Article | June 2, 2021
Intelligent Automation (IA) is one of the trending buzzwords of our times. What makes automation smart? Is it new? Why the renewed focus? Bill Gates believed automation to be a double-edged sword when he said: “Automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. … Automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
IA lies at the intersection of robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and business process management (BPM).
But before you think HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, J.A.R.V.I.S. from Iron Man or Terminator 2: Judgment Day scenarios, first, a little context. IA is not new; automated manual processes have been in existence since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. It enabled speeding up go-to-market, reduced errors and improved efficiencies. Over time, automation made its way into software development, quality assurance processes, manufacturing, finance, health care and all aspects of daily life.
“Intelligent” automation backed by robotics, AI and BPM creates smarter business processes and workflows that can incrementally think, learn and adapt as they go — for instance, processing millions of documents and applications in a day, finding errors and suggesting fixes or recommendations.
What Intelligent Automation Does, Humans Can’t
IA enables the automation of knowledge work by mimicking human workers’ capabilities. It includes four main capabilities: vision, execution, language, and thinking and learning. Each of these capabilities combines different technologies that are used as stand-alone or in combination to complement each other.
One oft-quoted IA example is fraud detection and prevention in the BFSI sector. Robotic process automation (RPA) optimizes the speed and accuracy of the fraud identification process. Since RPA can go through months’ worth of data in a matter of hours and throws up exceptions, teams cannot keep up with the speed and scale needed to resolve the issues flagged. However, speed and efficiency are of the essence where fraud management is concerned.
The answer lies in AI and BPM coupled with RPA. IA can streamline the process end-to-end. Pascal Bornet notes in his book, Intelligent Automation, that IA can help improve the overall automation rate to nearly 80%, and it can help improve the time to solve a fraud incident and obtain clients’ refunds by 50%.
While RPA provides excellent benefits and quick solutions, cognitive technologies offer long-term value for businesses, employees and customers.
IA And Digital Transformation
IA adoption is growing swiftly across the enterprise, being fast adopted by more than 50% of the world’s largest companies. Its benefits are relevant to the majority of business processes. For example:
• Industrial systems that sense and adapt based on rules.
• Chatbots that learn from customer interactions to improve engagement.
• Sales and marketing systems that predict buyer journeys and identify leads
The Future Of Work: Bitter Or Better
There is much speculation when it comes to IA and the future of work. The main contention is that robots will take away jobs from humans. My argument is that, while it will cause role changes, it doesn’t necessarily mean job losses.
The Industrial Revolution helped automate “blue-collar” jobs in manufacturing and agriculture. Similarly, IA will automate many white-collar jobs that are tedious and tiring. A recent IBM report shows that 90% of executives in firms where IA is being used believe it creates higher-value work for employees.
So, no, we will not be living in a dystopic world controlled by bots running amok! IA means better roles, the elimination of laborious tasks and improvements in employee well-being.
The Promise Of The Better Life
In 2018 alone, over $5 trillion (6% of global GDP) was lost due to fraud. Medical errors in the U.S. incur an estimated economic value of almost $1 trillion — and 86% of those mistakes are administrative. A 2017 Medliminal Healthcare Solutions study found that 80% of U.S. medical billings contain at least minor errors — creating unnecessary annual health care spending of $68 billion. The World Economic Forum cited an ILO report that “estimates that the annual cost to the global economy from accidents and work-related diseases alone is a staggering $3 trillion.”
Now, let us imagine we can save $5 trillion globally through the deployment of IA. It means:
• Global budgets allocated to education could more than double.
• Global healthcare budgets could be increased by more than 70%.
• Environmental investments could be multiplied almost twentyfold.
Transitioning To Intelligent Automation
However, adopting IA is not like flipping a switch. There are some key steps an organization must experience in its bid to be automating intelligently.
