It wasn’t long ago when folks in IT were in a collective tizzy, worried about how artificial intelligence and automation would force them out of a job. What we’ve learned over the past decade or so is that it’s actually quite the opposite. In fact, automation has proven to be the saving grace for many business problems, particularly in terms of the growing skills shortage. Lately, however, the conversation around the benefits of intelligent process automation has shifted away from the topic of labor and focused more on its impact on humans.
Greater efficiency, lower costs, increased productivity and stronger security have long been touted as the biggest advantages of automation, but as we’re learning more by the day, that’s really only just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s take a deeper dive to see three key ways all of these benefits play a role in safeguarding and levelling up your organization’s most valuable resource: your people.
Automation Empowers People To Maximize Their Unique Skills
Intelligent process automation is capable of doing a lot of things. But the reality is, there are still a number of areas where the human touch is very much needed. When digital workers are deployed to handle the nitty-gritty of day to day workflows, their human counterparts are freed up to focus their time, energy and skillsets on more meaningful business initiatives.
Where machines are rapid, agile and – yes – intelligent to a degree, what they lack are certain “soft skills,” like the ability to be creative, to think critically, to understand the context and to communicate effectively. As such, the ideal solution leverages the strengths of both human and digital workers. This “best of both worlds” approach provides a much better-rounded, more holistic approach to business operations.
One of the most underrated benefits of intelligent process automation is that it gives IT personnel the time and availability to focus on other issues that would otherwise have been pushed to the back burner due to workload restrictions. Likewise, technology also provides an opportunity for team members to continuously identify additional workflows and processes that could benefit from automation. Because this work requires insight, creativity and judgment, however, it’s a job that’s best left to humans.
Automation Enables Humans To Collaborate More Effectively
The IT department has notoriously operated under an “island” mentality. This can, unfortunately, lead to costly redundancy and siloed, opportunistic solutions. This aptly named “hero culture” is remarkably ineffective. In fact, it is widely linked to a high level of burnout in the IT industry. To the contrary, with an integrated system that is tied together by intelligent process automation, IT teams can finally become a part of the “big picture.”
In fact, the most effective intelligent process automation strategies are those that are implemented on an organization-wide basis. While the initial project may begin with and be managed by the IT team, the goal should be to adopt an approach through which AI and automation permeate throughout the entire enterprise. Of course, to do this successfully, all departments must work together to understand one another’s needs and priorities. This naturally leads to better communication and more widespread collaboration.
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Automation Levels The Playing Field
The hackers of today are infinitely more sophisticated than those of even just a few years ago. However, it’s not so much that they’ve gotten smarter. It’s that they’re using cutting-edge technology to carry out their nefarious plots. One need only glance at the recent headlines to see that these tactics and technologies are bringing even the biggest and most well-known organizations to their collective knees.
The demand to stay a step ahead of cyber-attacks rests almost entirely on the shoulders of the IT team, heaping mountains of additional pressure on an already overloaded and stretched-thin group. Thankfully, intelligent process automation is here to alleviate some of that pressure. In fact, there is no better way to combat cybercriminals than to use the same innovative technologies as a proactive line of defence against them.
Not only can advanced automation be deployed for round-the-clock monitoring and automated incident remediation, but because technology is there to handle this important piece of the puzzle, human agents are then freed up to apply their creativity and critical thinking skills. This allows IT security professionals to identify potential vulnerabilities and anticipate additional risks so that they can develop strategies to prevent and protect against them.
Regardless of where you stand on the subject, automation isn’t going anywhere. In fact, if we’ve learned anything over the past several months, not only is it here to stay, but it’s likely to become an integral component of business operations across all industries. Recognizing the positive ways that automation technology is impacting the human workforce can make for a smoother transition and enable organizations to prepare for, embrace and ultimately excel through their adoption of automation.
Ido leads Ayehu’s marketing organization, where he’s passionate about helping IT organizations create a happier, more efficient workplace through automation while cutting service costs at the same time! He looks after Ayehu’s brand and drives its market growth. Prior to Ayehu, he was the GM of the Internet of Things Group at Wind River and the VP of Product Marketing for its Testing Business unit. Earlier, he was the CMO of BDNA, and before that, a partner with Thomas Weisel Venture Partners. He began his career with Mercury Interactive as a VP of Product Marketing and the VP of Technology Strategy.