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Business & Technology Services
8 October 2019

A machine-first model makes enterprises AI-ready. It combines the here-and-now of automation with future-proof architecture that allows you to incrementally leverage AI capabilities to enable enterprise-wide transformation.

If a business process can be automated, why not automate it? If people can perform more valuable tasks, why not let them?

Machine First

Machine First Delivery Model (MFDM™) is a strategic approach to maximizing the productivity of resources by focusing on their potential value.

“MFDM™ is about constructing an AI ecosystem that is in a continuous learning mode to increase the capability of the enterprise.”

From computing power to processes, and from people to data, most enterprises have these core or key ingredients in place. But the challenge or opportunity lies in how these are distributed, connected and how these people, processes, and systems collaborate to deliver business outcomes.

Speaking about MFDM™ at the TCS Summit in Geneva, Executive Vice President, PR Krishnan (PRK) explained:

“Today, we are at a point where technology can read a text message and understand speech; it can even interpret images and video. The amount of data coming into the enterprise is enormous. There needs to be an investment in the technologies needed to make that data machine-understandable, which means organizations must also be ready for the integration of multiple technologies across their operations.”

There are plenty of cases within most businesses for starting this journey that allows machines first right of refusal. It may be something as obvious as a chatbot acting as your first line of customer service or technical help – routing customers to the right information or the right people in a way that enhances the overall customer experience while adopting a commercially prudent stance.

Change Next

To continue this journey, there are three key imperatives for the enterprise when it comes to unleashing the power and potential of AI and automation.

The first is heterogeneity. Most, if not all, businesses use multiple technologies. So whatever comes next must be able to work alongside newer digital tools as well as older legacy ones. Not only should newer technologies integrate seamlessly with older ones, they must harness the wealth of intelligence and computing power that lies within the legacy systems to deliver the machine first advantage.

The second is granularity in terms of the processes that back enterprise operations. These processes must be aligned to the business goals of the enterprise so as to not become a barrier to progress, a drain on resources, or a prohibitive cost. By integrating processes and augmenting these with cognitive and human intelligence can take enterprises to the next level of automation. Eventually, the goal is to arrive at a point where technologies that are embedded within operations and processes can run with zero-touch from humans, or very close to zero-touch.

Executive Vice President, PR Krishnan (PRK) told delegates at the  TCS Summit:

“Part of the success of that will be dependent on taking people with detailed contextual knowledge within your enterprise, and ensuring they can contribute meaningfully into the automation of those processes.”

People Always

The third of these enterprise imperatives is industrialization. In an era where automation and the Internet of Things (IoT) are redefining business landscapes, the opportunities are enormous. According to Juniper Research, there could be more than 38 billion devices connected to the IoT by next year. The amount of data that will generate is beyond anything IT systems could have handled just a few years ago. For enterprises, this will mean looking to processes and platforms to operate at scale and keep on scaling. And people will be fundamental to this.

The machine first doesn’t equate to people last. Leaders will have to take on the responsibility of training and transforming the people within their business so that they can drive transition – from traditional roles of doers of work to evaluators of the work of machines.

The products, platforms, and people you invest in and deploy today have the potential to reshape your business, to improve productivity, and liberate the value you get from your investments in technology – and your people, the very future of your enterprise.

About the author(s)
Business & Technology Services

TCS’ Business and Technology Services organization combines the power of business excellence with digital innovations to help enterprises and leaders be purpose-driven and performance-oriented, making the shift from shareholder value to stakeholder value. By harnessing the abundance of data, talent, connectivity and capital, B&TS helps leading companies around the world build ecosystems that fuel growth and innovation, foster collaboration and engagement across ecosystems, improve health, safety, and well-being, enabling empowerment and inclusivity, and driving sustainability and positive environmental impact.