One of the most trending arguments about any automation technology is about whether it is going replace the workforce leave humans without jobs; and at the centre of the argument is Robotic Process Automation (RPA). In this article we try to decode how organizations are looking at RPA and understanding its objectives before raising the alarm. Before we go any further, it is important to understand that while machines may get ahead of us when it comes to IQ, the human element retains its edge in the Emotional Quotient (EQ). We explore how shifting sands in the landscape of intelligence is giving rise to the knowledge worker in today’s businesses.
Certain kinds of roles that have a primary focus on people, such as customer support and call center agents, have the potential to benefit greatly from RPA. These are tasks that are repetitive and mundane in nature. Automating them frees up the agent to tackle more complex issues that require a human touch, and a more intensive application of human knowledge. Furthermore, the improved allocation of resources afforded by RPA will allow agents to pre-empt issues. This can dramatically improve both customer and employee satisfaction ratings.
It is fair to say that cognitive technologies, the capabilities for robots to replicate human-like functions are only increasing. Yet, we must remember that artificial intelligence still needs a human for training. These technologies are therefore not entirely independent from humans nor are they currently able to reproduce the higher-level thinking of which humans are capable. The human workforce can harness the power of RPA to increase their efficiency and productivity, allowing employees to focus on higher-level activities that create business value and foster deeper engagement with customers. In deploying RPA, employee roles are often redefined and talent is reallocated to focus on customer facing tasks in the front office since there is no longer a need to focus on tedious, back office tasks.
The fears around robots replacing humans need to be tempered with the reality that new jobs will arise as others are ceded to machines. Contrary to popular belief, robotics can facilitate the rise of the knowledge worker; rather than replace them, RPA gives employees room to innovate and be creative. History tells us that periods of rapid technological change, be it the industrial revolution or the jet age, has dramatically changed the nature of our work. These periods have been correlated with higher employment, job growth and ultimately human advancement.
At HCL we understand that very few organizations are focusing on using RPA to eliminate jobs. Instead, they are focused on automating tasks, which in turn will improve productivity, streamline how work is completed, eliminate errors and cut costs – all of which are hallmarks of the knowledge worker. In other words, smart companies implementing RPA are not doing so to replace human workers, but augment and make their working lives more meaningful. This is why HCL provides RPA as a Service where you don’t have to buy the tool but buy the outcome by choosing one of our many Automation Services. As a result, our solution ensures that everyone benefits – from employees and management to clientele to the organization’s bottom line.