The value of digitisation beyond your own process

Remember the once popular TV-series Knight Rider starring David Hasselhoff and his talking car called KITT? Most of us at USoft really loved it, which may not come as a surprise. You know, with Artificial Intelligence and all. KITT even gave ‘The Hoff’ tons of good advice. Back then, that concept seemed light-years away. Meanwhile, man and machine are engaged in an unparalleled symbiosis. One that has brought Decision Automation just within reach!

The situations in which computers are working faster and more efficiently than people are growing by the day. Obviously, the traditional (human) approach is no longer sufficient and could even be counterproductive. In order to reap the benefits of digitalization, we need to optimize the symbiosis between man and machine. Complex Event Processing (CEP) and Decision Automation are great examples of how technology can improve efficiency. It uses software to combine and digest large volumes of data from a variety of sources to enable faster and more effective decision-making. On top of that, it could eventually result in new conclusions. In these examples, software is used to automate the human logic (or reasoning) allowing us to come to decisions a lot faster and more consistent.


Constantly changing conditions

These technologies are often applied in information-rich environments, such as logistics, that deal with constantly changing conditions affecting ongoing processes. Take Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, for instance. Airports basically take care of three primary processes: planes landing and taking off, passengers arriving and departing and luggage handling. Although these are basically separated processes, they have significant impact on each other. With thousands of flights and millions of passengers a year, the sheer volume of information that constantly flows through the organization has reached the point that people are simply no longer capable of processing everything fast enough and determine where and when critical impact on a process occurs. However, using the right technology allows airports for example to automatically recognize a bunch of people that are stuck at security and are at risk missing their flight.


Mapping dependencies

With this knowledge, mitigating measures can be taken immediately such as providing fast-track passage or even rebooking passengers to ensure the flight can leave without delay. Each action taken will influence related processes and stakeholders. The right software allows you to map these dependencies, automate information processing and improve the speed and effectiveness of decision-making. Thus, empowering your people with the tools to do what they do best: running your business! At the same time, digitization is as much about your organization and the way employees work as it is about the technology used. We need to learn to look beyond the boundaries of individual processes and consider the ecosystem in which processes take place, including the stakeholders involved. This particularly applies to CEP and Decision Automation, which are aimed at improving the efficiency across all processes involved.

Key determinants for success in digital transformation


Comprehensive view of the ecosystem

The technological challenge has shifted towards finding the right technology for the right purpose and, perhaps even more important, getting it accepted across all levels of organizations. This also requires the involvement of people that have a more comprehensive view of the ecosystem concerned, both non-technical and technical. Digital transformation is everywhere. And rightfully so! But what should the organization transform into? In other words: what is the ultimate goal of the digital transformation? When ‘going digital’ becomes the goal, we are putting our organizations at great risk. After all, you don’t run a marathon without properly preparing and training for it. Defining a clear goal is a vital means to track progress and determine whether you are on target or whether the objective calls for a change.


Means to an end: the Act-Now Economy

We increasingly see ‘agile’ transitions, aimed at enabling organizations to adapt to customer demands or react to new opportunities or threats more quickly and efficiently. This is what we call the Act-Now Company. To become an Act-Now Company requires the ability to change processes when necessary. It is important to realize that this Act-Now ability comes more naturally to younger organizations than it does to older ones. It’s no coincidence that the average life expectancy for organizations has decreased from 35 to some 15 years. Younger companies and start-ups in particular, are born with a digital DNA (new ‘KITTS’ on the block, as it were). In fact, digitization is quite often the backbone of their business models. For companies such as Airbnb, Spotify, Uber or more locally Picnic, the use of technology has been a core element in product and process development right from the start.


Embracing the ‘new reality’

More traditional organizations in turn are usually merely adapting to this new and digital reality and often have to deal with discrepancies between business and IT. In short: digital transformation should not be a goal in itself, but a vehicle to align an organization with a new reality. Being able to quickly adapt to changing conditions will become more and more vital in creating the right added value and in remaining competitive and relevant to customers. Technologies such as Complex Event Processing and Decision Automation have been designed to do just that. They provide the right tools to save time in understanding what is actually going on. The time saved can be dedicated to focusing on what drives performance and output, which is effective decision-making!

Tip: 2 other blogs about the Act-Now Economy.

Written by: Hans Canisius

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