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  • Tim Spriggs

TECH TRENDS: So what of AI, Process Automation & the relentless progress of Digital Transformation?

Years ago, I used to work with Case Management Systems at Law firms and indeed, helped develop increasing functionality in these ‘process driven’ systems as, what is now known as, a ‘Citizen Developer’ 😊 But now the world has changed significantly; not just in the Legal sector but in nearly all aspects of our lives! Today, we encounter advanced ‘process driven’ systems powered and enabled by Artificial Intelligence and it’s various spin offs. To give an illustration, just walk into an ‘Amazon Go’ store, pick up what you want and walk out again without ever talking to a human being!

Just at the time of writing this months newsletter article, a seminar on how modern retailers are using ‘innovative’ technology to streamline and improve their business processes was held in our office building China Works. I thought; ‘this sounds interesting, I think I’ll register and listen to what’s being said!’

The panel members, drawn from Selfridges, M&S, Salesforce, New Look and TfL, gave us some real life insights into what ‘innovation‘ means to them and how they navigate challenges to bring ideas to life. Here’s some of the takeaways and comments from that


  1. Corporate “treacle” slows down innovation. A familiar problem perhaps in “getting things done”?

  2. One of the panellists said that technology (was) holding innovation back but that suddenly, come the pandemic & hybrid working, Microsoft Teams was able to be implemented in 2 or 3 months and not the previously quoted 18! Funny that, just shows that often “artificial barriers” or “excuses” are given for why things can’t get done!

  3. A variation of, or contributor to, the “corporate treacle” above, is the “traditional” operational “silos” & financial structures in organisations that slow down innovation. Again something we might all have experienced, or “sensed”? This can lead to great frustration and inertia within an organisation.

  4. If brands don’t innovate and adapt to change they can die. Examples cited included Nokia (still a $22bn company but where have the phones gone!) & Blackberry...where are they now?

  5. Most major retailers have had to adapt or innovate to retain customers. People can, and are, going direct to “brands”. Witness the explosion in ‘on-line’ retail that has been exacerbated over the last couple of years given Covid and lockdowns etc.

Read more about these challenges, AI, Decision Intelligence, RPA, Hyperautomation and more in future editions of “The Click”…

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