Digital transformation and post-pandemic challenges are paving the way for the arrival of intelligent automation as well as highlighting endless technological possibilities when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT), experts said.
Vishal Manchanda, regional manager of Proven Consult, noted that the post pandemic pressure on organisational performance and efficiency has meant that automation is now increasingly moving into the core of post pandemic digital transformation. The rapid acceleration of digital transformation initiatives has also highlighted the need to bring Intelligent Automation into the folds of the enterprise-wide transformation, versus its previous peripheral and sideline approach.
He explained that robotic process automation (RPA) has to date unleashed a digital workforce of software robots that have worked and delivered on the periphery of much wider enterprise initiatives such as digital transformation. However, in order to move forward, RPA will now need much deeper and better integration with subjects such as machine learning and computer vision.
“For any type of automation, it may be necessary to look at the entire process to plan for straight through automation,” he said. “Process mining can help to streamline and automate the process faster. While digital work assistants can be used for simple processes, for more complex processes it may be required to use task analytics, design thinking, journey visioning. This helps to map user behavior, motivations, dependencies. Once completed, the organisation can have a much better view of short- and long-term automation opportunities.”
As organisations blends humans, bots and machine learning into processes, the benefits and gains will keep growing, he added. However, in order to be successful, it is also important to build a culture that recognizes and prioritizes automation. Prioritizing automation does not mean that employees and humans are not centerpiece for the organisation. There are huge benefits that humans can gain by skillfully blending automation into the digital enterprises and training data and blending machine learning into processes.
“For example, Intelligent Automation could automate that uses machine language to handle exceptions needs humans to train the algorithms, validate results, and manage process exceptions,” Manchanda said. “Automating processes gives an organisation to rethink the legacy of its processes and refocus on customers and employees.”
Feras Juma, IoT and Integration Solutions Manager at Software AG, also highlighted how the Internet of Things (IoT) is key in digital transformation for governments. The global IoT market size is projected to reach $1463.19 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 24.9 per cent during the forecast period.
According to an IDC regional report, maximum spending is expected for IoT budgets; governments are second only to manufacturing, relaying the importance of IoT as a catalyst to unlock different use cases of high importance, such as energy monitoring, waste management, building automation, and connected assets.
“Energy monitoring is a great example, where governments try to keep an eye on its energy footprint and seek to save resources, lower costs, and reduce overall consumption,” Juma said. The Dubai Supreme Council of Energy has developed the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, with the aim of reducing Dubai’s electricity and water consumption by 30 per cent by 2030. This includes uses such as reduction of leaks, managing water consumption more effectively, and streamlining billing systems, amongst others.”
IoT will enable the factory of the future, he explained, making a hyper-efficient and agile framework a reality. Smart Cities are another vital area that continue to harness data to spark innovation to offer better quality of life to citizens and deliver a connected experience.
“Smart parking is another significant use case of a connected smart city,” Juma said. “A resident of Dubai, will be able to plan the journey, evaluate parking availability at the destination, book the slot using a unified channel in the future. Also, Abu Dhabi’s Smart Cities and AI project aims to connect key components across the city. The anticipated uses include - air quality monitoring, asset tracking and logistics monitoring, structural health monitoring, water metering, Palm tree weevil detection, street lighting, smart parking, waste management, water storage tank monitoring, and swimming pool monitoring.”
He added that a combination of these smart initiatives is at the core a smart city composition, and it can only be implemented using a horizontal IoT platform; that has capabilities of device connectivity and management, self-service analytics, integration, to easily facilitate simple deployment of use cases - one platform for all - instead of provisioning different vertical solutions, proven to be costly and inefficient.
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