As much as we hear about digital technologies being the primary driver of new normal business processes, automation technologies promise to reshape the future of work in equally impactful ways. From robotic-process-automation bots to machine-learning algorithms, to physical robots, there is potential to deliver huge benefits beyond cost savings for organizations. Enhanced customer experience and satisfaction, along with improved data to drive decision-making will follow with the strategic implementation of automation technologies. These benefits have the potential to impact everyone – from electricians to commercial bankers, and from transportation workers to fashion designers – and even CEOs.
Research shows that based on current technology used in business, a staggering half of the activities that people are paid to perform could be automated – either wholly or in part. For example, repetitive or routine work such as data collection and processing innately lends itself to automation. In contrast, customer-facing positions or activities that rely on human skill (creativity, problem-solving, people management) will be less appropriate for automation.
When studying a cross-section of industries, the potential for automating various processes varies widely and presents an interesting snapshot of the future of work. The lowest ranking sector for automation potential is Educational Services at 26%, followed by Health Care/Social Assistances (33%), Management (35%), Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (38%), Administrative (39%), Real Estate (40%), Finance & Insurance (43%), Wholesale Trade (44%), Utilities(44%), Construction (47%), Mining (51%), Retail Trade (52%), Accommodation/Food Services (54%), Agriculture (57%), Transportation & Warehousing (59%) and Manufacturing (60%).
Clearly, the business world at large stands to gain meaningfully from automation technology if using a thoughtful, organized approach around orchestrating and scaling automation programs. The most successful of these businesses have demonstrated that they do a few things differently. First, the leading automation programs take a top-down approach – as opposed to the bottom-up model utilized by many companies when deploying technologies. Successful organizations employ the proof of many concepts model from the “thousand flowers bloom” school of thought, doing a preliminary deep dive to understand the size of the opportunity, and assessing where to invest resources and what new capabilities might be needed. An early roadmap can serve as an “automation business plan”.
Some organizations, when deploying automation, fall into the trap of focussing on the technology itself, rather than the people charged with using it. As an example, this might lead to automating a portion of an employee’s workload without redirecting the resulting unused portion of that person’s time. Smart businesses are strategic and methodical in assessing the workload to be automated, redesigning organizational structures and roles to fill the gaps in peoples’ capacity, and capturing full value from the automation.
Additionally, successful organizations create structures capable of deploying multiple technologies in sequence – this might look like digitizing forms, coordinating workflows and then launching bots and algorithms. Many organizations will start with a centralized automation model, but seamlessly port to a federated model as systems accelerate.
What is the common thread across all deployment processes of automation? BPO outsourcing companies can become an organization’s strongest ally at a time when resources are required to re-design workflow in order to implement automation technologies. Award-winning Anexa is a decades-long leader in the business process outsourcing industry, with dedicated teams of BPO specialists. Whether your needs are customer-centric related to tech support, social media management or marketing campaigns; or non-core business activities (such as back-office solutions), Anexa has a team for that. Considering that Anexa also specializes in bilingual services (English/Spanish), and this is a call that you can’t afford to make. Anexa can help set your business up for success in the world of automation.
Have questions? Reach out today for information on how Anexa can support your journey to the future of work.