Better turn history pages, than make false assumptions on automation

The change is incredible. Isn’t it? Customers have become tech-savvy and businesses have got advanced technologies to gain competitive advantages, in a market where competition is getting steep every day.

On the other hand, technology transformations have also force opened the door of opportunities. Employees are learning new skills and businesses, enabled by technology, are busy exploring new growth dimensions. This transition in employment generation, performing business tasks and delivering value to customers seems to be seamless, and indeed productive.

In such a situation, when advanced automation is enabling businesses, employees and economies in growing unprecedentedly - what is putting the world in doldrums?

It is nothing other than making vague and false assumptions on evolving technologies such as advanced automation. Newspapers, magazines, websites - many such platforms are discussing advanced automation as a change that will hamper growth.

Had automation been the reason for job loss, the male workforce would not have rose to 82 million from 45 million in 1950. According to a recent article published by Livemint, even the women workforce grew to 75 million from 20 million in 1950. And the credit for this increase in human workforce goes to evolving technologies such as advanced automation.   

The best way to change the mindset, or better say to get solutions for confusions, is to turn history pages. Nothing other than history records best examples.

Automation: Considering historical aspects

While going through the historical aspects, automation as a concept dates back to around 250 B.C, when the water clock was invented by Ktesibios in Alexandria, Egypt. But in the modern age, the term ‘Automation’ is said to be born in 1946 at the Ford Motor Company.

A few decades ago, during pre and post World War II days, automation evolved at a breakneck speed. Experts from all over the world experimented with their own ways to make innovations in automation technology. During the War days, the focus was given to developing the control system that helped in gaining enhanced efficiency in the battlefield. It was automation that made activities such as gun aiming and tracking moving objects more robust.

When the war ended, the focus shifted to using automation technology for more productive tasks. In the 1950s and 1960s, growing union strikes also forced business leaders to adopt to these evolving technologies. In a mood to get rid of daily negotiations with union leaders, businesses decided to reduce the dependency on the human workforce and implement automation technologies for performing some of the business tasks.

But this turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Automation sped functioning of business processes and boosted production as well. With its ability to slog in continuity and more efficiently, automation gave birth to new forms of businesses. Technologies started to evolve at a super fast speed and it changed the business landscape significantly. Businesses started to see automation as a pot filled with immense potential. Moreover, it also resulted in automation leading to the creation of innumerable job opportunities, but it was an opportunity for more skilled human work. Things were no more the same. After all, it was a phase of transition, which was set to transform businesses and economies worldwide.

This was more a phase of mechanisation.  And automation, largely, remained on the periphery of big enterprises.  

Automation in convergence with digitisation

In the end of the 20th century and in early 21st century, with advent of the Internet and World-Wide-Web (WWW), automation underwent further evolution. A network of computers enabled by the power of Internet digitised businesses. Solutions such as ERP, CRM and BPM were developed to support businesses in making some of the processes efficient. 

This digitised age brought the world at one single platform and businesses found it convenient to connect with global customers. It was a technology-driven world, which saw a significant reduction in the Black Collar job. Technology in convergence with a digitised platform started changing the way businesses functioned and humans performed diverse tasks. It was the beginning of a paperless business environment. But again, that phase of automation’s evolution again saw the creation of jobs with new sets of eligibility criteria for the human workforce.

Automation evolution in contemporary business world

In the contemporary business world, where almost half of the world’s population (3.773 billion of 7.476 billion) is active internet users; where social media has led businesses to a data-driven world; automation is indeed witnessing an advanced phase.

It is time when automation is not limited to the periphery of only large businesses. Advanced automation solutions can be implemented by all size businesses across the world.

Things are not same anymore. Running diverse operations might have become simple with advanced business solutions, but on other hand, perpetually increasing awareness of technology-enabled customers throw innumerable challenges to companies across the world. 

Advanced automation solutions are designed to do more than maximising profit and productivity. It is about delivering value to customers, besides complete satisfaction. It is more about building a healthy and personalised relationship with customers, which in turn can lead their long-term loyalty and retention.

Today, there are automation technologies, which are an end-to-end solution for entire processes. It is the age when cognitive abilities enable businesses in programming machines to perform much of the tasks, which for long have been performed by the human workforce. In other words, advanced automation business solutions save employees from performing tasks which involve high risks. On other hand, with reduced dependency on humans, businesses are now able to achieve enhanced accuracy and quality while performing diverse business tasks. 

Automation is a world of opportunities: History proves it

The time has come when the story will again be repeated. Advanced automation has introduced a phase of transition and it will have the world stand at altogether a different platform, where processes will be more advanced and innumerable jobs will be created. But, of course, it will demand the human workforce to learn new skills, required to perform tasks within new processes.

Someone has truly said, “history repeats itself.” History has clear evidence that automation has never led to the loss of opportunities. It has always revolutionised business, people, and economies and has supported in continuous evolvement. 

Kumar Anand, Senior Content Developer with Cordis Technology
Image source: Shutterstock/Vasin Lee