There has always been giant leaps in innovation ever since the phone was invented. From talking to kin on the other side of the globe to wireless mobile phones, access to the internet on mobile devices, a lot has changed in what technology can deliver.
Over the last few years, with quick access to smartphones and wearable devices, it has been helping users and enterprises perform complex tasks all controlled by the push of a few buttons. And now, artificial intelligence is making a greater impact with its predictive platforms and virtual assistants.
Gartner predicts that 30% of all companies will use AI to augment at least one of their sales processes, by 2020. Likewise, enterprises, globally, are investing in emerging technology platforms to meet customer expectations and deliver a superior experience. While these processes seek to imitate human actions, they eliminate repetitive and time-consuming activities. This has led enterprises to reduce errors, efforts, and costs and boast of high ROI’s in a very short timeframe.
According to NICE, 30% of processes can be automated for higher efficiency gains. This sudden explosion of robots and machines at the workplace can be factored as the rise of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as bots have become the front and center of any intricate activity.
With robotic process automation (RPA), being quick to implement, business operations can be seamlessly integrated and scaled without having to face a downtime or rebuild systems. The bots involved can manage anything from cognitive assessment to execution, and data migration to complex analysis using artificial intelligence and analytics in order to gather meaning and context from data.
Research conducted by KPMG reveals that RPA offers a 40 to 75 percent reduction in costs while processes can run non-stop 24X7.
Subsequently, there is a rising fear that jobs which involve interpersonal interaction and creativity are regarded to be much safer. Even though technology and automation are changing the landscape of employment across the globe, this environment actually proves to be an opportunity more than a risk. It allows employees to spend more time on gaining value-added skills, explore newer areas of development, and collaborate on projects while also focusing on tasks that require a greater deal of attention to detail.
But are enterprises ready to leave it all under the control of bots?
Robotic Workforce Supervision – the principal officer
Bots are becoming smaller, more efficient, and have the ability to learn through familiarity. Process automation bots are no different. Through a series of commands and algorithms, they can interpret applications and perform defined tasks that may include completing a customer transaction, triggering responses, or generating reports without direct control of man.
By 2020, Gartner forecasts that the RPA software market will grow by 41% year over year.
Therefore, businesses are beginning to bank on robotic workforce supervision to ensure processes are in place to eliminate errors that can otherwise be caused by human negligence. Using an intuitive dashboard, it raises alerts during automation breaches much in advance.
Experts also believe that technology will not be fully able to complete tasks at all times. When competing with the human mind, machines are still limited, in terms of flexibility and adaptability and are incapable of making decisions on its own. Therefore, workforce supervision guarantees automation breaches are identified early on and fixed to prevent downtimes or complications.
Trust – the underlying factor in workforce supervision
According to research conducted by Business Insider, by 2020, the ratio of electronic devices to humans will reach 4:1 i.e an average of four devices for every individual. Together they will form a part of the Internet of Things generation.
Establishing trust between man and machine prevents workforce automation from completely taking over. The reason – humans may prefer interacting with another person more than a robot. As access to automation reduces costs for the enterprise if you are in the customer’s shoes would you choose to get advice from a robot that limits the level of human touch and empathy to a minimum?
Moreover, it is impossible for robots to maintain themselves. Only humans can be trusted to navigate and make structured and ethical decisions in any environment on the job. They can also handle situations and fix snags on all machines, systems, and processes.
What does the future hold for workforce supervision?
RPA can be tagged as today’s modern age outsourcing. With automation technology evolving largely, the potential economic impact for it is said to be nearly $6.7 trillion by the year 2025.
According to reports by IDC, by 2018 a third of robotic deployments will be smarter and efficient enough to collaborate with other robots and work safely with humans. Soon enough they will be able to improve their own performance and take control of more elaborate decision-making using a combination of RPA and additional programming. After all, it will only be a matter of time before bots exceed the intellectual capacity of humans.
However, in the whirlwind of enterprises employing bots, the question arises - whether the current technological revolution is making humans lose out on the race between man and machine? Or is it just a myth?