Businesses have been pushed more than ever to innovate and transform their existing processes as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. All business leaders alike, even those who were resistant to new technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Intelligent Automation and Machine Learning are now fast tracking their progress towards implementing and deploying these modern innovations to ensure business continuity, survival, cutting expenses, delivering and reaching customers faster and keeping their employees connected and engaged as they work from home.
The urgency to innovate and adopt digital strategies is rightly pointed out by McKinsey Digital which says:
"IF THE PACE OF THE PRE-CORONAVIRUS WORLD WAS ALREADY FAST, THE LUXURY OF TIME NOW SEEMS TO HAVE DISAPPEARED COMPLETELY. BUSINESSES THAT ONCE MAPPED DIGITAL STRATEGY IN ONE - TO THREE-YEAR PHASES MUST NOW SCALE THEIR INITIATIVES IN A MATTER OF DAYS OR WEEKS."
As we move through and beyond the pandemic, we are certain to see continued deployment of artificial intelligence and automation technologies by global businesses to fast track the digital transformation of modern businesses for both agility and resilience. We will discuss here some of the key outcomes and trends as businesses become more intelligent- powered by AI and automation.
Upskilling Workers for Higher Productivity
The fear and uncertainty with respect to robots and machines to replace human workforce in future finds itself misplaced, as automation not just is helping employees become more productive and efficient but is also creating new jobs and empowering the existing workforce. Employing automation to right business processes greatly equips businesses with intelligence that has proven to save costs, deliver precision, agility and time to market. As the world faces the new normal in the current pandemic scenario and is awaiting the next normal in the post-COVID world, automation is and will enable companies to upskill their workforce for more productive and high-value work.
Making Informed Decisions During Crisis
Machine learning algorithms play a crucial role in enhancing the ability of businesses to arrive at an informed and early decisions as machine learning greatly helps in organizing, storing and analyzing data that is being gathered. Machine learning provides new insights and patterns that is helping businesses to predict the way customers, markets and demand behave and fluctuate. The post-COVID world will certainly see an evolution of ML practices by businesses to simplify their operations, handle issues in real-time, resolve challenges faster and equip themselves with the ability to foresee crisis and take decisions beforehand.
Mainstreaming Adoption of Chatbots
As customers increasingly expect superior digital experiences and expect to communicate on digital platforms, chatbots appear as an effective tool for businesses to deliver services and provide support. COVID-19 has yet again demonstrated the need to be digital-first and how businesses can remain connected with customer in the face of stringent lockdowns. Chatbots have greatly enhanced the entire business spectrum of modern businesses ranging from sales to marketing and support - helping them connect with customers with efficiency, scale and speed during the present economic uncertainty. These conversational technologies will remain a prominent proposition for businesses to continue to drive sales, marketing efforts and deliver impressive customer experiences. Post-COVID business world will hugely benefit from the lessons learnt during the present crisis and there will continue to be an upsurge towards mainstreaming of chatbots in the next normal.
Breakthrough Customer Experience with AI
In an increasing digital world, customer’s expectation for digital experiences have been accelerated by the present crisis. The demand for contextual communication and omnichannel experience has been on the rise. The long call for digital transformation and deployment of modern technologies led by AI, automation and analytics has now become imminent for businesses to deliver. Abundance of data collected through various sources and chatbots powered by AI can greatly help business to offer customer with tailor-made offerings that are relevant and contextual to a specific customer or group. Businesses in a post-COVID world will see a rise in deployment of AI and ML solutions to deliver to customer expectations for contextual communication, personalized offerings and breakthrough customer experience.
Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are transforming businesses and will contribute to economic growth via contributions to productivity. They will also help address “moonshot” societal challenges in areas from health to climate change. - McKinsey & Company
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