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What is cognitive automation (CA)?
“There is no reason and no way that a human mind can keep up with an artificial intelligence machine by 2035,” stated Gray Scott. Cognitive automation is a subcategory of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies that imitates human behavior. Combined efforts of robotic process automation (RPA) and cognitive technologies such as natural language processing, image processing, pattern recognition and speech recognition has eased the automation process replacing humans. The best part of CA solutions are, they are pre-trained to automate certain business processes hence, they don’t need intervention of data scientists and specific models to operate on. Infact, a cognitive system can make more connection in a system without supervision using new structured and unstructured data.
Future of CA
There is a speedy evolution of CA with increasing investments in cognitive applications and software platforms. Market research indicates, approximately $2.5 billion has been invested in cognitive-related IT and business services. There is also an expectation of 70% rise in such investments by 2023. The focus areas where CA gained momentum are:
- Quality checks and system recommendations
- Diagnosis and treatment recommendations
- Customer service automation
- Automated threat detection and prevention
- Fraud analysis and investigation
Difference between normal automation and CA
There is a basic difference between normal IT automation and CA technologies. Let’s try to understand it with a use case where a customer while filling an e-form to open an account in a bank, leaves few sections blank. A normal IT automation will detect it, flag it red and reject the form as incomplete. This then, will need human intervention to fix the issue. CA, in a similar situation, will auto-correct the issue without any human intervention. This will increase operational efficiency, reduce time and effort of the process and improve customer satisfaction.
Enterprises’ need for CA
As rightly mentioned by McKinsey, 45% of human intervention in IT enterprises can be replaced by automation. Tasks with high volumes of data requires more time to complete. CA can prove worthy in such situations and reshape processes in an efficient way. Businesses are becoming complex with time, and enterprises face a lot of challenges daily like; ensuring customer satisfaction, guaranteeing compliance, staying in competition, increasing efficiency and decision making. CA helps to take care of those challenges in an all-encompassing manner. CA can improve efficiency to the extent of 30 – 60% in email management and quote processing. It ensures an overall improvement in operational scalability, compliance and quality of business. It reduces TAT and error rates, thus impacting enterprises positively.
Benefits of CA in general
A collaboration between RPA and CA has multiplied the scope of enterprises to operate successfully and reap benefits to the extent that enterprises are able to achieve ROI of up to 300% in few months’ time, research reveals. The benefits enterprises can enjoy by adopting CA are:
- It improves quality by reducing downtime and improving smart insights.
- It improves work efficiency and enhances productivity with pattern identification and automation.
- Cognitive computing and autonomous learning can reduce operational cost.
- A faster processing speed can impact business performance and increases job satisfaction resulting employee retention, since it boosts employee satisfaction and engagement.
- It increases business agility and innovation with provisioning of automation.
- As a part of CA, Natural Language Processor (NLP) is a tool used in cognitive computing. It has the capacity to communicate more effectively and resolve critical incidents. This increases customer satisfaction to a great extent.
Enterprises using CA for their benefit:
- A leading IT giant combined cloud automation service with cognition to reduce 50% of server downtime in last two years. It also reduced TAT through auto resolution of more than 1500 server tickets every month. There was reduction of critical incidents by 89% within six months of cognitive collaboration.
- An American technology giant introduced a virtual assistant as one of their cognitive tools. It could understand twenty-two languages and could handle service requests without human intervention. It eased the process of examining insurance policies for clients, help customers open bank accounts, help employees learn company policies and guidelines.
- A leading train service in UK used virtual assistant starting from refund process to handling their customer queries and complaints.
- A software company in USA uses cognitive computing technology to provide real-time investment recommendations.
- Cognitive computing technology used in media and entertainment industries can extract information related to user’s age, gender, company logo, certain personalities and locate profile and additional information using Media Asset Management Systems. This helps in answering queries, adding a hint of emotion and understanding while dealing with a customer.
Secondary research reveals that the Cognitive Robotic Process Automation (CRPA) market will witness a CAGR of 60.9% during 2017 – 2026. The impact CA has on enterprises is remarkable and it is an important step towards the cognitive journey. CA can continuously learn and initiate optimization in a managed, secured and reliable way to leverage operational data and fetch actionable insights. Hence, we can conclude that enterprises are best poised to gain considerably from cognitive automation.