The Innovation Pivot in the Age of a Pandemic

One side effect of the global disruption resulting from the pandemic is that it’s acting as a catalyst for innovation. Previous barriers to adopting cutting edge technologies have been removed as everyone embraces the new normal.

This is shining a spotlight on automation technologies as organizations recognize that inertia to innovate will seal their demise. As industries recalibrate to weather the economic downturn, this is driving an increase in the adoption of technologies, including AI, machine learning and robotic process automation (RPA).

RPA is one technology being used to automate with Deloitte reporting that 53% of companies have begun deploying it and that 78% of adopters will invest more in the next three years. In healthcare, RPA is automating many cumbersome and time-consuming administrative tasks, including scheduling appointments and admitting and discharging patients. RPA bots can optimize appointments based on diagnosis, availability of doctors and multiple other criteria almost instantaneously. With healthcare focused on the pandemic response, automating repetitive tasks delivers many benefits. By integrating RPA, productivity improves, and processes are adhered to. In the heavily regulated healthcare ,this is a critical benefit. This, in turn, creates cost savings for healthcare providers and supports improved patient care.

In the manufacturing sector, the need for Industry 4.0 enabling technologies has never been greater. With supply chains turned on their heads, the ability to quickly adapt to changing customer needs has led to the widespread adoption of AI and machine learning to help identify and anticipate pressure points. Knowing where your delivery trucks are and ensuring that perishable items have been handled correctly is critical. Intelligent automation delivers operational efficiencies and the flexibility needed to change production quickly. This increased visibility and flexibility reduces costs providing a competitive advantage. In addition, the requirements for social distancing can be eased through automating some of the tasks that would have required people on site.

Retail has been at the epicenter of industries impacted by the pandemic. Almost overnight it has experienced a rapid acceleration of the acceptance of digital shopping by consumers. Those retailers able to deliver a connected experience by integrating technologies that eliminate gaps between front end applications, back-office logistics, and supply chain systems can ensure that customers receive accurate information on product availability. Brands that have invested in these technologies have been able to reap the benefits.

In addition, AI is being integrated into chatbots to improve the customer experience as retailers can store and immediately access an individual’s information. As consumers come to expect this personalized service, this will ensure that AI-driven assistants will become standard for retailers looking to compete.

The pandemic has boosted the acceptance and adoption of a range of innovative technologies as companies look to survive the current volatility. How businesses respond to our changing world will ultimately demonstrate their resiliency. As ever, those that embrace innovation rather than remain stagnant will reap the benefits. Despite the uncertainty, intelligent automation looks set to be the remedy for many business ills.

Read more here: The Innovation Pivot in the Age of a Pandemic

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