Imagine sitting down for dinner in an upscale restaurant, waiting for your food and seeing it delivered not by a server, but by a flying drone. This may seem a bit futuristic, but it’s soon to be a reality in some places in the world. It’s also a glimpse into how automated technology is beginning to infiltrate just about every industry on earth. In the office realm, robots have been deployed for decades, delivering maximum efficiency and productivity at a minimal cost. But what, exactly, is intelligent automation and why should it matter to your business? Let’s take a look.
Intelligent automation takes regular process automation to a whole new level. Instead of merely carrying out predefined steps and processed, automation powered by artificial intelligence is capable of evolving and improving on its own over time. As tasks and workflows are performed, the data obtained during the process is then used to automatically improve how they are performed in the future. Intelligent automation can also help identify and optimize best practices, enabling business leaders to make more data-driven and therefore accurate decisions.
But if technology is capable of being “smart” and intuitive, does that mean it will eliminate the need for human workers? Does this spell the end for the human workforce altogether? Not necessarily. To the contrary, the purpose of intelligent automation in the workplace is to change the way businesses operate by augmenting and complementing human capabilities. In other words, automation powered by AI is meant to make the lives of human employees easier, allowing them to perform their jobs more effectively.
How is this possible? The ideal scenario would see humans and machines working in tandem. After all, even the smartest software in the world cannot yet replicate certain human characteristics that are necessary in business, such as emotion and cognition. Robots, such as chatbots, can deliver basic customer support and deliver quick, efficient answers to general questions but when it comes to complex situations and personal connections, human agents are still the key.
Intelligent automation comes into play where the need for precision and accuracy exist, when tasks are mechanistic, repetitive or even dangerous, and when vast amounts of data are involved. As a result of this new technology, new opportunities have begun to emerge. Thanks to automation, workers can now focus on learning new skills, performing tasks that are more complex, creative or cognitive in nature. The two working side by side ensure that the underlying organization continues to operate at peak performance, leveraging the latest technology and running as efficiently and effectively as possible.
The added benefit of intelligence in automation today is making significant impacts in a variety of industries. Take for example the finance sector. Many institutions are leveraging natural language processing as a tool to identify fraud and improve compliance. Law enforcement officers are applying computer vision to achieve better facial recognition and the healthcare industry is taking advantage of intelligent technology to gain insight from vast amounts of data in an effort to improve patient care.
Ultimately, it can be said that we have reached a point in time when organizations and business leaders must focus their efforts on helping people achieve more with the help of advanced technology. As a result, shift in how workplaces operate will continue to occur. Like it or not, disruption is occurring all around us and only those enterprises that embrace change and are willing to ride the wave – including that of intelligent automation – will emerge on the other side successful.