The Age of the Machines – navigating the intelligent automation landscape and cutting through the hype

Ahead of Corinum’s AUTOMATE: 2018 event in Melbourne (27-28 February 2018)  we caught up with Michelle Hannan-Brown, Process Engineering Manager, CoE Process Engineering, Westpac (NZ), to talk about best practice and her thoughts about what the age of the machines will mean for business.


There is a lot of buzz at the moment around AI, RPA, machine learning etc. What does the future hold really with all these technologies going through such a big growth at the moment?

The future looks really interesting and full of a lot of opportunities. Heavily regulated industries may find, RPA and AI gives them the ability to ensure they can face these challenges while improving their customer & staff experiences.


What would be your best tips for organisations who are looking to get started with intelligent automation? What is the business case?

The recommendation I would give to any organisations who are starting to look at intelligent automation would be to not get perplexed with writing a business case. To really understand how effective this technology can be in your business the best approach I have found is to complete some rapid test and learn scenarios – see how the technology works in your business, with your people and customers. Then based on your own learnings you can develop a business case for further funding. This way you also don’t get dragged into the market hype around the kind of benefits you may see.


Do you see RPA as a gateway technology to true AI?

Yes – this is definitely how I have approached RPA. I look at RPA, AI and other technologies as being a suite of automation technologies, each with their own pros and cons. The trick is identifying the best places for each and then how you can scale.


How do you see the industry changing over the next few years?

I think there will be an ever growing focus on how you can utilise these technologies to help support face to face customer interactions, improve customer experiences and help differentiate your business from others in the same market.


Will intelligent automation be a threat to the existing workforce?

I think that it will change and augment our existing workforce – there will be a need for organisations to play a bigger part in helping their people plan their careers and provide or facilitate ongoing training and development as well as embracing a growth mindset.



Michelle Hannan-Brown, Process Engineering Manager, CoE Process Engineering, Westpac (NZ)

Join Michelle at the upcoming AUTOMATE: 2018 event as she makes her Keynote Address on The Age of Machines

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