The debate over whether robotic process automation is detrimental to the livelihood of the human worker continues to rage on. Some people remain convinced that more widespread adoption of this type of automation technology will inevitably lead to the demise of many jobs. In reality, people shouldn’t be fearful or resistant to RPA because contrary to popular belief, this technology is not meant to replace them, but instead help them (and their organizations) to work smarter instead of harder.
How much time does your company or IT team waste on routine, repetitive tasks? For every manual process, there are costs associated, both financially and from a productivity standpoint. If you’re paying top dollar for a highly skilled IT professional and that worker is spending half of his or her day working on mindless tasks like password resets and system restarts, you’re wasting your money, plain and simple. Beyond this, the valuable skills these individuals have to offer aren’t being utilized.
Robotic process automation isn’t supposed to leave all of these hard working professionals jobless. To the contrary, leveraging RPA to shift these mundane daily tasks to technology won’t necessarily replace the people sitting in the cubicles. It will, instead, free them up to focus on more complex tasks that do require human input and intelligence. Hence, the “working smarter” concept. This also gives the organization as a whole more bang for their buck.
RPA also provides unprecedented opportunity to scale on-demand, something that has daunted those in the IT industry for decades. Having to bring in additional staff when things scale up is neither easy nor is it financially wise. It’s especially challenging in situations which require immediate response. It’s highly unlikely that a business would have an entire contingent workforce at the ready the moment they’re needed. Likewise, scaling down when demands decrease is equally challenging.
Robotic process automation, on the other hand, is like having an army of skilled professionals at your command. This team can be activated at the flip of a switch to handle whatever volume and demands exist. Furthermore, your human workers are not burdened by the increased workload. When the necessary tasks are completed, the “robots” can then be sent back into the shadows where they’ll rest until the need for them rises again. No hiring or firing. No stress. Just results. And everyone is happy.
The key to changing the mindset about RPA lies in demonstrating how these benefits specifically apply to your employees. When people no longer fear being displaced by technology, and instead begin to view it as a tool that will make their jobs easier, minds will begin to be changed across the board. Even in situations where certain roles may be eliminated, other opportunities and alternatives will begin to emerge.
The fact is, there will always be a need for human intelligence in the workplace. The areas and degrees to which that need will exist remains to be seen. One thing seems certain, however. Robotic process automation is not going away any time soon. In fact, its capabilities and uses are only going to increase over the next ten to twenty years. Only those individuals and organizations that recognize and embrace the benefits of RPA will emerge as successful in the long run.