When we say Shape the future, it is basically looking forward, looking at the trends, estimating the probable changes, building the tools required. This forward vision would be based on our present and past experiences, since the introduction of automation right from small spinning mills to machines in factories and fear of automation, has always crept into minds. It has however never spread unemployment on a large scale. Optimists are the ones who highlight the opportunities with automation. Automation can be seen as a bridge between the current situation and the possible opportunities with respect to growth, innovation, market demands, cost saving. We need to look at this next generation technology from all perspectives, be it a CEO, a CTO, and employee, or an entrepreneur.
Autonomy is desired by automation. Making the routine and repetitive process easier and autonomous was the cause of automation. There are many automation solutions floating in the market which allow an organization to customize as per their needs and have been incorporated in each and every sector and every possible process pertaining to internal and external stakeholders. Right from farming, manufacturing, travel, education and more, are the areas where robots and automation have penetrated. Automation and robots are versatile in terms of implementation and being compatible with all platforms making it easier to incorporate, establish and successful to use. Automation can be aligned with the business goals and objectives which is why it is rapidly gaining the grip in the industry. Making it as a forecast by many research agencies as the highest adopted technology in the coming years. Automation can be of fixed, flexible or programmable nature being majorly into software designed to automate machines or processes which were usually performed by Humans. While robots are the machines which operate independently with a designed software for them
Coming to the next generation probably is of robots to manage humans and humans to manage the robots. Artificial intelligence is which makes these robots function in the desired manner. This is another related area which has deep machine learning, data analytics, and statistical modeling. It involves decision making and a part of the judgment. Robotic process automation is one such example which has emerged as a transformer and enabler resulting in integrated and efficient process execution. Innovations are the new buzz which has eventually made acceptance of robotics, and automation. Automation needs systems upgrade, data management and analytics to give the returns as expected. It profoundly impacts the work culture and systems in the organization.
With the technology explosion of robots and automation, there is a foreseen radioactivity, which can be termed as the transformation of the industry sectors globally. The probability and uncertainty along with the opportunities and advantages that it brings along are what needs to be accepted. Companies need to learn at the earlier adoptions made in the industry. The processes where automation is done in one industry may be or may not be the same for another industry. For example a bank may automate their account opening application process; however, an insurance company would want to automate their document verification process. An automobile manufacturing company may automation the assembling process whereas the software manufacturing company may automate the testing process. It purely depends on the nature of the business, business goals and returns on automation.
Let’s look at the other side of the bridge…. skills gap is an area which fluctuates as and when new changes happen in the market. It would give rise to new jobs, roles and skills to manage and operate the automation. This collaboration between functions through automation would raise the standards of the work profile as well as pay scales, as compared to the manual repetitive jobs. Well, robots and automation would become a niche skill set in demand with higher pay scales based on the demand.
The critical success factors would be finding the right balance between the need areas for automation and robots. There are software as well as hardware components, which contribute to the robots and automation implementation. These components demand knowledge which impacts the organizations’ talent management and sourcing of manpower to manage them. They can be outsourced or in house. There are companies, which have introduced robots in production lines, warehouses, operations, customer interactions and still, they have not reduced the number of employees. It has resulted in more output within the same time returning the ROI as well as lower prices and higher pay scales. It would call for a set of skills and knowledge of the technology of a different level.
A working world in any era, to be better, we need to see its Pros and cons, from the past and present, while estimating the future. Whatsoever may be said or done, Humans will be always needed when there will change in the tasks handled by Bots or automation or any other change. Denial to automation would be an unrealistic approach cause, taking a positive approach makes us see that Robots and automation kill jobs but also create new ones.
While it is difficult to predict the future, it is evident that its shape will be leaner and faster in terms of functionality. More technology and data would be the actions points which will yield benefits and returns to businesses who exploit this trend.
About the Author
Kapil Sharma, the Chief Sales Officer –International Business at Collabera Kapil Sharma is an industry renowned and a prominent leader in the IT staffing industry and has been in driving strategy, business innovation, and client relationships globally.
Kapil has played a strategic role in building & expanding Collabera’s International operations across various geographies and has been instrumental in setting up operations in countries like Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, & Australia in APAC, UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Romania and Poland in the European region and Canada in the North America.