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AI and Automation Trends to Elevate Your Business

Published: March 8, 2023
Man on computer featuring AI generated text bubble from Open AI’s ChatGP

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has been making headlines recently with the launch of open-source AI platforms like ChatGPT, among many others. What started as a concept and framework back in the 1950s has now been integrated into almost every aspect of our lives, most of the time without us even knowing. 

Think about the chatbots helping you on your favorite websites, driverless cars, or other areas of your life where technology is the main interface. ChatGPT has become so popular that it has eclipsed other services and platforms by racing to one million users in just five days – sorry Facebook, it took you 10 months!

Customer using a cell phone and computer to speak with an automated customer service chat bot

While individuals have embraced the technology and the opportunities that it brings, adoption by businesses, especially small and medium businesses (SMBs), has taken a bit longer. 

AI, machine learning, technology and automation are ubiquitous throughout our society, so as SMBs start to investigate how to leverage this technology, it only makes sense that we start to look at AI and automation in ways to help our businesses become more efficient and effective.

Intersection of AI and Automation

iphones side by side displaying ChatGPT and google search engine

AI and automation are incredible technologies in their own rights. They’ve modernized how business is done and enabled organizations to become stronger and more effective. We’ve seen businesses implement automation in various ways over the decades, and more recently AI and intelligent technology have started to fuse with automation in ways not previously imagined. 

Nobody can question the value of each of these individual technologies, but when you combine them in strategic ways, their power is undeniable. Automation and AI should work hand-in-hand as organizations look to continue streamlining their operations and processes while leveraging all available resources and tools. 

“It’s an exciting time to be a technology service provider, especially one that is embracing the evolution and intersection of open-source AI and automation solutions,” said Docubee President Steve Wilson. “Docubee was built around an API, so our platform was made to be compatible with new technology and solutions, like ChatGPT.” 

Docubee takes this partnership one step further to ensure the ability to seamlessly integrate AI technology to enhance the platform’s capabilities to better serve its clients. In fact, Docubee has already integrated AI technology as part of its automation solutions. 

With the launch of the ChatGPT Zapier Integration with Docubee, Docubee is revolutionizing how AI and automation can come together to streamline business processes. 

“AI can bring a tremendous amount of value to organizations, especially when it’s leveraged with automation, but it’s critical to understand these capabilities in order to make strategic and informed decisions for your organization,” Wilson added. 

AI and Automation Trends to Watch

AI and automation have come a long way in just a few decades, and there’s no denying the power and benefits they can deliver to organizations. But exactly how can that come to life for you and your business? 

We’re glad you asked, because here are four AI and automation trends your small business needs to understand — and possibly, embrace. 

#1: AI and Automation Finally Unite

Individually AI and automation have accelerated growth in their own ways for businesses in every industry across the globe, even the ones slow to embrace it. 

Automation has allowed organizations to gather critical information and analyze business data to optimize performance quickly and accurately. From document routing and employee onboarding to collecting signatures and ensuring compliance, workflow automation has ushered in a new era of executing critical, but repetitive, tasks in an efficient and effective way. 

At the same time, AI has risen as a vital tool to enhance business capabilities and address organizational needs, including automating processes, data analysis, and audience engagement. While the number of AI tools continues to grow, organizations who embrace the technology report improved scalability, increased accuracy and efficiency, and higher productivity. 

It’s not until recently that these two technologies have started to come together in meaningful ways for both frontend users and businesses.  

Sometimes referred to as intelligent automation (IA), the integration of these technologies allows organizations in various industries to streamline processes, free up resources, and optimize efficiencies. 

As a technology provider, Docubee has led the way by integrating these technologies to find efficiencies for repetitive tasks and workflows that require customization. 

#2: Analyzing Sentiment for Customer Service

Businesses have worked hard and spent a lot of money to understand customer or client sentiment. The struggle is real and there are as many tools as there are opinions about how and why this information should be collected. 

One thing most people can agree is that today, it’s vital to understand how your key audiences feel at every level of interaction with your brand. With so much information that can be gathered, how do you choose what you want, and more importantly how do you gather it in a meaningful way? 

AI tools are being leveraged in new ways as we look at how we engage with customers, from website interactions and help lines to filtering and responding to customer feedback. Even with today’s AI solutions, this technology has shown to increase customer satisfaction, increase customer feedback, and increase efficiency. 

