Every technological age completely reinvents how humans perform work. We’ve seen this most recently in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) era, in which machines have gained the ability to execute cognitive tasks that previously could only be performed by the human brain (e.g. independent learning, visual recognition and natural language processing). What’s more, more disruptions are on the horizon with increased adoption and use of Intelligent Automation (IA).
Intelligent Automation is what happens when AI takes on key steps for building new automations (in other words, automating the creation of new automations). As a relatively new concept in the enterprise space, employees have misconceptions about what they should expect as IA becomes part of their work life. Here are three things to keep in mind when preparing your staff for an IA implementation.
Humans Still Involved in the Automation Value Chain
While IA will automate many tasks related to the creation of new automations, it will not replace them. For example, 1RPA is an intelligent RPA platform that executes many arduous bot-creation steps, such as independently structuring unstructured data. Similarly, the autonomic platform 1Desk observes how human employees resolve common issues and then suggests new automations based on these observations. While both systems tap AI to automate key steps, humans still provide top-level directives and provide the final approval before any automation is let loose “in the wild.”
A spreadsheet program will readily execute many complex calculations, but it will not independently build your next presentation for you. Your employees should think of IA as a tool that can help create automations more effectively, not as a wholesale replacement for them and their roles.
Freeing Employees from the Mundane
Even though humans will still be part of the automation-creation process, they will be freed from many of the mundane tasks related to the process. This will have a direct effect in that humans will spend less time executing rote automation tasks, and more time applying their uniquely human skills to create more effective automations. For example, human intuition and empathy are invaluable ingredients for forming effective user-facing automations. There will also be an indirect impact as IA inevitably leads to more automations and therefore a far more automated business environment, which benefits all employees and the entire company.
Opening Automation Process to More Employees
IA also promises to lower the bar to automation creation for workers with limited coding backgrounds. For example, 1RPA uses AI capabilities to greatly simplify its User Interface (UI) into a no-code environment. Users need only press a virtual “record” button and then perform a task that they want to automate; the system in turn will observe those actions and translate them into an automation (watch this process in action here). This ease-of-use allows employees to create automations specific to their work area or department. With IA simplifying automation access, employees can automate routine tasks without relying on intermediation from the IT department.
Any substantial technological change can generate excitement and anxiety among your employees. If you manage expectations correctly, your workers will learn to embrace IA and use it to improve how they work, make their work more efficient and satisfying, and build new business value.