Organizations worldwide are putting their heads and hands together as they transition into the age of AI and implement technology to herald the future of work. HR leaders are working on answering many questions in the process, such as what is the role of HR in leading AI-driven transformation, what this change means for work and the workplace, what challenges lie ahead in the implementation of the technology, and what tangible impact AI will have on business.
In the first exclusive interview of our leadership and learning series, Sanjay Dutt, SVP and Global Head of EXL’s HR Centers of Excellence, talks to Manas Mainrai, Senior Vice President – Enterprise, APAC & India for Emeritus. The conversation goes deep into how data analytics and AI will change the nature of the workplace, how they will help businesses create value, and more.
Transforming client businesses at EXL with AI
Businesses no longer want to optimize just one process or a part of the process with tech and AI but expect EXL to lead end-to-end transformation.
Elaborating on the above, Dutt said that this transformation is based on the following factors:
- Using data to gain insights and integrate them faster with the help of AI,
- Provide elevated customer experience and
- Generate more value to go up the value chain.
“The driving question is, how can you run an entire business on the back of these three factors?” Dutt said. “That’s what we are trying to solve.”
Reimagining the workplace with AI
When it comes to reimagining the workplace of the future, technology today has the capacity to reduce physical barriers, improve and scale performance, and free the mind to think big. Organizations are undertaking rapid and iterative innovation to keep up with the fast-evolving technology of AI to define more clearly the impact it will have. According to Dutt, three changes are immediately and directly visible across industries and at EXL.
Technology & Hybrid Work
Built on the back of the digital adoption of the pandemic, technology is helping people get incredibly comfortable with hybrid work, and balancing work and life in ways they just could not before.
Access to Global Talent
As the physical barriers to hiring have reduced significantly, organizations and HR can capture value globally from a talent standpoint.
AI and Generative AI have freed up human time taken to perform tasks, allowing humans to tackle multidisciplinary problems of greater complexity, leading to more innovation and creating, in a positive sense, powerful people.
Improving Processes with Data
Data is the crucial component in the ever-evolving story of AI implementation in business operations, talent management, the structure of the workplace, and more. Across industries, organizations must streamline their data to consider using it for business transformations.
For instance, when it comes to supply chain management, data and AI have helped in scheduling trucks more efficiently or capturing consumer needs more accurately. But what leaders in the industry are working on is how this information can further support them to run an entire business end to end.
AI can draw connections between different datasets to provide insights that otherwise might have taken humans much longer to access. For businesses, this ability of AI to process current and historical data at speed will help them “climb the innovation ladder faster.”
But all data is essentially about people. It goes without saying that HR will gain incredible power, allowing them to learn more and gain a deeper understanding about their employees. This understanding can be used to enable employees to learn in the flow of work, perform better, and get desired results.
But all power comes with a caveat. AI and tech-driven HR practice is no different.
Mindful HR Practices in the Age of AI
As they lead tech-driven transformation, HR leaders must think about accountability and responsibility with respect to the use of data and technology. For instance, using AI to assess an employee’s leave pattern could be useful, but reaching out to the employee over it could be considered an intrusion on the employee’s privacy. Dutt questions using human-tech interventions and advises leaders to consider such situations as they adopt AI.
Dutt also emphasized that adopting technology and AI is incomplete if it’s only a top-down approach. “To ensure that employees are truly excited about the change, they should have enough opportunities to upskill themselves.”