Digital Transformation: The Way for Smart Management of Business Processes
“Digital is not just a thing that you can buy and plug into the organization.”
-Thomas H. Davenport and George Westerman
(Harvard Business Review), Mar 2018
Digital Transformation has revolutionized industry/Government/Social Media and everything else; nay life itself. But digital transformation is a journey; an ongoing process of changing the way you do business. Digital transformation journey begins with the assumption that all the functional processes and operational process system in an IT landscape have been automated to a degree and the enterprise applications are capable to provide real time data from various areas of the operation. Digital transformation is basically automating existing IT systems by intelligent leveraging and enhancing system capability through use of new tools.
The top management of an enterprise, keen on digital transformation, must establish a broad set of goals to be addressed by the exercise. This alone will enable the enterprise to become nimble to meet competitive pressures. Thus a road map is necessary to embark on a digital transformation project. The ultimate objective of the digital transformation platform should be enabling technology to take business functional process decisions with minimum human intervention.
Having a well-focused change management team is a recommended approach to make the Digital Transformation successful. Their key role would be finding right mix of skills, Technology and Tools, mixing people, ensuring ‘buy in’ from employees, identifying the current challenges in existing systems, and prioritize the processes for digital transformation. This also has to be in line with the overall organization priority as well as the return on investment criteria. It may require foundational investments in skills, projects, infrastructure, and also clean up of existing IT systems.
Selecting right technologies and tools is another key factor for successful digital transformation. There are so many technologies available in the market. You should be wise to select the technologies so as there are no rip and replace of legacy applications or systems. The digital transformation tools and technologies should be capable to integrate seamlessly with the enterprise applications and systems.
Major Platforms and processes with their integrated functioning contribute to Enterprises to become AI driven and also smart:
- Business Process Management (BPM)
- Business Rule Engine (BRE)
- Data Warehouse
- Predictive Analytics
- Machine Learning
- API Integrations/Micro Services
- Digital Assistants
- RPA Platform
- Visualization Tools
The ‘What & Why’ of a Digital Assistant:
A Digital Assistant is best described as the ‘Man Friday’ of the the digital landscape of an enterprise helping the ‘Robinson Crusoe’ for its digital transformation. Digital Assistant Platform facilitates creation of chatbots with various skills to interact with business users and customers through a conversation. Chatbots can recognize user’s intent – intuitively and intelligently respond to the users. For example, when a customer types in a chat phrase like “I want to buy a mobile” and the system responds with a list of mobile phones.
Using the Digital Assistant platform, we can create a number of Chatbots with different skill sets to carry out functions in the enterprises automatically.
In today’s context, connectivity at all times and to all devices including the ubiquitous mobile phone, is possible in the realm of digital transformation. The Digital Assistant’s AI engine and machine learning make the Chatbot to behave as if one is talking to a real person. Use of NLP (Natural Language Processing) enables the Chatbot to become intuitive with intent recognition and this enables continuous improvement. It is amazing how a Chatbot matures with experience.
As Mobility is playing a critical role in our day-to-day activities to have an easy lifestyle, ChatBot can help us to achieve to a very great extent. Digital Assistant’s AI engine makes use of NLP to provide the chatbot’s intent recognition and dialog session flow, to provide improved and great digital experience to have a chat with a real person. Machine learning capability in Digital Assistant platform enables chatbot for continuous improvement and maturing in the particular skill.
Critical Role of a ‘Business Rule Engine’ to enable an Enterprise Digital Transformation:
In the realm of Digital Transformation, development of a Business Rule Engine (BRE) is an exciting crucial step forward and it is the true harbinger of business transformation. Business Rule Engine platform like OPA (Oracle Policy Automation. Recently changed its name as Intelligent Advisor) lets you to capture detailed rules for making decisions, and there are many proven applications where OPA can provide all you need to give your customers the right and best advice. But if you have an ML model you think will help deliver better service, you can use OPA and that ML model together.
You should be wise to select the technologies so as there are no rip and replace of legacy applications or systems. The digital transformation tools and technologies should be capable to integrate seamlessly with the enterprise applications and systems.
In combination with Oracle Digital Assistant’s NLP capabilities, an OPA-driven chat experience can deliver comprehensive and easily maintainable advice.
Generally, OPA rules are written in plain language, and so they are easy to share and review with other legal and policy experts, and lend themselves to easily and automatically delivering a chat style interactive experience.
With more refined and AI based parameters derived from statistical algorithm, OPA can provide rule based advice for more effective decision making reduced human intervention. Since these are actually derived from the experience of the system itself, they are eminently suitable for what we call as a natural route mapping for automation and progressive, but exciting role of the IT landscape in an enterprise.
Role of Chatbot & Business Rule Engine in Enterprise Transformation Facilitating truly genuine fact based Automatic Decision Making and leading to Management Decision making
Decision makers can do conversation with Digital Assistants for gathering management decisions. Chatbot is capable to interact across platforms like Oracle Policy automation (recently named as intelligent advisor) and the predictive analytic platform like R Systems, etc. to derive accurate decision points based on one or many data sources of the enterprise. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence by machines. One of the popular applications of AI is Machine Learning (ML), which performs activities similar to the human brain in some scenarios in the enterprises, such smarter decision points could be directly used for automatic decision making by feeding them to Business Process Management Platform (BPM).
The Rules written in OPA by humans are managed centrally, whereas based on the historical information filtered questions are asked to customers so as to process it in OPA, thus eliminating duplicates and unwanted questions.
Digital Assistants and Machine Learning can help Business Rule Engine (OPA) in various ways so as to provide a genuine ‘digital taste’ in the user experience. There are many use cases and scenarios where a trio of these can throw up a very good experience.
Let us have a look on some of such scenarios which can help to a great extent:
- Banks or Financial Services can use to determine fraudulent cases.
- Social Media Services/E-Commerce companies can make a use to track the user activities and accordingly suggest the product, based on this search interest, to increase the sales.
- The healthcare services can train and teach the algorithms to augment the work of radiologists who can individually diagnose the disease more accurately and efficiently.
- An Insurance policy purchasing customer, can have a well-structured set of insurance plans according to his medical history. For instance, when an Insurance Enterprise engages an Institutional client with several hundred employees in varying age brackets, each with his own medical condition and needs, it is a formidable challenge to use actuarial data / morbidity spreads/ medical interventions with current and latest developments as applied to each individual to present a real life picture with affordable premium bouquets. Deriving data from the statistical tables, connecting them to individual specific and acceptable financial investments are applications that are at the backbone of today’s insurance scenario. What in earlier times would take tedious and painful work over several days, is simply done in a matter of minutes with an insurance business rule engine.
- A Chatbot can do customer support services on 24×7 basis by intelligently and effectively responding to customers. Conversations could be through text chat/voice.
Role of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in Transforming Enterprises to become nimble and intelligent using AI and ML:
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a software robot that mimics human actions. A set of standard steps and processes which a human performs without any decision, can be implemented by a RPA Bot. In simple terms, RPA is associated with “doing” whereas AI is concerned with “thinking”. RPA platform can be used to create software BOTs for organizing and orchestrating data source without human dependency in order to provide input for Business Rule Engine, Digital Assistance, Predictive Analytics, etc. So that end to end automation is achieved.
Enterprises are changing their DNA to next generation by transforming digitally with use of cutting edge technologies and platforms like Business Process Management Workflows, Centralized Business Rule Engine, Digital Assistants, Analytics & ML, Robotic Process Automation, etc. as never before. Competitiveness based on employing them effectively is truly the contribution of Information Technology to take them to their future effortlessly.