from a hiring manager, had a few interview calls, then continued to wait only to never hear back from the company.

That’s hardly the experience a 21st-century job applicant expects. Intelligent workflows can connect systems, streamline communication channels, and remake experiences for both applicants as well as recruiters.

By creating integrated platforms for talent managers and applicants to check updates, real-time information can flow between parties, increasing efficiencies and breaking down communication gaps between teams. A healthcare company saw a 60 percent decrease in hiring time when implementing this kind of solution.

The hiring procedure is not the only process being affected by intelligent workflows.

Emerging technologies are reshaping core functions across businesses from supply chains to bill processing. Automation, AI, and analytics give businesses better back-end toolsets to manage workloads and deliver better experiences for customers and employees alike.

Workflows Made For Your Business

Core processes, like hiring, have operated in traditional and often forgotten silos for years.

Despite the potential of integrating and deriving insights from information across teams, businesses struggle to digitize multiple processes across their organizations.  Intelligent workflows change that.

We are re-making our own workflows too. With Lead-to-Cash we’ve been able to harness the power of our finance data and reduce IBM’s contract cycle time by 25%.

Emerging technologies empower businesses to curate data from a broader set of sources to spot real-time opportunities and insights for improvement and create solutions that meet the unique needs of business in any industry.

Making the Trading Process More Transparent and Efficient

Trading internationally can open up new revenue streams and increase profits, enabling a company to increase investment and accelerate its development. However, trading with customers in other countries can also involve long, difficult and costly negotiations, and carry financial risks.

We.trade, a startup funded by a consortium of banks that oversees financial systems across Europe, worked with IBM to co-create a unique trading platform.

This blockchain trading solution based on the IBM Blockchain Platform creates a one-stop-shop of real-time information on any trade visible to all parties and triggers automatic payments through smart contracts.

The result? Ability to launch 9-12 months before competitors, reduced risk, and increased regulatory compliance for all participating users.

Process and Operations, The Lifeblood of Any Business

When AI and other emerging technologies are integrated with data into enhanced operational processes by experts who know your business, productivity is greatly enhanced and the entire organization benefits.

Take We.trade for example. For thousands of years, importers and exporters didn’t know each other. The first element of the relationship was caution. Goods were not shipped until money was received, and money was not sent until goods were seen.

With the new blockchain platform importers and exporters could do business more easily and securely, because everyone in the supply chain is independently verified by a third-party bank. In addition, banks could also be offered solutions like insurance in real-time situations.

Intelligent workflows made the finance and trading operations of this new start-up more streamlined, consistent and accountable, ensuring greater efficiency across every aspect of the payment system.

By remaking core processes, intelligent workflows have the potential to transform an enterprise from the inside out.

Make the investment in your people, technologies, and platforms now, and lay the foundation for long-term success and innovation.