Looking ahead, AI solutions will continue to integrate with already automated workflows that expedite customer response time and increase favorable interactions with brands. 

#3: Creating New Beginnings with Old Ideas

AI has been around for decades, and the concept of automation has been around much longer. These ideas aren’t new, but how we go about executing them and the tools we use can be groundbreaking, even if they are based on old ideas. 

“It’s been pointed out by some that nothing is original in the world of art. Art builds on your experiences and the ideas you have seen from other people, so even if it’s subconscious, it could be said that art is copying other people’s ideas and putting your own spin on it,” said Wilson. “I think there’s a lot of truth when you apply that to AI and technology.” 

AI and new applications like ChatGPT generate the starting point of an idea from what has been published previously, whether it’s a digital painting or sales contract. The data we receive is only as good as the data that is put in. As humans, we can then build on that starting point by applying our own perspective, expertise, and creativity to make a new derivative work of “art”. 

As we look ahead, businesses shouldn’t shy away from utilizing AI and automation as the catalyst for inspiration. The creation of a first draft of a customer agreement or blog post in the right automated workflow can still drive value. Technology just combines the data or “old pieces of colored glass” and creates the starting point for you to put your final flourish on.

#4: Powering Functionality Across SMBs:

example of ChatGPT used to create content for a profile

If there’s one thing SMBs don’t usually have extra of it is personnel or resources. The ideas of virtual assistants, freelancers, and contractors have long been the go-to solutions to find efficiencies, ensure expertise, and complete tasks. Not anymore. 

AI, especially when combined with automation, is changing the way SMBs look at staffing and critical daily administrative tasks, which in many cases can be fully integrated. 

For instance, document automation for contracts is a function Docubee often sees clients struggle with. Not only can creating individual contracts and forms create a backlog of work, but version tracking can get overwhelming, collecting signatures can be exhausting, and then where do you put it once you have it? 

Need it translated for a client – no problem. Have an addendum that needs to be added – absolutely. Ready to collect the eSignature and file it away – consider it done. 

AI and automation are taking the cumbersome and time-consuming parts of that process and filling in the gaps so SMBs can focus on ensuring accuracy and running their business. If you’re a small business, this adds a tremendous amount of processing power, almost providing an extra employee without the overhead. 

As with every shiny new technology, it’s crucial to not just understand the proficiencies, but also to be aware of possible risks.

Risks of AI in Today’s Business

man working for small manufacturing company on computer

Adoption of AI technology has been shaky at best for some industries. Technology, education, business services, manufacturing and finance are leading the way, according to data from Statista.

But there’s some hesitancy to invest in these technologies, especially for SMBs, which is understandable. A separate study revealed that less than 30% of small businesses have adopted AI tools. The same study stated that the main problem with adopting those solutions is lack of expertise. 

“AI technology is an exciting frontier, but it’s important to understand how and where these solutions can benefit your organization’s processes,” said Wilson. “Most importantly, you need to understand that AI provides a starting point, not a final product, as this technology is only as good as the data it receives.” 

Whether you’re integrating automation and AI to support repetitive tasks, streamlining paperwork processes, enhancing customer engagement, or creating contracts, there’s still a critical need for human intervention at key points throughout those processes. 

How Will Automation and AI Unfold?

We’re currently at the tip of the iceberg with more solutions being introduced daily. Let’s think about how AI has been used to help small businesses: 

  • Creating chatbots for websites. 
  • Generating code to build applications. 
  • Writing content like blogs, social media posts, executive bios, and more. 
  • Generate documentation for new customers. 
  • Creating, circulating, and collecting contracts and forms. 
  • Assisting in sentiment analysis for reviews and customer service emails. 
  • Providing sales and marketing team support. 

The list goes on and on, and until recently, AI wasn’t a big part of the conversation around these necessary daily tasks for small businesses. 

Times change and Docubee is leading the way. As a technology provider, it’s about identifying how to work with these technologies and harness them in a way that delivers greater value to our customers. It’s about looking at how AI fits into the processes and workflow so our customers can be more productive and efficient. 

Docubee takes AI one step further and we’ve put it into action by taking these technologies and integrating them to create workflow solutions that elevate small businesses as they grow and thrive. 

Ready to see how automation can drive your business? Start your free 14-day trial of Docubee.