Continuous advancements in automation technology are making waves in the workplace. If digital machines are automating processes and completing cognitive tasks, what does the future of business employment look like?
With the rise in the number of businesses implementing automation software, the technology is starting to cause some controversy. This software is popular because of its ability to streamline traditional business processes. Although it is popular with business leaders and executives, automation is facing controversy because of the impact it’s having on employment.
While automation doesn’t aim to replace jobs, the technology is taking over repetitive processes employees have traditionally conducted.
The future of business is uncertain, but your place in it doesn’t have to be. By understanding how different types of automation can affect your business, you’ll have a better chance of being able to leverage it as a tool for your company in the future.
Automation takes on many forms in business. The type of automation that is implemented in a business can change the way employees work. Knowing the different types of automation and what they do can help you prepare for automation in your company.
Business Process Automation
This is an overarching software that takes over basic, repetitive tasks. BPA isn’t an innovative or intelligent technology, which means it can only perform and complete tasks it’s taught to do. This is a low-code software, which means it typically requires users to know some type of code to correct errors and teach new skills.
Business Process Management (BPM) works alongside BPA as a digital manager. The software assigns tasks to the appropriate employees, users, and systems to ensure work is being done efficiently. While BPA can be implemented on its own, BPM traditionally doesn’t function without another automation software.
Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is an advanced, user-specific automation software. It can be implemented in businesses to complete specific tasks. RPA “bots” watch how humans execute a digital task and will adapt their process accordingly, improving the way they function over time.
Since there are multiple “bots” working in this software, you can teach an individual bot how to do one thing, then “clone” that bot to keep the function running at scale. Likewise, you can assign more bots to complete other specific tasks. This software will work continuously to complete tasks, ensuring processes and data sets are always up to date.
RPA is a no-code software, which means you can teach and develop it without manually “feeding” it any code. This technology is easy to manage and maintain once implemented.
Automated testing is a type of automation software which tests software implemented within a company’s network to ensure it’s functioning properly. There are distinct differences between manual testing and automated testing: manual testing requires physical time and effort to ensure the software being tested is functioning correctly, whereas automated testing can cover broad and specific testing in much less time.
With automated testing, a person doesn’t have to physically explore testing options. Instead, an employee’s time is spent analyzing the test results that are automatically logged for them.
This type of automation requires upkeep and adjustments. The tests you conduct will almost never be exactly the same, so you will want to tailor this type of automation to fit specific testing needs.
Chatbots are a type of intelligent automation that use Natural Language Processing (NLP) and data to respond automatically to questions posed to them online through chat functionality within an organization’s website. This is a tool that can be implemented for internal troubleshooting and external customer service.
Chatbots learn from previous conversations and frequently asked questions to produce quick answers. This can reduce human intervention and improve rapid response for any company.
Automation technology is being widely integrated into business strategies. This is because automation enables better transparency and control within a company. Processes that are automated can be viewed holistically because they happen within a single program that logs and stores the information processed and collected. This software also ensures processes are as efficient as possible. When the factor of manual error is removed and the process is expedited, efficiency is at its peak.
Beyond the technical improvements, automation software improves company productivity and morale. If you don’t have to focus on mundane, repetitive tasks like data entry, claims processing, data migration, or payroll, you will have more time to focus on more fulfilling work. Employees are statistically happier and more productive when they can focus their time on meaningful work.
New technology doesn’t have to be threatening or scary. It’s possible to prepare yourself for automation integration in businesses. Here are four ways you can successfully prepare for automation in the future of your work:
While the goal of automation is to allocate repetitive processes to technology, humans are still required to monitor the software.Take the initiative to learn how to monitor and test automation software. Training will give you a deep understanding of the technology. It can also make you a valuable resource within your company. Some of your regular tasks might become automated, but if you have the skills to monitor this automation, you won’t run the risk of being replaced.
As mentioned previously, some automation software involves coding. Learning the basics of coding can help make you a key figure in implementing automation technology. Coding will help you to tailor the software and apply it to specific parts of the business. If you know how to code, you can help avoid delays if the software runs into any issues or malfunctions. Internal employees who can take action and help to fix software quickly can be very valuable to a company.
This might seem simple, but it’s one of the best ways to prepare for automation in your future. Not every aspect of a business can be automated, there will always be work that has to be done by humans. Focus on the work that is creative, human-facing, or technical. This work will always be around, and developing a plan to be productive in this work will help you be successful when automation is implemented in your company.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, be accepting of automation in your business. Automation is becoming a widely implemented technology, so it’s unlikely that it will go away. If your company decides to integrate automation into their business strategy, accept it and work to understand the technology. Understanding the role of automation in your company can help you learn the best way to do your job alongside it.
Automation isn’t out to replace jobs, but it’s here to make work more efficient. This doesn’t guarantee that all jobs will be impacted by automation in some way. But if you take steps to properly prepare yourself for the future of automation, you can play a key role in the implementation and success of it, rather than run the risk of being replaced by it.