Is Automation the Enemy? You May Be Surprised!

I will admit it. Years ago I also thought automation was a terrible idea. I was working at an Accounting Firm thinking that Automation would be the death of my role. I had images of robots doing everything that I was doing. I had somewhat of an existential crisis thinking whether I had taken the completely wrong career path in order to avoid the dreaded risk of automation.

I imagine these are the thoughts that many employees have towards automation. This, in turn, means that business owners/managers are not willing to consider the benefits of Automation due to the fact they want to keep their workforce happy. Let’s be honest, a workforce who constantly feels like they could be removed from their position at any moment isn’t going to be an effective or happy workforce. 

There are many people around the world choosing to ignore the potential risks of Automation. But the real risk is actually the ignorance of the benefits of Automation. A report created by PwC showed that the GDP in the UK will increase by 10% as a direct result of Artificial Intelligence and Automation. This equates to £232bn. This is therefore going to be one of the largest economic impacts on the world’s commerce.

Automation Benefits for Management

Primarily due to depiction in Hollywood, many people’s perception of Automation is that of physical robots walking alongside us and completing tasks. The reality isn’t quite as Hollywood-esque, and somewhat less obvious.

The reality of Automation is actually the elimination or streamlining of mentally repetitive draining tasks. Almost every office in the world has routine mundane tasks which some poor individual despises completing. Automation is going to take these tasks off of their hands, allowing them to utilize their skills in more beneficial manners for the business.

Overall, this means less copying and pasting, report making, and repeated tasks. Many admin staff around the world will rejoice! As the main issue with these tasks is the draining impact upon team morale, which inherently impacts overall employee efficiency.

From the perspective of management, the benefits of Automation are crystal clear. A huge uptick in the productivity of their teams. In the world we currently live in, there are increased demands for information to be produced quicker and more efficiently. Automation allows teams to meet and exceed these expectations. Furthermore, Automation allows teams to meet these expectations without increasing stress and leading to burnout of staff.

Automation can really lead to an overall competitive advantage over businesses that continue to ignore the benefits of Automation. In the same way that stores that ignored the requirement for eCommerce were eclipsed by online stores, we will see businesses who choose to ignore Automation and Machine Learning falling behind year by year.

Automation Efficiency in a Business

Increasing the efficiency of processes is a core way for a business to improve a company’s bottom line. In simple terms, the more a business utilizes Automation to improve its efficiency the less time it will take to complete tasks. I have seen first-hand tasks which took hours to complete manually, be completed in 10 minutes by utilizing Automated Processes (or Robotic Process Automation/RPA).

Improvements to efficiency also have significant improvements upon the stress levels of employees. I extensively promote the intangible benefits of Automation on a regular basis. As an individual who once had to complete many mundane tasks on a daily basis, I have seen firsthand how Automation can alleviate the weight on staff’s shoulders, and allow them to spread their wings within their roles.

Repeatability and Reliability

The difference between a human completing a task and a “robot” is that a robot will complete it, in the same way, every single time, without fail. 

Mundane tasks lead to a reduction in focus. Therefore, ask a human to do the same task 100 times and they are bound to make a mistake or deviation from the standard process at some point. One of the biggest benefits of Automation is its reliability with repetitive tasks. 

Once an Automated Process is built, it will run consistently and reliably. This will then improve the quality of life for workers. The tedious, tiring or potentially dangerous jobs will be eliminated with automated processes and machinery.

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