It seems that there is no escape from news stories about artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA), and physical robots here in 2018. Depending on your viewpoint, automation will either transform every industry or create a dystopian future. But, like anything in life, nothing is black and white.
The most prominent mistake made by many organizations is the relentless pursuit of cost savings by leveraging these automation technologies. Ironically, this mindset could do more harm than good in a digital world obsessed with reshaping customer experiences, not making them worse.
It’s time to think bigger and understand the value of looking beyond cost savings. Technology can help transform your entire business. Automation should be used to drive multiple business goals such as optimization, personalization, increasing scale, or introducing a culture of innovation.
The hype that currently surrounds the digital transformation of almost everything is not or at least should not be about cutting costs. As consumers, our expectations are at an unprecedented high and automation technologies should be focused on improving the customer experience through operational excellence.
Here are just a few ideas that perfectly highlight the improvements that can be made through thinking beyond cost-savings initiatives.
The quality of any service or product is often held back by an inconvenient truth: Flawed humans are designed to make mistakes. Technology can reduce error rates and raise quality, while also allowing workers to concentrate on their strengths, such as strategy and creativity.
We have all seen the sensational headlines of yet another security breach for a Fortune 500 company, but did you also know that employees represent the biggest threat to cybersecurity? Whether they are downloading rogue attachments in emails or picking up USB flash drives in the parking lot, very often we are our own worst enemy.
An increasing number of AI cybersecurity solutions can predict behavior and automatically protect against human error. Threats to security through accidental actions, events, or a deliberate attack can all be neutralized automatically.
The combination of AI and machine learning is making it easier for technology to work alongside employees rather than replace them. For example, enabling staff with the tools can help them make better choices by informing their decisions based on contextual information.
The rise of the
Believe it or not, the future is less about machines stealing our jobs and more about collaborative robots interacting and working alongside humans in a shared workspace.
The machines also have the flexibility of being able to work in both operational and customer-facing roles. The use of cobots is proliferating across both traditional companies and startups. Current use cases suggest that a machine is more likely to be your future colleague than making you redundant.
These are just a few small areas where AI and automation are ushering in positive changes to businesses of all sizes. Essentially, we can see a glimmer of how our digital future will look. It is already quite apparent that artificial intelligence, industrialization, and the commoditization of cognition will be playing a significant role in the future of business.
The most prominent challenge for traditional businesses that have been sluggish in adapting to this brave new world is that the market does not care if they are ready or not. AI is on the cusp of entering the mainstream and will transform everything as we know it – entire industries such as healthcare, retail, financial services to automotive industries and many more.
It’s no longer about the emergence of new technologies and a long list of buzzwords that promise the world but always seem a few years out of reach. The future is now. The subject matter is no longer about automation and job losses; it’s about new revenue opportunities, and new roles need to be created to fulfill these needs, which will emerge with unprecedented speed.
I believe that many leaders and employees are entering stage 4 of the change curvewhere acceptance and rationalization replace fear of a new way of doing things. As we slowly begin to let go of the past, we can genuinely start exploring what these changes mean and how businesses must adapt to survive.
There is nothing wrong with exercising caution at this stage, but leaders will need to ensure their staff not slide back into fear, doubt, and uncertainty. So enough with the robots with red eyes and robots are taking our jobs. Now is the time to build a new future together and leverage AI to create value on our terms and continuously improve everything that we do.