Imagine for a moment that you’re attending an important business meeting and the CEO makes an announcement about which employee has been the most productive over the past month. Now, imagine if that statement is concluded – not with the name of you or any of your colleagues – but instead with the word…robot. More specifically, robotic process automation.
Could a machine actually take the place of employee of the month? The overall answer is yes. Here’s why.
It’s no secret that IT professionals are continually being asked to do more with less. That is, to be as efficient and productive as possible while simultaneously reducing the number of resources being used. As a result, IT leaders have to find a way to maximize output while also minimizing the time and costs associated with producing that maximum output. With human workers, this simply isn’t possible without either increasing the number of hours worked or hiring additional staff, neither of which are cost-effective.
Another area where IT departments experience a great deal of pressure is that of service levels. The expectations of delivering services and resolving issues quickly are increasing at a tremendous rate, and if those demands can’t effectively be met, the department and the organization as a whole could potentially lose its competitive edge. Yet again, in order for human employees to achieve these goals, they would either need to work more or hire additional staff.
Enter robotic process automation, or the software that can basically take on all the time consuming day to day tasks that the help desk currently handles. Whether it’s password resets, system monitoring, incident management or some other simple or complex workflow, robotic process automation can be leveraged for all of it. As a result, work is completed at a much faster rate, with fewer mistakes, driving productivity and efficiency up while also bringing costs down.
Many IT professionals are under the mistaken impression that RPA is somehow a threat to their livelihood. After all, if a robot can be used to do all these tasks, what’s the point of employing human workers? Why not automate the entire operation?
Well, for starters, many automated processes still require some human oversight of input. Secondly, while robotic process automation may take some of the work away from humans, it will inevitably free up skilled workers, enabling them to apply their skills to more complex and mission-critical business matters. So, in reality, RPA isn’t a replacement for humans, but rather a shift in responsibility. To that end, it should be embraced rather than feared and resisted.
So, at the next company meeting, when the big boss stands up and hails RPA as the company’s best employee, that doesn’t necessarily mean bad news for the people who work there. As long as robotic process automation is leveraged properly and viewed as the powerful and innovative tool it truly is, its role as employee of the month (or decade) is something that will make the jobs of human workers much easier and ultimately drive the ongoing success of the company as a whole.