Excerpt from the eBook
When first introduced, RPA and OCR were exciting and welcomed developments for finance professionals because they automated a wide range of routine, repetitive tasks.
Unfortunately, like many initial technological advances, RPA and OCR were not “silver bullets.” Instead, adopting RPA and OCR brought along significant frustrations, including a lack of responsiveness, repetitive interventions to update inputs, and an inability to work with unstructured data or rules.
But with recent advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI), many SaaS solutions are now addressing the limitations of RPA and OCR. When combined with AI-enhanced technology such as natural language processing and computer vision, RPA and OCR offer enterprises the potential to improve the automation of processes, reduce implementation costs, and enable easier maintenance, far beyond RPA and OCR alone.
While definitions of Artificial Intelligence vary, most view it as computer systems that simulate human intelligence by solving complex problems or decision-making. This intelligence is made possible by training AI with models and system configurations, enabling AI to take action automatically without additional human effort.
AI solutions are powerful because they draw deductions and make decisions on their own, without the need for additional human intervention.
AI solutions are powerful because they draw deductions and make decisions on their own, without the need for additional human intervention. After being schooled on patterns and behaviors with training data sets, AI takes the proper action as needed. With Machine Learning (ML), AI continually improves, so the longer it works with a data set and observes human actions, the more learning the AI will pick up and take over. This learning process translates to improved accuracy and a reduction in costly errors, with continuous improvement over time.
AI is also highly flexible. Unlike RPA or OCR, which relies entirely on predefined rules, activities, and structured data to automate repetitive processes, AI systems are flexible enough to work with both structured and unstructured (e.g., visual data such as photos and videos) information. AI also handles inconsistent inputs and adapts to changes in formats. Simply put, AI systems offer more fluidity, reactivity, and flexibility during the automation of processes than RPA and OCR alone.
AI systems offer more fluidity, reactivity, and flexibility during the automation of processes than RPA and OCR alone.
Finally, AI systems outpace RPA and OCR on their own, thanks to AI’s ability to combine and use cognitive automation, machine learning, reasoning, hypothesis generation and analysis, and natural language technologies to produce insights and automate actions. With AI, the most advanced computer systems become more widely available to all parts of the organization, and especially to finance where it is needed most. Enhancing legacy tech with artificial intelligence helps to correctly and accurately address and resolve the manual, labor-intensive aspects of the finance office.
Another major reason to adopt AI-powered technology?
The cost savings.
Many AI-powered tools and technologies are Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) based, and as many professionals know, SaaS solutions are most often the more cost-effective option.
SaaS solutions are designed to serve as a configuration platform suitable for various clients and their needs. With SaaS, features and integrations are created to work for the majority, which makes SaaS AI systems easier to install, use, and maintain. And it means less IT involvement, so scheduling resources and budgeting for an automation project is easier and less time-consuming.
Additionally, AI-powered SaaS solutions typically deliver big wins in ease and cost efficiency. The SaaS vendor typically provides installation and implementation, and support staff for the platform is part of the bargain. This convention reduces the need for professional services and extended implementations, and allows business team members to adopt automation quickly while also reaping the benefits sooner.
AI-powered SaaS solutions typically deliver big wins in ease and cost efficiency.
SaaS systems also offer up the benefit of automatic updates done by the vendors. By automatically installing updates, maintaining security standards, and installing the latest threat protection, upgrades become a seamless process that does not require extensive IT involvement. Continuous bug fixes, patches, and new feature rollouts ensure all applications and integrations with other systems function properly and are up-to-date, with testing and quality assurance performed by the SaaS vendor before roll-out.
For the IT department, AI-powered SaaS solutions also serve as quick-win projects. Installation requires little IT involvement, and training to operate the SaaS is often simple and user-friendly. Even better? Once AI systems are implemented, IT focuses on other, more pressing projects and internal needs.
Pre-configured and advanced AI-powered SaaS technology is a lighter lift for enterprises seeking an affordable solution to automating routine financial processes.
Overall, pre-configured and advanced AI-powered SaaS technology is a lighter lift for enterprises seeking an affordable solution to automating routine financial processes. AI SaaS is easy to implement, simple for many team members to operate with no code or low code systems, and is easier to maintain, thanks to automatic updates for security and integrated applications.
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