Digital Worker, Side by Side.
We always strived to be more efficient and wanted to outperform. Many times, outperforming means exceeding our own performance. With the help of advanced technology like robotic process automation (RPA), it is possible. Software robots can be our partner in meeting the expectation to outperform and excel.
Let’s focus on the things that we are good at and leave the ones that machines can do better. All of the boring and mundane tasks that we could potentially automate using software can be handled by RPA. We could build and train a software program (commonly referred as “bots”) to carry out many of the tasks which we do in our normal course of daily activities. Not only do these bots perform these activities at a higher speed, but they eliminate human error in the process.
Combining the power of artificial intelligence (AI), we could take the performance of these bots to a higher level where we could expect more from the software robots to complete tasks that are complex involving some degree of cognitive excellence. With the help of natural language processing (NLP) and optical character recognition (OCR) now these digital workers can do tasks that were traditionally not possible by software programs. Deep process mining along with advanced layer of analytics makes intelligent process automation a reality.
Right off the bat, regardless of the role and job level of an employee, there could be a minimal of two or even three activities that could be easily automated using the RPA bots. While employees work on creative tasks, bots can work in parallel completing all those regular tasks that are highly repetitive and don’t require their full assistance to complete them. In this way, we are increasing the efficiency of the same employee 2x. Managers need to identify activities at every desk that are rule-based and well defined and provide the employees with a bot that could be built to carry out those tasks, allowing them to focus on more high-end and complex tasks. Whenever you are planning to automate additional tasks, configure the bots to carry those additional tasks and regain more time and scale. Simply put, now every employee can have their own digital workers as their personal assistants.
“Which tasks should I assign to a bot?” “What can I do with the time I get back?” These are questions that everyone needs to ask themselves because it’s possible now to be far more efficient and productive.
Since digital workers are virtual in nature, employees can automate their activities and monitor the bot’s performance remotely and manage their workflow. With proper IT governance in place, you can have full control of these digital workers and have them operate in a secure and compliant manner within your network. It is important to note that software robots are more process-centric and it is important to define the scope of its function so managing them can be easier.
In the whole digital transformation process, through augmenting the workforce, these digital employees are accelerating the digitization across organization. The hope is that in future, humans will not be forced to do the menial tasks so that they can instead learn and explore new skills. With the level of advancements brought in by these digital employees across various industries, every time there is a need for additional workforce for performing any basic job, leaders often reach out to the automation teams before calling the human resources to fill up that new position. With more and more millennial employees joining their teams aspiring to take up creative tasks and with organizations struggling to find employees willing to do the basic activities, RPA bots have come as a rescue. Considering the value offered by the bots, almost every organization would benefit by deploying them. We see high traction for this in certain areas of operation like accounting, legal, human resource, customer support, and sales.
Like any software, these digital workers need to be maintained and updated. Though operational teams tend to be the primary users of the bots, internal IT teams needs to establish a governance for managing these bots to monitor their functioning.
Irrespective of the industry segment, the future workforce will be a combination of both humans and digital employees. Managers need to be prepared to build, manage, and monitor this new class of workforce. Analysts say that this raise of digital workforce is forcing managers and leaders to upskill and reskill their current teams to carry out complex tasks that are more demanding in nature. This also means that the new education system should prepare future citizens to be highly skilled on advanced technologies so they could prepare to handle the growing organizational need in order to be more successful.