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The 3 Aspects Of Business That Benefit From Automation

The 3 Aspects Of Business That Benefit From Automation

There is no end to the work in our lives and businesses. The more tasks we automate, the more new projects we are able to develop, making our businesses become more sophisticated and – above all – more profitable. What does this mean for contemporary enterprises, especially in financial or legal industries? If you do not automate your business regularly and if you don’t make automation one of your priorities, you will lose your competitive advantage.

It is quite easy to understand the role of automation in our world when we compare what was 10 or 20 years ago with what we have now. Can you imagine that, whenever you needed some information, you had to go to the city library instead of simply typing into Google or another online search engine? Can you imagine still using mathematical equations instead of counting on a calculator or using Excel, or that payments had to be made through the post, with cash?

Now automation in business is even more crucial – and radical.

Everyone who wants to develop a business should automate as many processes as possible in order to have enough time and energy to achieve and accomplish more.

Let’s briefly consider three different aspects of your business that could benefit from automation:

1. Design thinking

Design thinking is a foundation of success for every organisation. It is a popular method for solving specific issues. It is a solution-focused thinking. We live in a constantly changing environment that is becoming more and more complex and requires deep analysis and proper understanding. Design thinking has become part of the strategy of every corporation and every modern business. Automation software can provide even more opportunities for design thinking, freeing employees from time consuming, uncreative tasks. Design thinking cannot be an additional activity in a company; it must be a core competency.

2. Innovation.

According to Brian Solis, a leading digital analyst, 40% of companies that had previously been part of the Fortune 500 were no longer there in 2010.

Innovation is a cornerstone of every successful business. Innovation in finance means faster and easier operations, and in legal better and more accurate analysis and conclusions. Innovation in accountancy or insurance can mean fewer errors and simpler procedures. “Whenever you think about making business faster, easier or more accurate and simpler, the only answer is robotic process automation (RPA)” explains Chris Prusik, founder of G1ANT, an RPA startup company based in London, “Nowadays there is no innovation without automation.

3. Management

Effective management has been at the centre of every business for centuries. In order to manage well, you must have an innate ability to understand people (and things). You need to define your goals and have the knowledge to find the best way to achieve them. An automation process is one of the most powerful assets in almost every aspect of management, especially in measuring and controlling results. As Peter F. Drucker put it: “What’s measured improves”.

It has never yet happened that we have wanted to “de-automate” something that has been automated. Once work has been automated we never want to return to manual tasks. Automation through smart software brings efficiency and ease.

Instead of worrying about the loss of jobs, let’s start to plan what we can do better and more of, and what new fantastic, innovative work we can achieve in our businesses if we implement robotic process automation.

 

Andrzej Manka

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Why we should NOT be afraid of robotic process automation (RPA)

Why we should NOT be afraid of robotic process automation (RPA)

There have been a lot of articles published over the last few months about how automation, smart software and AI will replace humans in the job market. From the Financial Times and the Economist, through the Guardian, the BBC and CNN to Futurism, all media is creating an atmosphere of impending disaster around job markets, and promoting dystopian stories – with incredible intensity. This is the visible final failure of mainstream media as a source of reliable information that can help us to make any rational decisions about our future.

The new criteria of automation are quite different from the classical differentiation between white and blue collar jobs:it does not matter whether your job is skilled or unskilled, whether it requires an MBA or a diploma from the best universities or just a short weekend of training. The new criteria centre around whether or not work is routine, repetitive or rule-based. It means that both lawyers and taxi drivers can be replaced by smart software, technical writers and retail salespeople,but those who do any job that involves substantial and tangible amounts of cognition and creativity are far less replaceable.

The real problem is not that automation removes humans from the job market; it is fear of change that paralyses rational and creative thinking.

The classical fear of change typically has two aspects.

The first is fear of the unknown. No one really knows what the future will bring, so being worried now that the lion’s share of society will lose their jobs in the future is a bit irrational. Progress should create a similar amount of new jobs. There are also other solutions out there, such as universal basic income or a 20-hour work week, and many other concepts of the future that encourage us to be creative and hopeful in our thinking and acting towards a better life.

“I could never work 9-5 again,” says World Bank, development and policy expert William Powers. “That kind of work seemed like a form of slavery – giving up your mental, emotional, and intellectual capacities.” (Introducing the 20-hour work week by Kieron Monks, CNN, 13/11/2015)

So what are we really afraid of? The loss of jobs or that our jobs steal our sense of life and turn us into slaves or…robots? The real purpose of automation is to free humans from repetitive tasks and allow us to do valuable and innovative things. The idea of automation is always to make work better, faster and more accurate; never to make anyone unhappy or redundant!

