Automation evangelist to keynote ITWeb's BPMA event

Read time 3min 30sec
Jonathon Wright
Jonathon Wright

South Africa is relatively mature in its approach to business process management (BPM) and automation, but there is still room for improvement by closing the feedback loop and focusing on priority processes.

ITWeb BPM & Automation Summit 2020

Transforming business with intelligent technologies
Dates: 2 April - Conference, 3 April - Half-day workshops
Venue: The Forum | The Campus, Bryanston
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This is according to Jonathon Wright, a TEDx speaker, author, president of Vivit-Worldwide and CTO of Digital-Assured, who will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming ITWeb BPM & Automation Summit in Johannesburg.

Wright, who has worked for enterprises around the world, says South African enterprises have made strides in terms of focusing on business value of BPM, and not just on technology and process management. 

“Many companies focus on technical infrastructure and getting that right, with less focus on the business side of things. You need to marry both for BPM and automation to understand the context of the domain they are working in and start coming into their own,” he says.

However, in South Africa and around the world, companies are still challenged in ensuring that their BPM and automation deliver value. 

“We have seen it time and time again – someone has a great idea, but as it is implemented in the business, it turns out that it doesn’t work as expected, it doesn’t actually improve processes, or customers don’t want it.”

By closing feedback loops to build up to data-driven insight into BPM modelling and automation projects, businesses can make insight-driven decisions to add more value to the project, and ultimately improve the business’ bottom line and efficiency, driving a reduction of waste and manual processes.

Wright cites an example of a leading clothing retailer that planned a new app to help customers select products. Using a BPM model to allow customers and influencers to feedback on whether the product resonated with them or not, validated the model very quickly and saved the company a great deal of money.

“For most organisations, these feedback cycles may be 6 to 12 months down the line. This is too long. This is why Digital Experience Analytics (DXI) is a big trend at the moment – it looks at what activities are actually happening in the business at the moment, finds the most critical ones to focus on improving, and automatically generates models and optimises business processes.”

Opportunities for humans to ‘teach’ AI 

Leveraging automation and RPA removes waste and improves business and customer experiences. 

“This is next evolution of digital transformation – it’s about optimising flows and processes to make them more efficient,” Wright says.

Despite fears in South Africa that automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will worsen the unemployment rate, he notes that AI actually has the potential to create jobs – especially for unskilled workers. 

“AI could reduce jobs if it worked perfectly, but typically it doesn’t,” he says. “The misclassification rates are still around 20%, enterprise AI relies on augmented intelligence – done by humans. This opens opportunities for even unskilled humans to handle queries AI can’t solve.” 

There will be significant opportunities for humans to ‘teach’ AI for the foreseeable future, he says.

About Jonathon Wright

Jonathon Wright is a digital therapist, strategic thought leader and distinguished technology evangelist specialising in emerging technologies, innovation and automation. 

He has helped Silicon Valley companies implement their AI strategies to become insight-driven, heading up R&D teams building first-wave AI platforms of cognitive engineering platforms which were recognised as game changing technology within the industry. 

He now helps governments and private sector companies build second-wave enterprise AI platforms and has spent the last two years helping prepare the UK government for Brexit. 

Wright will speak on The future of business processes in a digital world, focusing on an innovative approach to adopting robotic process automation, at the ITWeb BPM & Automation Summit on 2 & 3 April 2020.

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