• Planning. For the successful adoption of IA, business leaders must understand the relationship between people and machines. Enterprises must plan so as not to disrupt other parts of the business and integrate IA seamlessly into the existing programs. Instead of adopting IA across the processes, identify where it delivers the most value. Automating broken processes will not fix the problem. IA will only reap rewards on stable and mature processes
• Change management. IA is not easy to implement. There will be a great deal of resistance to adopting IA in your organizations. Designing a change management strategy, an execution road map, an enterprise operating model and key metrics for ROI will help your cause. Invite key stakeholders from the outset to ensure buy-in and train your employees to work in collaboration with IA.
• Governance framework. Establishing a governance framework helps determine who will watch the watchmen. The bigger the role of IA in your organization, the more critical governance becomes. Designing a framework will help you monitor performance as well as define exceptions and errors. It is a recipe for disaster if you don’t have a command and control center to ensure IA is making the right choices. Even more reason for humans with industry expertise to still “have their jobs” and excel at them.
Future Of Intelligent Automation
The future of IA will direct businesses to a more adaptive model that is beneficial for business leaders to uncover higher value and employees to do more satisfactory and creative roles. Preparing for an intelligent future means adapting our technology, skills and education to fit the future of the workforce.
What are we waiting for?
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Article | July 19, 2021
Storytelling is an art. It brings out the best of the teller and the listener. For centuries storytelling has been proved to be a successful way to reach out to the masses. However, a myth about storytelling is that it is considered only as a subject of literature. Well, we are here to break this myth.
The art of telling a story belongs to every field. Be it literature or science, electronics or computers, every field has its own story, even astronomy. Likewise, every little particle has a story to tell.
There is a story in every line of code written by software developers. The user tells a story, and the software developer writes it in a computer code language. Read further to understand more about storytelling in software development.
The Art of Storytelling in Software Development
When a user comes across a problem that needs to be simplified digitally, he explains the problem to the developer or salesperson.
For example, a shopkeeper needs to digitalize his inventory; he will talk about the problems he is facing while manually managing the inventory. This manual management could be handwritten or a basic excel sheet.
Now, when he tells his issue, he says that “I need software that easily tells me about the things I have in my inventory, goods that are to be stocked and also the goods that have and do not have demand.”
When the shopkeeper elaborates his problem and tells them in a story-like manner, the concerned person understands it better. Now imagine if they would say that, “I need software to know about the goods in the inventory.” Unfortunately, this simple sentence does not convey what exactly they are looking for. As a result, the salesperson would not be able to give them appropriate solutions.
Once the story behind the work is understood, the entire team puts in the effort and comes up with perfect solutions. From coding to the visuals of the software, everything works in synchronization. Thus, the story behind the work is of great importance.
Storytelling in software development has a structure. It has a beginning, middle part, climax, end, visuals, and imagination. The only difference in the storytelling tool is that it is known as understanding the need of the user (beginning), designing the solution (middle part), CTAs and ways to reach the target audience (climax), visually appealing and adequately working software delivery (end).
The success of storytelling in software development depends on how well the developer connects with the user’s problem. Once the entire team is on the same page, emotionally and practically, they deliver the most reliable solutions.
The Process of Storytelling in Software Development
Storyteller software is a tool that listens to the thoughts and ideas of the customer, understands their audience, and then transforms them into concrete solutions. Storytelling software uses the following steps.
● Understanding the user story
● Implementation of the story
Understanding the Story
As described earlier, understanding the story is learning the background of why the solution is being developed. Once the digital storytelling software is understood, the implementation of the solution becomes more apparent.
When the user tells his problem, there is always a story in it. When this story is told to the team, they give a set of solutions to the user. It is like giving them the menu to select the dish they like to be served.
Once they select the dish, it becomes an easy job to make it. But you need to ask the user why he is selecting the particular solution. Because the ‘why’ will answer almost every question that is needed to design the appropriate solution.
Implementation of the Story
The implementation of the story is the ‘show, don’t tell’ part. You need to display the solution on the screen for the user to understand. The user does not know the coding language, but he will understand that if I click this, this happens. And that understanding for the user is the implementation of the story.
