Perspectives on AI Application for Business Process Optimization

July 3, 2023

Some of the most recurrent AI discussions we have with clients are around business process automation – or re-automation. Current third-party vendor AI-enhanced products may or may not be present. Often, the process we are discussing is manual, is costly, requires many FTEs to meet current volumes, requires experienced industry or regulatory knowledge, does not meet performance expectations, is subject to compliance standards, is visible to external stakeholders, and volume is anticipated to grow. Management is reluctant to continue the current state, and even more reluctant to just continue adding additional FTEs to improve performance and meet volume growth. We will speculate that AI is part of the solution. 

As we begin to work on more opportunities to apply and utilize AI, it is not surprising that the initial discussions center around meeting a business or industry-specific need. So, while we begin with a business problem discussion – not a technology or an AI discussion - most of the time our continuing discussions with clients lead to the opportunity to consider the application of ML/AI technology. We still meet barriers when asking clients to consider the future state solution if we propose to incorporate AI too quickly to meet their business requirements. 

Applying AI is nowhere near a level of maturity where we assume its utilization when having business process improvement discussions with clients. Experience says that innovative technologies are best introduced in a well scoped and demonstrable approach. We insist that AI not be a “science project” and therefore have a business case associated with it justifying the investment and setting stakeholder expectations. We also appropriately scope initial AI utilization to ensure that in approximately 90 days we can complete a working component of the solution. A key objective of this first Use Case incorporating AI is that it be a visible and pragmatic component of an envisioned future state solution providing automation that no other technology has been able to accomplish to date. 

Finally, we plan to prove that value is realized and quantifiable from applying AI thus leading to its broader acceptance and utilization going forward. Whether AI is planned to be used or not, we still advise clients when, where and how AI could be effective in their future state vision. 

If you would like to discuss our perspectives, our responses to the above questions for your organization, and our approach to Enterprise AI, please contact us using the form below or at [email protected]

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