CompassX May 2019

True North A COMPASSX CONSULTING PUBLICATION

Inside This Issue The Effects of AI How to Hire a World- Page 1 Page 2

Class Consultant By the Numbers Book Review Will Your Next Car Be Electric?

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large volumes of data with scenario-planning mechanisms to generate enhanced insights into their market segments. Personnel engagement is the use of a platform to interact with employees or customers based on extracts from various sources of data. Example: an application used by field salespeople to better target a prospective customer base. The shared service center concept brings obvious benefits — providing mostly repetitive, transactional services with lower labor costs while capturing synergies and expertise by consolidating that work in one location. Business functions such as finance, HR, and IT are some of the most popular that utilize this concept. However, the dynamics of these centers are changing with the rapid adoption of artificial intelligence, particularly since SSCs are expected to perform work that is highly transactional and the ripest for the current generation of AI. If they have not already, leaders who manage SSCs need to seek a greater degree of functional business acumen from current and new employees. Changes resulting from the AI phenomenon in the corporate environment will require leadership to transform the vision and strategy behind these centers. Leaders, in turn, should redefine expectations and communicate these to center employees while reserving even higher areas of the business-value chain for those able and ready to embrace it.

THE IMPACT ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE WILL HAVE ON SHARED SERVICE CENTERS

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has generated countless discussions over the past few years, with some of these conversations progressing into how AI will affect the workforce both positively and negatively. For example, great efficiencies are being promised, but one significant downside is potential staff reductions. Most Fortune 500 companies utilize shared service centers (SSCs) to perform work tasks that are ripe for deploying AI. Although executives long for greater and greater workplace productivity, large, involuntary workforce reductions carry a heavy weight, create an adverse culture, and bring forth negative publicity. Leaders should begin thinking about their road map, particularly those leaders who oversee SSCs. Robotic process automation (RPA), machine learning, and deep learning are a few phrases that describe the nature of artificial intelligence. These terms bewilder many, so let’s first clarify what artificial intelligence is and the various categories

that exist within its framework. Artificial intelligence (AI) can be defined as the use of advanced technology to execute business tasks that would otherwise be manually performed by people, which is why there will be a significant impact on future workforce planning. The Harvard Business Review has appropriately categorized AI into three distinct areas to cover the entire spectrum of activities. Business process automation is the automation of repetitive and simple transactional tasks. Example: the systematic collection, processing, and approval of invoices with specified threshold amounts. Data analysis and insight generation is the gathering and transformation of multiple sources of input data to generate specifically tailored outputs so that decision-makers are better informed in their roles. Example: a demand-forecast platform for company products, which combines

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