While certain types of automation – such as Google’s driverless cars and Knightscope’s robotic security guards – may exist only in prototype formats, workplace automation is very real, and in widespread use. Key-card readers have replaced doormen and automated ticket machines have replaced parking attendants. Despite the rising global population, the cost-to-benefit ratio of automated processes versus their human counterparts is simply too positive for businesses to ignore.
Is Workplace Automation a Threat to Human Workers?
The prevalence of automation in modern society makes clear one resounding fact: workplace automation is important for business. Research into the subject, with relation to the USA, discovered that roughly 45 percent of national activities, amounting to 2 trillion dollars in salaries, could be automated. This included activities ranging from retail positions to higher-demand positions in the education and health sectors.
However, the idea of automation replacing humans altogether is unfounded. It is far more likely that, as opposed to replacing the need for human skills, automation will simplify and speed up certain positions to allow for increased focus on the part of human employees. After all, the introduction of ATMs did not negate the need for bank tellers.
Workplace Automation’s Fundamental Factors
Instead of us seeing workplace automation as a threat, it is necessary for us to view it as an immensely beneficial addition to workplace processes. Workplace automation stands to benefit a variety of sectors through the following factors:
- A Wide Spectrum of Activities
Workplace automation does not just refer to basic tasks. The level of advancement of automation means that it is able to be applied to a variety of advanced activities, such as report analysis and composure, language generation, diagnosis and a variety of other tasks that could benefit the financial sector in particular.
- Job Evolution
With automation’s capabilities, jobs with structured processes may experience a shift in priorities. Loan officers, for example, might be able to shift their focus to the advisement of clients and devote data processing to automation.
- Across-the-Board Assistance
To some, the idea of automation might just apply to the more menial tasks relating to a business, but this is not accurate. Research shows that certain parts of traditionally high-paid occupations – such as executives, financial planners, and doctors – could be aided by automation.
- Creative Applications
Two essential areas of difficulty for automation exist in the creative and emotional spheres. Thus, jobs based on these areas are not likely to be fully automated in the near future. However, the applications of workplace automation do extend into these areas by assisting with the evaluative and constructive facets of these jobs. Business analysts, for example, might be able to allow automation to handle core data analysis and devote the added time allowance to the formulation of creative strategies.
The Key Takeaways of Workplace Automation
The main benefits of workplace automation – which include improved quality output and enhanced reliability – identified in the USA’s advanced workplace environment show the potential for gains in South Africa. Past investments relative to the USA are indicative of the possible benefits of automation in the domestic market.
South Africa is experiencing a very real shortage in skilled resources, and yet it contains the technology and skills necessary for workplace automation. These conditions are ripe for exploitation by those with foresight and business acumen. To ensure that your company experiences the benefits of automation, be sure to contact Cortell today.