March 2, 2021 4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
In recent months, concerns about the economic impact of the pandemic have been closely tied with a spate of panicked automation headlines like, “Will Robots Take Our Jobs In A Socially Distanced Era??”.
But there’s a different reality that showcases the importance of having a robust digital transformation strategy.
Already we have seen that incorporating new technologies has led to a dramatic shift in the way industries operate worldwide. We are also witnessing a significant rise in interest for robotic process automation (RPA), intelligent automation and artificial intelligence among business leaders who realize that intelligent automation demonstrates strong transformative potential across all industries.
Business leaders are accelerating the adoption of technologies they view as crucial to digital transformation efforts – like intelligent and robotic process automation – to help them thrive in this tumultuous business environment and beyond.
Intelligent automation as a competitive differentiator
Businesses are constantly met with new restrictions and 63% of business decision makers feel they are struggling to meet customer demands. 93% of those decision makers believe intelligent automation will help solve this problem.
Intelligent automation offers a number of key benefits, from time and money savings to improved efficiency. By implementing all capabilities found in RPA and connecting previously silo’ed departments and improving communication, intelligent automation can help businesses focus on more strategic work.
For example: One Michigan-based power company serving 2.2 million customers is using a digital workforce to halve the number of bills that need to be reviewed by human workers. By automating this process, and 35 others, the company is saving 250,000 man hours annually.
Implementation is on the upswing
Business leaders are looking to intelligent automation to help reap the benefits of a lighter workload and reduced financial burden. In fact, at the start of 2020, 92% of business leaders already had plans to roll out intelligent automation across their organizations – this number will only go up as we continue to experience the lasting impact of the pandemic.
Many companies have been building an automation-ready business culture and knowledge workers are ready to embrace their digital coworkers. Only 33% of employees still harbor fears about losing their jobs to automation and 81% have a strong understanding of the benefits intelligent automation can bring to their organizations. Overall, the past year has prepared leaders, and employees alike, to welcome technology that will make for a more agile and efficient hybrid workforce.
An adapting workforce
The past year has proved that our workforce is resilient, flexible and capable of adjusting to many challenges. As businesses around the globe embrace new work environments and technologies, we’ve seen a growing level of trust in automation as employees adapt to digital colleagues. They are excited about the opportunities intelligent automation creates, embracing benefits that allow them to focus more on creative, meaningful work. Businesses that provide employees with training and reassurance as these digital workers are introduced enable the smoothest transition.
As the financial strain of the pandemic continues, investment management firms are applying intelligent automation to end-to-end processes for loan applications, getting funds to those in need as quickly as possible. Healthcare organizations are automating the patient diagnostic process, reducing clinical risk by ensuring the process is fast and accurate.
As organizations in industries like healthcare and financial services introduce intelligent automation, they help their workforce adapt and upskill by retraining employees. In fact, 78% of organizations provide training opportunities when they introduce new technologies. Further 80% of knowledge workers feel comfortable reskilling, indicating a willingness to adapt alongside digital colleagues.
The coming robot apocalypse has been greatly exaggerated
What could the future hold with digital workers operating alongside human workers? Today’s intelligent automation is more sophisticated than ever and does not require the level of manual governance it once did. Businesses can train digital workers to do almost anything (payment processing, monitoring data integrity, management, etc.) freeing human workers to engage in more exciting roles.
Blue Prism intelligent digital workers are designed to be more accessible and intuitive to non-tech business users. By offering a no-code automation tool, business teams are empowered with agile operational automation capabilities. This vastly expands access and utilization of both in-house and third party technologies, allowing for business processes to become more easily repeatable, secure, auditable and scalable — ultimately resulting in higher customer satisfaction rates.
How much more can you achieve with digital workers at your fingertips?