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How intelligent automation will change the way we work?
By Susanna Thomas • 1 year, 3 months, 12 days ago.

Automation in the workplace is nothing new in organizations have used it for centuries. In recent decades, companies have flocked to robotic process automation (RPA) as a way to streamline operations, reduce errors, and save money by automating routine business tasks.

Now organizations are turning to intelligent automation to automate key business processes to boost revenues, operate more efficiently, and deliver exceptional customer experiences. Intelligent automation is a smarter version of RPA that makes use of machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive technologies such as natural language processing to handle more complex processes, guide better business decisions, and shed light on new opportunities.

In coming years, the architecture of work will change and become more event-driven, with business processes controlled with intelligent automation and work broken down into discrete tasks that are performed via automation, assigned to a worker, or interactively executed between a robot assistant and a worker.

There will be far fewer task workers using enterprise applications on a constant basis; task work will increasingly be delivered to workers via automation. Employees will spend more time digitally enabling themselves by learning how to develop using low-code tools. And employees will spend more time planning, proactively identifying and resolving problems, making decisions, creating, etc. — in other words, performing knowledge work and/or creative work.

In the years to come, there will be a huge opportunity for automation to be viewed as an indispensable co-worker with a vital role to play in companies’ successes by bringing in opportunities to reinvent individual processes, transform customer and employee experiences, and drive revenue growth.

Automation in the workplace is nothing new in organizations have used it for centuries. In recent decades, companies have flocked to robotic process automation (RPA) as a way to streamline operations, reduce errors, and save money by automating routine business tasks.

Now organizations are turning to intelligent automation to automate key business processes to boost revenues, operate more efficiently, and deliver exceptional customer experiences. Intelligent automation is a smarter version of RPA that makes use of machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive technologies such as natural language processing to handle more complex processes, guide better business decisions, and shed light on new opportunities.

In coming years, the architecture of work will change and become more event-driven, with business processes controlled with intelligent automation and work broken down into discrete tasks that are performed via automation, assigned to a worker, or interactively executed between a robot assistant and a worker.

There will be far fewer task workers using enterprise applications on a constant basis; task work will increasingly be delivered to workers via automation. Employees will spend more time digitally enabling themselves by learning how to develop using low-code tools. And employees will spend more time planning, proactively identifying and resolving problems, making decisions, creating, etc. — in other words, performing knowledge work and/or creative work.

Intelligent automation promises to usher in a new era in business, one where companies are more efficient and effective than ever before and able to meet the needs of customers, employees, and society in new and powerful ways. Industry watchers predict that intelligent automation will usher in a workplace where AI not only frees up human workers’ time for more creative work but also helps them set strategies and drive innovation. Most companies are not fully there yet but do have numerous opportunities for business process automation throughout the organization.

Scaling intelligent automation is one of the biggest challenges for organizations. Therefore, it’s crucial that companies be clear about the strategic intent behind this initiative from the outset and ensure that it’s embedded into their entire modernization journeys, from cloud adoption to data-led transformation.

Intelligent automation is not a race to be the first to implement the latest technology. Success depends on understanding people’s needs, introducing new technologies in a way that is helpful and involves minimal disruption, and addressing issues related to new skills, roles, and job content.

In other words, focusing on people is just as important as focusing on technology. Investments in intelligent automation must be “people first” — designed to elevate human strengths and supported by investments in skills, change management, experience, organization, and culture. It is necessary to understand the shape and type of problems you are trying to automate or improve before you move to a technology solution. Work with your people, and ensure you use their tribal knowledge to understand why they do something. However, organizations should avoid relying on people’s opinions on how long things take and how many actions they are able to complete in a given timeframe. Such reliance often causes your business cases to be inaccurate, as they include the agent’s local management bias versus hard data and facts.

Once an organization has introduced AI and automation to a process, it should let any time gains and increases in performance be key factors in objectively determining whether the project was a success. It is very important to find a balance that works for your team or your business when it comes to how much automation you use. For businesses that want to dip their toes into automation but are hesitant to automate 100% of their processes and relinquish manual control, there are often ways to just partially automate tasks, Take a realistic look at where you’re regularly spending time and talent on repetitive, manual tasks and explore how you can automate those parts of your workday.

In the years to come, there will be a huge opportunity for automation to be viewed as an indispensable co-worker with a vital role to play in companies’ successes by bringing in opportunities to reinvent individual processes, transform customer and employee experiences, and drive revenue growth. Rather than push back, employees should embrace automation and the opportunities it creates for them to provide high-value contributions. Employees need to remain open to learning about new technologies and keep an open mind about how they can be leveraged. Technology changes fast, and the tools and systems we use today may not be the same ones five years from now.

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