Every organization needs an automation spine to run its affairs efficiently. Imagine how the human body would function without the central nervous system. We would have disjointed limbs who would do their own thing without a coordinated way for the body to achieve end-to-end efficiencies. Now, examine how organizations automate today. Each division or application builds its own little automation factory. Some divisions employ Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Others employ other Machine Learning (ML) or Deep Learning (DNN) techniques. Often applications themselves come with some automation toolkits. It is analogous to us doing limb by limb disjointed automation. Can optimizing some parts of the hand and adding some accelerants to legs coupled with getting a steroidal boost for hips to make the human body deliver more coordinated efficient outcomes? Then how do we expect organizations to deliver step gains in outcomes without having a central nervous system?
There has been some progress towards such an integrated service system. For instance, ServiceNow, BMC, CA Unicenter provide an exceptional ticketing system with adaptors that offers the prospect of integrating these disparate systems. What we do today is analogous to us asserting that when the human body needed the arm and leg to move forward, we would send a ticket to the spine. If your electricity goes out, would you prefer to open a ticket or would do you rather text for interactive communication? Businesses today need on-demand service.
Is there a better way? Is it possible to skip the ticketed buffering and achieve on-demand service? Let’s analyze the problem that has impaired efficiencies since the start of computing. Why do we need these latency laden ticketing systems? It’s a classic producer-consumer problem. If the requester (consumer) overwhelms the server (producer), the requests need to be buffered. But imagine if we have an elastically scalable digital server. Then would the buffering not be moved to the background as we directly connect the requester to the server.
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For the businesses eager to implement AI and automation for step gains in a systemic way, they need to look no further than how the human body’s autonomous systems operate. The biological interconnectedness of spine offers an interesting roadmap. A piecemeal automated enterprise is not a digitally transformed enterprise. To register step gains, there is an urgent need for intelligent automation to fuse the back office with the front office. HfS Research CEO and Chief Analyst Phil Fersht describes this as the digital OneOffice, a key driver for automation this year. Over 40 Global 2000 companies have already started to implement such OneOffice technologies to give their organizations a central nervous system that can drive automation efficiency in every limb.
Let’s examine the challenges in accomplishing this. The business needs are often expensed in unstructured natural language. However, the automation engines in the back office only understand structured input. Just like in human nervous system, we must first have a cerebral cortex that can translate the unstructured natural language requests into structured impulses that can the travel down the spine to each limb of automation in the company. Only the fusion of powerful cognitive engine in front with an autonomic spine in the back is the way to give organizations the much-needed central nervous system. Once such a spine of efficiency is built into an organization’s body, all the islands of automation, such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Automated Business Process Management (BPM) Systems, and localized OEM automations for CRM, ERP and FMS, can attach as limbs to the spine to deliver end-to-end efficiency across the organization.
The research community needs to move towards this goal to achieve step gains in efficiency this year. Let us push our ticketing systems into the background as an audit assisting relic, and allow all real-time requests of business users to be handled interactively. Let’s move from “tickets to text” as the primary way to get stuff done. Let’s resolve to say no-to-tickets and yes to on-demand service in 2019.Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.