Managing the digital revolution with self-driving enterprise software

Posted by  Claus Jepsen

How will leading organizations make big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning work to their advantage? With self-driving, cloud ERP, that’s how.

Since the official start of the digital revolution more than half a century ago, the relationship between human and machine has matured. Looking at enterprise software specifically, then thanks to self-driving software, it’s grown into a partnership where enterprise resource planning (ERP) software does the bulk of the work and humans manage by exception.

Welcome to the self-driving experience.

Self-driving is here, but what does it mean?

In software terms, ‘self-driving’ means that decisions and actions are automated based on historic data by utilizing machine learning, or with minimal human interaction limited to exceptions handling.

In the business world, this gives people-centric businesses the ability to eradicate manual tasks like data entry and reporting. They have tools to automatically gather, make sense of all the data they’re collecting, then put it to work for them. Services businesses have the power to teach computers to repeat functions, recognize patterns and reap the benefits of increased efficiency as they learn.

Sales reps will have expense reports proactively generated for them in moments, employees’ most important tasks will be automatically prioritized for them, machines will run payroll in minutes and algorithms will optimize plans for project managers in near-real-time.

Intelligent automation frees people from menial administrative tasks to do what they were hired to do: sales reps selling, teachers teaching, consultants consulting.

Managing the digital revolution

Big data, machine learning and pattern recognition; intelligent augmentation and artificial intelligence (AI). What may have once sounded like futuristic terms are now enhancing integrated, cloud-enabled ERP systems. And the impact — for people-centric businesses in the public and private sectors — are both widespread and powerful.

These advances affect everyone from sales and service staff to those in accounting and payroll; from the front line to the back office and way up to the C-suite. Those organizations that remain up-to-date with the latest technology will gain a competitive advantage and thrive. If your company is among these forward-thinkers, it will have the tools to work faster, smarter and better.

Data entry is dead, long live data

AI is already proliferating our personal lives. Examples include search engines, driverless cars and digital assistants. With self-driving ERP, AI and machine learning, forward-looking service organizations have said goodbye to data entry and reporting.

Today, self-driving software can extract data from invoices, receipts, tickets; email, apps and social networks, without the flaws of human data collection. It analyzes and categorizes data as it goes, recognizing patterns and flagging exceptions for people to deal with.

For example, instead of wasting hours searching spreadsheets, calendars and receipts to create a time and expense report, a sales rep could spend moments approving a report created automatically using machine learning and the vast amounts of historical company data — which means they can spend more time on things that really matter.

Creating space

By using machine learning, project-driven organizations optimize accuracy and reduce laborious tasks, creating space for people to do work that really matters. With improved quality of business insight comes more rapid, informed decision-making.

As analyst, TechMarketView, says: “Roles and opportunities will shift from low level support-type activities to higher value roles requiring judgment, empathy and decision-making; and workers will be redeployed into higher value roles that are aimed at improving operations and customer engagement.”

Working faster, smarter, better

With self-driving ERP local governments can serve citizens better. For example, a town can evaluate the cost of an infrastructure project, forecast and plan the optimal composition of teams and analyze tax receipts to see if the money is available.

Not-for-profits can improve more lives quicker — a charity can economically track donations, manage grants and calculate manpower needed for disaster relief projects.

Higher education institutions can focus on student success — automatically identifying at-risk students, for example, and initiating intervention plans, managing their curriculum and monitoring their progress.

And every professional services business can devote more time to helping their customers’ customer become more successful.

Driving sales and informing decisions

When AI and machine learning is combined with cloud ERP it saves time, ensures accuracy and prioritizes workloads. It also boosts sales effectiveness and empowers project management.

Here’s a quick example:

When pitching for new work, self-driving software analyzes and gathers data from thousands of previous, successful projects to make faster, more accurate proposals, with only a few modifications needed from staff — human and machine working in perfect harmony.

Once work begins, projections are based on the company’s entire project history; the project manager is supported by huge amounts of current and accurate information.

Predictive analytics and machine learning anticipate future outcomes based on company history. Multiple what-if scenarios are immediately created
and compared in seconds. Options are readily altered, examined and understood, and the data is presented in a clear, easily understandable user interface.

Time to become a self-driving organization?

Self-driving software is about empowering people to do more and better than humanly possible. It is a pairing of human and machine to accomplish more than either can alone — intelligent augmentation. It enables employees to do what they were employed to do. It is the way to harness the increasing onslaught of technological megatrends.

Are you ready to revolutionize decision-making, data entry and data usage? What about liberating employees from laborious processes to add value? If you’re ready to improve service, boost sales and empower management to work faster, smarter and better, download the white paper: The Self-Driving Experience: Managing the Digital Revolution.

Claus Jepsen

Claus Jepsen

Claus Jepsen is a technology expert who has been fascinated by the micro-computer revolution ever since he received a Tandy TRS model 1 at the age of 14. Since then, Claus has spent the last few decades developing and architecting software solutions, most recently at Unit4, where he leads our focus on enabling the post-modern enterprise. Claus is building cloud-based, super-scalable solutions and bringing innovative technologies such as AI, chatbots, and predictive analytics to ERP. He is a strong believer that having access to vast amounts of data allows us to construct better, non-intrusive and pervasive solutions to improve our experiences, relieve us from tedious chores, and allow us focus on what we as individuals really love doing.

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