AI for back office falls into two broad categories – generic activities done in all industries such as sales order processing; and sector-specific work such as insurance claims processing.
Back office processing is the first example of a “killer app”. Historically, it was the reason computing first moved from Government applications (e.g. census, defence) into business.
We’ve moved a long way from early applications like the Lyons Tea Shop and GE’s payroll. But in many ways, we still use computers in the back office to broadly automate what people do.
In its latest incarnation, back office computerisation uses AI to achieve immense increases in efficiency, and is now called RPA (Robotic Process Automation).
The focus of RPA is typically efficiency rather than transformation. AI is more often used to drive transformational change to processes in sector-specific situations. For example, extreme situations like post-hurricane recovery has caused some insurance firms to reconsider the basic assumptions traditionally made in claims processing. This will allow them to use AI to approach claims from hurricane victims in a radically different way, previously not possible without this technology.
Some cross-industry areas of Back Office Processing where AI, ML & Big Data can be applied include:
Quote-to-cash (Sales Order Processing)
Procure-to-pay (Invoice Processing)
Compliance & Regulatory Reporting
Some industry-specific back office processes where AI, ML & Big Data can be applied include: