Shared Services leaders have been very active to reshape their centers to deal with the challenges the “new normal” way of working have created. According to a Gartner survey they have done the following to allow for “business as usual” through:
- Stimulating the productivity and engagement of the people, through assuring a “person-to-person” phone call at least each day with the employees working from home, organizing virtual events and monitor productivity.
- Creating the environment to allow for working from home, including additional investments in remote technology
- Rewarding employees for time that they were not able to work (and making sure to use Government plans to support this!) and to set-up different ways to monitor ill employees
Furthermore, they are adapting Business Continuity Plans preparing for longer and stricter lock-downs.
In those Business Continuity Plans several of the trends in Artificial Intelligence mentioned by Bernard Marr of Forbes could be taken into account. Such use of AI will require a proper “AI strategy” that is linked to the overall business strategy. At the same time, Shared Services could show the broader organization how to apply and benefit from Artificial Intelligence to increase acceptance of this technology.
The top 10 Artificial Intelligence Trends mentioned by Bernard Marr in his January 6 of this year article are:
- AI will increasingly be monitoring and refining businessprocesses
- More and more personalization will take place inreal-time
- AI becomes increasingly useful as data becomes more accurate andavailable
- More devices will run AI-poweredtechnology
- Human and AI cooperation increases
- AI increasingly at the “edge”
- AI increasingly used to create films, music, andgames
- AI will become ever more present incybersecurity
- More of us will interact with AI, maybe without even knowingit
- But AI will recognize us, even if wedon’trecognize it
For Shared Services leaders that have their AI strategy aligned with the business, including a cloud-strategy that will allow flexible access to data and systems for employees working from home, the Purchase to Pay process can benefit from the trends in the following way in our view:
TREND 1: AI of the Invoice reception process can provide for insights how to improve the full Purchase to Pay chain. Over time the data will become richer and allows for TREND 3: the AI will give more accurate insights to improve. Maximum use of AI in the full end-to-end Invoice to Pay process will not only reduce the need to use valuable employees for repetitive activities, it will allow them to “interact” and improve the AI further (TRENDS 4 & 5).
From clients that are using our technology we know that an additional benefit of having employees (your continuous improvement team) to interact with the AI is that their jobs will become more interesting, hence increasing retention.
TREND 7 (AI increasingly used to create films, music, and games) can be used to train new employees or re-skill existing employees in a faster, more effective and cheaper way. This could for example imply that AI will be used to train people to use (different types of) AI !!!