The second issue that incites this fear of change is our tendency to focus on external things to define our identity and worth. By fearing what the future might hold we forget about the most important task that every one of us has: to create the future and not to merely wait and see what it will bring! Of course, it is very important to take into account all the data we have at our disposal in order to help ourselves make rational decisions about how to prepare for future events. However, a vital part of any rational decision is always to hope for the best and believe in yourself. Without this, Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos would not have been able to plan to colonise Mars and space, or start producing electric cars, change our habits of buying and reading books (Amazon) and ways of sending money (PayPal).

There are not just sensational articles on robotic automation but some bestselling books also take this narrow approach. Even an otherwise interesting and really well-written text, “Humans need not apply: a guide to wealth and work in the age of artificial intelligence” by Jerry Kaplan, presents this characteristic cognitive bias towards automation and smart software – that it should have remained a treat for humans.

Instead of thinking about all the ways that automation software will destroy our jobs, we should be excited by the new challenge of how many new jobs, tasks and great opportunities it can bring to our businesses and everyday lives.

If you like creative thinking and believe in the infinite power of human intelligence you can’t also assume that only one, negative scenario can happen.

It is good to remember what we are really afraid of. We are not afraid of a lack of jobs; we are afraid that without a job we will not be able to buy things we need and have the money for living.

Automation is good. Robotic process automation gives time and energy to creating more values. It gives us an opportunity to lead more fulfilled lives. Let’s focus on what new and amazing things we can create and not what we might lose because of this incredible freedom we have been given.

We can start to build the future of our businesses today. Let’s begin with robotic process automation.

 

Andrzej Manka

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(Robotic) automation is sexy

(Robotic) automation is sexy

Our lives would not hold so much promise and excitement if they were not greatly automated. Our world would not be so rich in opportunities for our enterprises or careers if it wasn’t so automated. Especially through robotic process automation (RPA).

Automation saves time and frees us from the drudgery of mundane tasks; making our projects more effective and profitable.

Automation is a sign of progress, and progress has always been part of our lives. We cannot say: “I want to keep my life unchanged, and live it just as it has always been”. We can’t reject any modification and improvements – such as the introduction of automation – just because we prefer tradition, which can often mean backwardness.

The concept of automation is part of a natural environment, a foundation of the natural order. Automation means harmony. The seasons or the time of day can be considered automated phenomena that bring an order, predictability and clarity to our lives, and make room for productive and creative undertakings.

Even humans’ habits can be defined as automated behaviours that make life easier. Well, sometimes, if it’s a bad habit it can make life miserable!

We can apply the same principle to our jobs and businesses: by making them automated, even in a small part, we can achieve more. Automated tasks are always done faster and without errors. Automation guarantees consistency of output and peace of mind.

We humans are not good at repetitive tasks. We are infinitely better at creative ones. That is why we are always more powerful when we work with tools, robots and smart software; there is no alternative.

Civilisation’s progress can be achieved only through automation.

It is an interesting paradox that the more automated work we have the more creative we are able to be. The only thing that counts is keeping a proper balance between automation and innovation.

Unfortunately, a lot of people are of the opinion that automation means unemployment and rising inequality. However, it is not automation that brings unhappiness, it is human intention. The real problem is not whether automation is good or bad; it happens anyway. The only question is what we can do to make it work for all of us. If you are afraid that automation – especially automation software – will replace your job, just consider what John Tudor said: “Pessimists have already begun to worry about what is going to replace automation”.

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

Robotic process automation is a very special kind of automation. What matters the most for businesses is that RPA is potentially the most profitable kind of automation. The best way to use it to our advantage is to first understand its implications (and also the implications of not implementing it).

Regardless of whether we are interested in automation or not, robotic process automation will dramatically redefine our businesses and societies.

Plenty of people were not interested in supporting or participating in the digital revolution that replaced analogue technologies, or the Internet revolution, which deeply and irreversibly transformed our mindsets, lifestyles and expectations. RPA will bring about economic and psychological disruption on a similar scale. If we understand it and implement it quickly, it will bring benefits, opportunities, and game-changing new perspectives. If not, as one of Murphy’s laws dictates: the sooner we fall behind, the more time we will have to catch up.

It is high time for every one of us to consider RPA as the solution that will catapult our businesses to the next level.

 

Andrzej Manka

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