Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Decision-as-a-Service: Applying Analytics at the point of Capture (Part 2 of 2)

In my previous article, I introduced the concept of an Automated Decision Management (ADM) platform evolving from the likes of ECM and BPM as we look towards the future. Products within 3 distinct categories (capture, content management and output management) will join forces to create a new software and service category, augmented and enabled by super advanced semantic technologies.

The question is how far is this concept from reality?

Automated Decision Management: Barriers to Adoption

Many digital systems and technologies are impacted in realising an automated decision platform. The following key challenges need to be solved if this vision is to become reality.
  • The integration of structured and unstructured data systems, or preferably a content platform to handle both. The worlds of ERP and CRM need to merge with the likes of ECM and BPM
  • The integration of internal data systems with external data sources, particularly Social Media to monitor, understand and react to live consumer sentiment
  • The development of a new form of middleware hosting a number of adjacent technologies
  • The advancement of super-intelligent linguistics – technologies which understand human language and intent
  • The evolution of classic rules engines to dynamic decision engines capable of understanding and reacting to unpredictable events via adaptive business logic
  • The integration of outbound communications, including marketing automation and content composition platforms to inbound and process management platforms, such as capture and BPM

Conclusions & Outlook
  • Enterprise Content Management platforms will evolve from managing content, to managing processes, to managing decisions – streamlining interactions, shortening response times and identifying threats and opportunities faster than ever
  • A new form of intelligent system will begin to emerge – Automated Decision Management platforms will merge capabilities across a multitude of content-driven technologies to handle end-to-end human tasks
  • Intelligent systems will adapt to events on-the-fly – decisions will be made in real-time based on a combination of historical behavioural data and contextual data “in-motion”
  • Intelligent systems will also boast human-like senses, gaining the likes of machine vision and thus being able to “see the world for themselves” – opening up a whole new space for intelligent monitoring and surveillance systems – tracking consumer behaviour, deploying counter-terrorism, automating traffic management etc 
  • The Internet will continue to grow its knowledge base with businesses and consumers alike increasingly able to tap into this knowledge pool on-demand – offered as “services” via a subscription model

Organisations looking to get ahead of the game need to start thinking and planning ahead in order to gain long-term competitive advantage.

The following recommendations are made:
  • Understand the vision of the future, but don’t rush to get there overnight – systems need not be fully automated from day one
  • Develop the architecture to allow for expansion – be pragmatic, start small and look to add more advanced capabilities over time
  • Recognise the business case is not primarily about productivity, or cost cutting, but in driving superior customer experience, which directly drives increased revenue
  • Focus on optimising select business processes, each process justifying its own mini business case
  • Understand that a technology platform is not the single answer to antiquated business processes in need of a revamp, it is only part of the solution
  • Work with third-party experts to re-engineer business processes and transform operating models prior to technology selection and deployment    

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