By Timo Elliott, VP, Global Innovation Evangelist for SAP on Artificial Intelligence
As Picasso once said: “Computers are useless: they can only give you answers!”. To really succeed in business, It’s not about answering questions, it’s about asking the right questions in the first place. Or to put it another way, the most important thing in business is… knowing what’s important! And (thankfully), that’s an area where artificial intelligence will never rival human intelligence. Business people aren’t passive “users” of technology: they are the most important “technology” in the enterprise, and yet this technology is not being fully leveraged – because it’s hard to do so! Every time people interact with information and business processes, they add valuable insights – but all too often those insights are being wasted, because of the limitations of the systems we use to gather and leverage those insights. Human beings are the only technology available that can understand the full context of what’s not working well in every business process and function, and how to improve it. Organizations have, of course, paid close attention to things like customer and employee feedback for a long time, but people’s emotions, expectations, and insights are very different from the structured information that today’s systems are optimized for. This means that gathering experience information has generally been manual, limited, and episodic. Now, for the first time, new experience management platforms can harness these human insights at scale, with the possibility of improving every experience that matters. AI frees people from spending time on complex repetitive decisions, giving them more time to work on what’s important. Experience management can help spot and correct problems in real time, not only for customer-facing processes, but also in less glamorous areas like finance, logistics, or analytics.