In the age of automation, Machines make work more human


Finding new ways to drive productivity and profitability are a common goal for businesses in every industry.

However, now more than ever, organizations are increasingly facing pressures to reduce bugs, technology glitches and other performance issues while also keeping up with expectations for continuous, consistent delivery. At the same time, they are challenged with providing the best user experience at every interaction, since customers will settle for nothing less than a seamless, uninterrupted experience.

Dr. John Bates, CEO of Eggplant explains that as Businesses are now increasingly relying on flawless supply chain and logistics management, as customers continue to demand the most from their smart devices.

Emerging trends, like mobility and virtualization, impact the way consumers live, work and play, but are consequently having a huge impact in how businesses operate and are expected to operate. Customers will easily move their patronage to a competitor should their experience not be ideal.

To keep up with their competitors, many companies look to invest in highly skilled workers with advanced degrees, but due to an industry wide talent shortage in tech, such professionals are hard to find and are costly to bring onboard. To bridge this gap, companies are turning to technology to better equip teams. New generations of autonomous systems are being released, as technology improves and machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) become more sophisticated. Using AI and bots, companies can discover what’s important, locate challenges that need addressing and identify how to provide unrivalled customer experience to meet and exceed business outcomes without having to bring large amounts of new personnel onboard.

How AI and humans work alongside each other

To succeed in the age of automation, businesses first need to redefine roles and responsibilities for several of their existing employees, as innovations enable manual, repetitive tasks to be offloaded to machines, freeing up employees’ time to focus more on cognitive tasks. For example, technological advancements in transportation and logistics such as autonomous vehicles, drones, robots, and droids have already taken the load off manual work giving employees the opportunity to concentrate on strategic activities with greater added value. As a result, business can improve overall management efficiency and cost savings, minimize the possibility of errors and increase accuracy and employee performance.

While bringing many benefits to a business, automation will also displace some workers – roughly 15 percent of the global workforce between 2016 and 2030. Unlike humans, bots can work 24/7 without requesting holiday or taking sick leave, ultimately saving businesses money in the process. This contributes to increased efficiency, work rate, and delivers brand-new technologies and innovative opportunities to businesses. However, adoption will vary across industries and countries.

There will be a growth in demand for work as technology develops, creating new occupations that are more mindful, skilful and, in most cases, more interesting. Specifically, the automation shift will force workers to acquire new technological intelligence, training to both work alongside automation but also manage it to varying degrees. As robots are used more in the workplace, both human and machine will learn how to work closely together.

According to Gartner, AI augmentation will generate $2.9 trillion in business value and retrieve 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity, come 2021. By giving employees some of their time back, they can focus on ‘human strengths’, such as reasoning and emotional intelligence. This tech can have a profound impact on an employee’s quality of life. For example, in warehouses and construction sites, robotic technology can make employees’ jobs safer by eliminating potentially dangerous tasks like lifting.

RPA Growth is Driving Automation

Technology is now infiltrating the back-office operations in a mechanism commonly referred to as Robotic Process Automation (RPA). This is hardware and/or software that helps augment or replace human workers in tedious, mundane processes. It automates manual developer processes and helps business users be more effective, both by allowing them to focus on more strategic assignments and reducing errors that often arise when humans tackle repetitive work, which makes it enticing for businesses. Some of the biggest adopters of RPA software include banks, insurance companies, telcos and utility companies.

Additionally, RPA is quickly driving automation capability ahead of traditional IT, as it operates across multiple systems, interprets data from one program and applies it to another. It can adapt quickly to changing factors and learn accordingly. By removing continual tasks from humans for them to focus on their skills, RPA can improve ROI and operational efficiencies, as well as the customer experience. But it is imperative to run automated tests to ensure the software is functioning, as well as monitor the processes to ensure there are no bugs and track changes in order to continuously optimize the digital experience.

Traditional businesses have even harnessed new business models to effectively become digital products, competing to provide an effective experience. As products and industries become more connected, IoT will continue to present new revenue opportunities with companies being able to keep in touch with devices that are built for all types of applications and services.

Next Generation Automation

Technology is evolving as fast as ever. The fate of digital organizations is dependent on their ability to rapidly deliver products that delight users and intelligent automation is now critical in the race to scale and optimize DevOps. What can we expect for the future of automation?

  • Automation through the eyes of the user, by understanding images and text on the screen as a human would and drive any system similarly to a human.
  • Automation will work across many different systems, i.e. supply chain and warehousing processes may go across mainframe, desktop, web and mobile.
  • Intelligent automation – using AI to automate the process of creating automation by observing how people work, as well as ensuring automation is working – by automating the creation of automated tests.

From warehouse to healthcare, automation has and will continue making jobs better, in just about every way. As AI and machine-learning continue to develop, our jobs will become easier and dangerous labor will be a thing of the past.