The rise of automation in white-collar workplaces has been a topic of conversation for more than a decade.
In 2016, reports raised the alarm that millions of jobs could be replaced by automation as it burst past the confines of manufacturing and industrial work.
Since then, professionals have speculated that rather than eliminating positions, automation could transform business and empower human
workers to tackle new responsibilities.
As with the Industrial Revolution, the Automation Revolution may be creating upheaval, but it will ultimately produce opportunities for workers to be more productive than ever.
The Current Data Regarding Business Automation
A 2019 study by The Economist revealed that almost two-thirds (61%) of US organizations have incorporated automation significantly into their daily processes.
This proportion indicates a tipping point:
US businesses must adapt to this new reality to remain competitive.
Amid concerns about automation replacing jobs in office settings, as they did in manufacturing, financial firms and other white-collar businesses are taking a different approach.
These businesses are incorporating AI and automated workflows to eliminate hundreds of thousands of hours of menial work each year while empowering their employees to pursue higher-level tasks.
Redwood Software released a survey in 2017 indicating that 59% of business processes could be automated by 2022.
Based on current numbers, that estimate is on target, and modern businesses have access to improved software tools that incorporate automation in significant ways.
Other key survey takeaways:
● Most IT leaders have identified automation as a priority for business development.
● IT professionals perceive that upper-level management genuinely appreciates automation’s potential to transform how businesses function.
● The next advances in robotics and automation will take place in white-collar environments.
● Rather than replacing human workers, businesses can rededicate employees to creative tasks and innovation while relying on robotics and automation to handle repetitive administration.
Automated Software Solutions That Replace Arbitrary Tasks
Businesses that want to take advantage of automation already have several robust options.
Here are just a few programs that white-collar workplaces can turn to:
- Mavenlink – Project managers have historically faced copious amounts of administrative work that takes a lot of time to complete but is ultimately simple to process. This kind of work is an ideal subject for automation. With automation enabling employees to work on higher-level functions, project managers can use their improved efficiency to plan, stay involved onsite, and follow up with contractors and other team members consistently.
- Kofax Power PDF – Power PDF uses advanced Visual Basic macros to simplify workflows. Nearly every office relies on PDF documents to produce reports, product guides, and in-house assessments. Power PDF removes the menial aspects of these tasks while giving employees total control over how they combine, create, and edit PDF documents.
- Zoho Desk – Businesses have found that customers routinely identify consistency as a top contributor to reliable customer service. It is also a notoriously difficult asset to train. Programs such as Zoho Desk can let HR and customer support teams create automated workflows that
provide routine customer support. As a result, customers receive consistent customer support regardless of when they contact a business.
As more companies explore the ways that automation can transform their businesses, software designers develop improvements on the techniques that have already shown their potential.
Automation and robotics’ widespread adoption will fundamentally alter tomorrow’s economy, but data shows that this inevitability is not something that managers or employees need to fear.