#Success as a Service: The Case for Software Services: Factoring Subject Matter Expertise into Software Solutions
Business automation and other software tools have been around for decades. The delivery of information technology continues to advance and revolutionize the modern workforce. While there are many providers of information technology and tech services, a key difference with Infinite Technologies, Inc. is the incorporation of subject matter expertise into software solutions.
Subject Matter Expertise for Automation of Routine Tasks
We all appreciate that computer systems are remarkably effective at automating tasks. The use of standardized workflows and the application of rules-based processing provide many benefits to include:
- Speed of Processing – Automation saves time
- Quality – Digital checks and balances provide software-assisted review
- Cost Savings – Once codified, the ability to process information is simplified and streamlined
FTPM is a rule-based tool to help units and commands prepare for audits while helping to save time and money by automating the review and matching of fuel receipts and flagging items, such as errors or duplicate bills, for follow up
Understanding this, ITI recognized the opportunity to improve the reconciliation process for the Air Force Wing Refueling Document Control Officers. The Fuel Transaction Program Management (FTPM) tool was implemented to help fly units and commands prepare for audits, save time and money by automating the review and matching of fuel receipts, and flag items such as errors or duplicate bills for follow up. The manual effort of reconciling and reviewing hundreds of thousands of transactions each year is manually intensive and the budget impacts of improperly charged transactions are massive. ITI worked closely with Subject Matter Experts with decades of experience to capture specialized knowledge before these SMEs retired. Substantial efforts were made to identify, codify, and validate business rules used by these experts to check each transaction and highlight transactions for review or follow up. Another benefit of FTPM was the ability to share this information and expertise across other organizations within the DoD (Department of Defense). Furthermore, the business rules are easy to maintain as business conditions or processes change. That means a rule can be changed in one place, but all who are using that rule will benefit from the change as it is propagated across the system.
Subject Matter Expertise for Decision Support
The CAFDEx® Weapon Systems Sustainment tools have been incorporated DECADES of knowledge from subject matter experts who have been involved with all aspects of the Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution for the USAF – from program office to funds holder to the pentagon. The resulting product serves multiple dimensions and perspectives for a Total Force solution with credibility and traceability for confident decision making.
In addition to embedding SME knowledge into software for efficiency and knowledge continuity, SMART (Systematic, Metric –driven, Algorithms for pRedictive analysis and opTimization) tools such as those designed to support Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution (PPBE) will apply organized expertise to volumes of historical transactional data for decision support. SMART tools include alerts, analytics, and data exploration to support forecasting, optimization, and other forms of decision-making.
Optimization algorithms deployed in the CAFDEx® FRM tool, for example, will efficiently allocate funding based on priorities and risk tolerance across thousands of requirements within minutes. The optimization algorithms perform in minutes what used to take days or even weeks for a subject matter expert to do. Additionally, continual process improvement and deep learning have contributed toward refining and improving system functionality
What’s Next? Subject Matter Expertise for Incorporation into AI-based decision making
However, just like all computer software and systems, it is only as good as the code, logic, development, and foresight that is put into it. As the old saying goes, “garbage in, garbage out.” Some of the most prevalent concerns surrounding AI and its use are related to robots replacing humans in the workforce, but recalls prompted by autonomous driving software, and the need for additional training on newer automated flight systems, highlight the clear and present danger AI can present to human health and safety.
Within the technology space, and particularly within the operations sector, the capability of AI continues to increase. Subject matter expertise will have an outsized impact across key business areas such as organizational systems, services, and processes. More low-skilled, routine tasks will be subsumed through AI, and high-skilled, knowledgeable employees will be necessary to manage these automated systems and programs. AI will accelerate product delivery, improve overall quality, and be useful in expediting solutions, but without “Human Intelligence” or Subject Matter Expertise, AI is just a vessel waiting to be filled. Quality in, quality out.
Knowledge is Key
Obtaining the knowledge to create technical solutions is key. At ITI, we utilize several techniques and methods from extensive code libraries to user story collection and vetting.
Primarily, we do this with strong customer partnerships including vertical and horizontal communication. We appreciate being able to work shoulder to shoulder with our customers, staff, and senior leadership. If there is a time sensitive deliverable, we rise to the occasion and relish the opportunity to come in early, stay late, and get the job done. We believe that hard work and commitment to doing the ‘hard things’ enable us to deliver $1.25 for every $1.00 spent; project after project, year after year.
Our onsite and field resources have process and industry expertise to interface with many diverse types of customers, decipher customer wants and needs, and translate that into tried-and-true technical solutions and products. For our Department of Defense customers, this has included hiring Veterans and retirees with decades of relevant, transferable skills and experience. At ITI, we look forward to continuing these partnering opportunities to provide #Success as a Service.
CAFDEx® Enterprise Solutions
For over two decades, the CAFDEx® enterprise tools and solutions have delivered Success as a Service for government and commercial entities. CAFDEx® tools are highly configurable backed by world class support. We deliver Success as a Service.