Whenever we discuss trends, the conversations inevitably turn to the future of artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) in process automation and robotic process automation (RPA). Frankly, I’ve found that most vendors latch on to the idea but have very little substance behind their words in terms of strategy and product roadmaps.
Intelligent Process Manaagement
Increasingly, my colleague, Alan Pelz-Sharpe, and I are finding substantial convergence and common ground in our coverage areas. (Alan covers blockchain, content, compliance, and AI/ML, and I cover digital process automation, RPA, process mining, and customer experience.) The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing this trend even harder as companies struggle to get their arms around documents, tasks, processes, commerce, and customers so they can deliver products and services more rapidly across ever-morphing supply chains.
Have you ever wondered where all the Lean, Six Sigma, continuous improvement, and operational excellence practitioners have gone? When the BPM (methodology + software) conversation turned toward digital process automation (software and very little process methodology) much of the continuous improvement conversation went away. Poof–it disappeared, to be replaced by a lot of technical talk.
It seems like every week; a technology vendor tells me how their AI product will free workers from mundane jobs and enable them to do more exciting work. And, every week I respond the same way (though sometimes more diplomatically) ‘that is not true.’ As AI works its way through blue-collar jobs, lower-paid white-collar jobs and now into higher-paid professions, that sales pitch that falls flat. In theory, AI automation could free workers from the mundane and create new and more exciting jobs. But in reality, that will seldom happen, workers are made redundant.