In my last piece, I discussed how IoE combines people, processes, data and things, and is the next development stage of IoT. I also explained how intelligent automation that runs an AI-powered digital workforce is being recognized as driving the digital transformation of IoE across all front, middle and back office operations of enterprises in any industry sector.
With digital workers possessing the ability to swiftly and accurately perform collaborative, data-driven, end-to-end activities across disparate systems and technologies, we’re seeing a vast number of automated IoE outcomes. Rather than just talk about the huge potential, I’ve highlighted some actual use case examples that we are seeing.
How automated IoE is transforming work
In healthcare, over 20% of U.K. Nation Health Service (NHS) trusts use digital workers that can interoperate with data across all IT systems. Digital workers also enable a wide range of activities to be automated at unprecedented speed across multiple functions — all in an effort to overcome a huge range of challenges and deliver optimal care. Here are some examples of work currently being performed by Blue Prism’s digital workers:
- Delivering respiratory data sharing that supports identifying cases and moving data across London.
- Connecting patient administration systems across health systems to improve access to psychological therapies.
- Automating administrative tasks across the back office to ensure hospitals can offer the most efficient care possible.
- Adapting to a rise in requests for e-Consultations by automating a new general practice appointment booking process.
- Collecting and uploading data to update a central COVID-tracking dashboard across U.K. prisons to help healthcare workers monitor and administer patients in the prison system.
- Providing complex automation to provide 800 care homes access to NHS mail to accelerate patient referrals from care homes into hospitals.
- Accelerating the on-boarding of NHS staff through automating the complex process of creating new starter accounts and attributing staff to the relevant roles.
Additionally, a U.K. utility company uses digital workers to monitor water network signals to inform engineers of issues. Digital workers also analyse both smart-meter and customer-profile data to proactively fix leaks. A U.S. utility company has created an innovative fraud detection and prevention application using digital workers and advanced machine learning tools. This process improvement has resulted in a near 100% detection of potential fraud cases. Due to the substantial associated cost, this value could not have been captured with human detection.
Similarly, a major online retailer faced a massively complex challenge when goods were ordered fraudulently under existing customer accounts. The retailer integrated digital workers with analytics tools to identify fraudulent orders and intercept goods before delivery.
Since each courier service used different communications methods, the company built five different mechanisms to interface with third-party portals or email messaging services to prevent couriers from delivering the goods to fraudulent addresses and return them to the retailer’s fulfilment centres. The key to driving value was the speed and accuracy with which the digital workers could contact couriers identified for each item.
Making automated IoE work
Any system of any age can be made to interoperate through digital workers without coding. This enables any new or existing IoE technology to be easily used, safely tested and swiftly deployed across the enterprise. This is already driving a new culture of accelerated innovation, with enterprises now able to leap toward the future at an unprecedented pace.
However, working with digital workers should be a business-led initiative. While IT and technical leaders are vital to ensuring smooth rollouts and the running of a platform, the responsibility lies in shared-service leaders who best understand their operational challenges and demands. This means they can make judgments about where digital workers will have the greatest impact on delivering positive business outcomes.
To gain the best results with digital workers, the complete IoE journey must be defined upfront. Once support is gained and a vision of desired results created, starting small is recommended. Then businesses can start to allow digital workers to really thrive as they scale across the business.
However, a common challenge when working with digital workers is identifying process automation opportunities. Businesses must be crystal clear about what makes a truly good process and always select ones that will generate the fastest benefits.
A digital workforce will have the same impact on IoE as the invention of the Internet and will change every aspect of the way work takes place in the service industry. This includes the types of services that are offered and the way technology is consumed.
Looking forward, humans will increasingly drive collaborative innovation and imagination, working in tandem with digital workers. This partnership will exploit a far greater range of IoE opportunities to be a key success factor in the thriving digital age.
All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.