Unlock your business processes using a powerful combination of robotics and AI

By Dick Steiner

When it comes to business processes, what you can’t see can hurt your organization. And what you can’t see turns out to be a lot.

In the normal course of operations, every business generates a huge amount of what’s known as “dark data.” This data, generated by core business systems, is normally invisible to systems administrators and others. For a typical organization, dark data can represent as much as 90% of its digital information.

So much dark data can make legacy systems difficult to upgrade, and help form unwieldy process and system silos. Dark data can also lead to process inefficiencies that currently cost businesses an estimated $237 billion per year. That’s equivalent to 10% of the world’s largest companies’ annual profits!

Efficient teaming

There’s a better way. A new approach known as Agile Process Automation (APA) teams software robots, artificial intelligence and human workers to capture and interpret existing applications and data. Working together, the elements of APA tap into an organization’s “digital fingerprint” to provide a near-real-time, fully transparent and high-definition view of the business. This view, in turn, helps managers to create, manage, improve and measure their vital back-office business processes.

APA represents a top-to-bottom rethink of traditional business process automation for the modern enterprise. By looking across both structured and unstructured data, APA helps break down system silos, establish an immutable view of how the organization is operating, and uncover process deviations and inefficiencies.

This new data-discovery approach typically delivers many other benefits, too. Advantages can include greater scalability and flexibility, enhanced compliance, improved productivity and efficiency, higher accuracy and quality, and significant cost savings.

Modular service

APA, which DXC offers as a service, includes robot process automation powered by AI and delivered via the cloud. It also includes self-service tools that can be combined, in modular fashion, into a scalable automation pipeline. Components of a typical APA modular service include:

  • Digital preconfigured process maps
  • A library of industry benchmarks
  • Built-in process analytics with a next-generation visualization engine
  • Expert insight via cognitive computing
  • On-demand software robots (both autonomous and assisted), available via the cloud
  • Event management and monitoring
  • A real-time decision-making dashboard

Working together, these components can provide you with several valuable benefits. You’ll understand your processes and discover your dark data. Simplify and iteratively automate your business processes. Ensure proper controls are in place. Constantly learn and drive improvement. And improve the outcomes of your important processes.

Real-world benefits

APA’s combination of robotics and AI may sound futuristic, but the approach is helping real-world businesses today. Consider these examples:

  • A mail and logistics group that had grown through acquisitions struggled with decentralized operations and nonstandard process flows and literally thousands of different operating procedures. It used APA to standardize and streamline its processes in 150 countries. The benefit? The company reduced its risk by an estimated $13 million and cut its costs by $10 million.
  • A products company manually processed payments received from bank accounts, taking as much as 2 to 3 minutes for each payment. As a result, the company was missing its SLA to apply all payments within 24 hours. It automated the process, reducing the task time from 2 minutes to just 2 seconds.
  • A medical equipment company was manually processing some 270,000 invoices a year. It took nearly 50 full-time employees to scan and process them all. Now, a new PDF automation system captures invoice data with 100% accuracy. It also delivers an expected efficiency gain of 40%.

As these examples illustrate, APA offers a seamless model for your process automation. It brings together the best of what humans do while automating the tasks done best by software robots and AI. That’s a powerful combination.

Dick Steiner is a senior managing partner in DXC’s Business Process Services group. In his role, Dick drives strategic engagements by overseeing the portfolio of service offerings and next-generation business process services. Previously, he was vice president of IT infrastructure and operations at HPE.


  1. This new data-discovery approach typically delivers many other benefits, too


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