We can also say that the implementation of the story is the architecture of the software. A well-built architecture will convey the story to the users. For example, when HRIS software is developed, the HR departments will know that the story behind the development was to ease out their tasks. These tasks could be anything from attendance to salary management.
Always remember, only a well-understood story can be implemented most dependably.
The conclusion of the story is the delivery and installation of the visual storytelling software. The user should be able to find all the answers to his problems in the best possible way. Their story that started with ‘once upon a time’ should end happily ever after’. And this is possible only when the entire team is connected emotionally and practically while working towards the solution.
The conclusion should also convey the climax of the story. The climax implies the CTAs or the final work that the software does after getting the desired data.
Only after you have reached a conclusion and the user is satisfied you will know that you have written an excellent story. This good story is the incredible software you built by gathering the plot, characters, problems, and other raw material from the user!
Benefits of Storytelling in Software Development
We know the process of storytelling in software development, but what do we gain from it? You must be thinking, can’t we listen to the demands, design a solution, and give the user what he wants? So, what is the need to understand the story behind the software?
Well, software delivered without understanding the story is merely a puzzle created. In the future, the software would not be able to answer the most important question -WHY? And that could prove that the software is a failure.
Here are some benefits of storytelling in software development.
● Straightforward Approach
Instead of beating around the bush or designing complicated solutions you will deliver the solutions in simpler steps. And this is because you have well understood the story behind creating the software.
● Understand the Big Picture
The user's story will let you understand what outcomes or expectations the user has from the software. The vision of the user and their expectations from the product can be understood only when the whole team has clarity on what and why they are working.
● Emotional Attachment
When software is developed practically and empathetically, the user also connects well with the software. People have to be given an emotion to get clicks on CTAs or use the software.
A survey was taken wherein people had to donate to a cause. As a result, two types of causes were created. One group was asked to donate food for an underdeveloped country, and the other group was asked to donate for a hungry child. The second group donated more, and many of them stated why they felt emotionally connected to the child.
Thus, the emotional connection of the team to design software is essential.
● Give Better Outcomes
Stories assure better results and excellent outcomes. They make sure that the team works best and the customers are motivated to take action. The story behind the software helps build the software in precisely the way it is asked for.
Thus, You Need to Tell a Story
Building a great story and connecting it with the user’s pain points is the best way to develop a creative solution. This helps paint a picture in the team's minds as to what is being built and why.
Storytelling in software development is essential as each software should convey an incredible story.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is storytelling in software development?
Storytelling in software development understands the story as a tool to design the software more accurately. The thoughts and requirements of the user are used as raw materials and utilized to create an efficient solution.
The story also helps in understanding the audience for whom the software is being developed.
What is the importance of storytelling in software?
Stories create better solutions and excellent outcomes. They motivate the audience to react in a certain way. They connect with the user and the audience on an emotional level. They are impactful and even let developers learn a lot.
They help create better software by keeping the team connected through the story.
What are the software storytelling tools?
Software storytelling tools are the elements that help implement the solution most productively. These are the user's point of view, emotionally connect, purpose, and the answers to the questions- what and why.
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The story also helps in understanding the audience for whom the software is being developed."
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Article | August 13, 2020
With Google Analytics, you can determine where the clicks to a certain website or webpage come from. However, this analysis isn’t the most precise method. For example, you can only find out whether traffic came from a specific source such as Twitter, but not whether the tweets from your own company were responsible for this linkage. In other words, you won’t be able to tell exactly which version of your call-to-action generated more clicks if both versions linked to the same URL. But there’s a solution: using UTM parameters.
Article | August 12, 2020
For organizations that are considering or already leveraging Sitecore to host their digital experience, they’ll be excited to learn that Sitecore announced the release of Sitecore ® Experience Platform ™ 10, (XP 10 for short), plus Sitecore Experience Commerce™ 10 (XC 10).