Creating the Workforce of the Future
May 25, 2022 | Raleigh
Companies across all sectors are leveraging the latest advancements in automation and AI to create seamless workflows between job functions and lines of business. Business and IT professionals shared how they have transformed their operations to break down silos and optimize efficiency, how workplace culture is changing, what the future will look like in terms of processes and customer experience, and the jobs that will remain.
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- Joshua Bomba, Chief Information Technology Officer, State Employees’ Credit Union
- Troy Bryenton, Vice President, Information Technology, Syneos Health
- Diana Lee Caplinger, Executive Vice President, Head of Enterprise Enablement & Intelligent Automation, Truist
- Jerry Cuomo, Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, IBM Technology and Consulting
- Madhu Kochar, Vice President, Product Development, IBM Automation
- Bryson Koehler, Chief Product, Data, Analytics & Technology Officer, Equifax
- Amy Lewis, Senior Director, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, DICK’S Sporting Goods
- Trevor Pratt, Lead IT Architect, Duke Energy
- Agam Upadhyay, SVP, Chief Technology Officer, GSK
- Brody Ford, Reporter, Bloomberg News
- Janet Wu, Anchor & Reporter, Bloomberg
Transforming the Enterprise for Optimal Efficiency
It was not a matter of if, but when that rainy day would arrive, according to Amy Lewis, Senior Director, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, DICK’S Sporting Goods, summing up why business needs to invest in automation. During the COVID-19 quarantine, closed DICK’S stores became distribution centers, “leveraging the automation that was already in place, leveraging the backend systems,” to assure continued customer service, especially important at a time when people were doing more outdoor activities. Lewis spoke about creating true omnichannel experiences, and carefully-strategized human/AI partnerships as the secret sauce to great customer experience, what she called “not confusing the chihuahua with the blueberry muffin.
In the pharmaceutical industry, outages have a huge impact on both business and patients, said Agam Upadhyay, SVP, Chief Technology Officer, GSK. Along with mining data to predict and head off problems, they are mindful of the trap of “doing the wrong thing faster.“ When it comes to automating repetitive tasks, “Make sure they are the right thing to do before you put automation behind them.”
A formula to build employee trust of “the bot” was described by Jerry Cuomo, Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, IBM Technology and Consulting, adding that it can take up to 10 years for mission critical systems software to get to “auto-pilot mode.” The most exciting emerging new tech, he said, will be that which bridges the gap between business and IT automation. AI’s ability to enrich data “could flatten that next bump in the road.” Gone will be the days of using “Spidey sense” when mining data. Integrated data will be the basis for improving daily life, such as his recent “delightful experience” at the DMV.
Troy Bryenton, Vice President, Information Technology, Syneos Health, offered encouraging news that regulators are now acknowledging the benefits of the more accurate compliance data that automation provides. Trust also comes into play “because most people assume they are going to lose their job.” It comes down to explaining how the automation works, and including employees in decision-making. “Once you have that engagement, they’re the biggest advocates you can have. They will drive that change in the organization.”
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A big challenge in business right now is the growing data, and the need to analyze it. “It’s becoming impossible for humans,” said Trevor Pratt, Lead IT Architect, Duke Energy. And the talent shortage is requiring a shift to a more positive job experience. He talked about partnering with IBM, since 2017, currently using their tools, like Netcool, to integrate all systems and environments. Asked about the future, Pratt said the power player will be AI’s autonomous systems that will have the ability to learn and make real time adjustments.
Leveraging AI to Enhance the Customer Experience
“We all embrace change, until our own world changes,” Joshua Bomba, Chief Information Technology Officer, State Employees’ Credit Union, said of the pushback against automation in UX. “Small, quick wins will build momentum.” Their goal is to move from a one-size-fits-all to a tailored experience. Their biggest challenge, however, is being “top of wallet” with customers who typically use multiple services.
Bryson Koehler, Chief Product, Data, Analytics & Technology Officer, Equifax noted that the company is a range of businesses that goes well beyond credit reporting. It operates in 26 countries and handles about 125,000 reach-outs per day, making it vital for them to use automation across all voice channels, the web, and paper.
There are about 200 regulatory bodies around the world, Koehler noted. Equfax uses automation to assure compliance, combined with on-the-ground tech teams to factor in local nuances for last mile oversight.
Asked about data security, Bomba said, “An army of IT officers could not compete with automation. We need to let the machines do the heavy lifting of mining data.”
Employees are absolutely happier working within automated systems, Koehler said, talking about fostering career trajectories. “We are constantly grooming and growing our workforce, and effectively engaging teams around the world.”
Case Study: Truist
The result of a recent merger between Suntrust and BB&T banks, Truist is leveraging AI in a number of spaces, said Diana Lee Caplinger, Executive Vice President, Head of Enterprise Enablement & Intelligent Automation, Truist. The priority was data extraction and transfer, and organizing the combined workforce to “put everyone on one set of rails,” while presenting a seamless user experience.
Caplinger said they call bots “digital workers” and give them human names. They connect to younger workers – “the ones who don’t even have a checkbook” – with a full, virtual reality lab. Those bots are upping the game for Truist in nontraditional ways. She described their “low dollar chargeback” programming that files fraud claims on behalf of clients. “Most would have been written off. Now, we recoup that through the credit card providers.” Caplinger said, adding. “It’s real money, not credit, so it matters a lot for the bank and our customers.” Asked to divulge how much it amounts to, she responded, “In the millions.”
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