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How Australian businesses can work smarter and faster with new-generation technology

08 May 2020

Article by Konica Minolta chief marketing and innovation officer Shane Blandford.

The digital era has led to an explosion of new technologies that can enhance daily life and significantly improve business processes. These technologies are causing a rapid evolution in the workplace, which is now largely remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so it is essential for organisations to embrace them to remain competitive into the future.

Several emerging technologies can be used to enhance or replace existing internal business processes. These include: robotic process automation (RPA); artificial intelligence (AI); robotics and 3D printing. These technologies can add real value across all industries and can let businesses work smarter and faster.

Businesses worldwide are embracing RPA to mimic how humans interact with technology. RPA learns from existing processes and existing software systems to identify patterns and extract knowledge. Assuming their input logic is flawless, the robots make zero errors and RPA can take care of repetitive manual tasks, such as data entry, that consume thousands of working hours every year. This provides workers with the time and opportunity to focus on activities that add more meaningful value to businesses.

Likewise, AI and machine learning are increasingly being used to outsource and augment decision-making using big data. AI augments business processes through a curated mix of capabilities, including predictive modelling, data discovery tools and mining techniques, and data analytics. These tools can provide deep, powerful insights to internal business reporting and user experience journeys which businesses can review and upgrade using other forms of AI. Organisations that leverage AI technology strategically and appropriately can transform their business by improving operational efficiency, enhancing customer journeys, accelerating automation, and optimising performance.

This technology creates opportunities for individuals and teams to restructure work processes that change the dynamics of an organisation and can let managers steer employees’ efforts towards higher-value tasks. RPA and workflow automation ultimately lead to a more engaged workforce that is free to collaborate, share knowledge and discuss new ideas without having to waste time completing mundane, data-driven tasks.

The rapid-fire evolution of technology is continuing to take virtually all business models by storm. Signalling the end of traditional business practices, these emerging technologies are ushering in new ways to train, learn, and produce work. Highly innovative in nature, these technologies can streamline internal business processes and increase organisational productivity and employee education by offering big-picture insights that help businesses make smarter decisions.

An organisation’s ability to leverage emerging technology to improve efficiency and allocate resources to more valuable tasks is an increasingly important determinant of business success. Organisations that embrace disruption and prioritise investment in these technologies will reap the benefits and be able to work smarter and faster in the digital age.