Engineering firm GHD says it will hire at least 20 automation and artificial intelligence professionals across Australia over the next 12 months.
Sukalp Sharma, digital experience practice director for the southern hemisphere at GHD Digital, told iTnews that Covid-19 had caused GHD's clients to become more resilient and cost-effective.
“Due to its non-invasive nature and rapid turnaround ability, software robotics and automation technologies afford the operational flexibility to help organisations reconfigure and quickly adapt to the changed and continually shifting external context," Sharma said.
“We plan to continue focusing on intelligent automation to help drive successful outcomes for both GHD and our clients.”
Sharma said emerging trends in the robotic process automation (RPA) space had influenced the company's hiring process and preferences.
He said there had been a shift away from simple rules-based automation to artificial intelligence powered "hyperautomation".
Hyperautomation, which combines RPA, intelligent business management software and AI, is seen by Gartner as a precursor to the creation of digital twins - virtual replicas of physical buildings and other facilities.
Sharma said GHD had created some automation around the application of fringe benefit tax (FTB), invoice processing and reviewing community feedback for an oil & gas producer.
The fringe benefit tax automation enabled business-wide expenses to be reviewed and categorised by 'automated digital workers'.
Invoice processing automation, meanwhile, had significantly reduced manual work.
“With automation and artificial intelligence-based document 'understanding', we have automated the processing of approximately 60,000 invoices annually (different formats from different vendors), reducing the manual effort by 75 percent, significantly improving the turn-around time," Sharma said.
“We also ran an automated review of 100,000-plus feedback posts from community members regarding a new project to help a client better understand any key concerns or risks highlighted by the community.”
Since creating GHD Digital in 2018 the company has rapidly grown its automation team to around 15 professionals, with further plans to grow to 100 professionals globally across Australia, North America and Asia Pacific, added Sharma.