I know what you’re thinking….surely that doesn’t make sense? How can robots make things more human?
RPA and AI are becoming more and more popular within shared services functions across the world, but countries have very different views on them.
In china, they want to use it for world domination. In America, they believe it will put businesses in the best possible commercial position. And in the UK…well, we still don’t want robots to hurt us or take our jobs.
I have to tell you guys, the least popular purpose for automation is headcount reduction. If your primary goal when automating is to reduce headcount or to save money, then it will more than likely fail.
Automation is used to enable better quality in operations and more workforce agility.
So, what is RPA and what is AI and why should you use it?
RPA and AI often get mistaken for the same thing, or organisations decide to use both. RPA and AI are two different technologies, with two different uses, and quite often you don’t need both!
The Lowdown on RPA and AI
AI is short for Artificial Intelligence. Artificial Intelligence replicates the human thought process. It takes the knowledge of a human and builds it into the application. AI deals with unstructured data, meaning that it self improves and continuously thinks and learns. It is the ‘brain and spine’.
RPA is short for Robotic Process Automation. RPA behaves like a person. It deals with high volumes of structured data to carry out repetitive tasks that humans do. The purpose of RPA is to remove those high volume, repetitive tasks that we hate. It is ‘the fingers’.
How do you decide?
Before you chose to adopt RPA or AI, as a business you have some big questions to ask yourself – as the decisions you make will affect the next 10 years of your business operations.
- What business am I in?
- How do I want to deliver services?
- What do I need my operating model to look like?
The cultural impact of automation is significant. It touches every employee and manager within an organisation, so equally, the training and messaging around automation has to be key!
How to make it successful?
- Choose your areas of automation carefully and then work with humans to identify what can be offloaded to automation and take their knowledge to create the automation.
- Train your people on RPA and AI. Help them to understand what it is and how they can identify processes that may be suitable for automation.
- Get your house in order! Automation only works with good, clean data.
- Continually review your processes to make sure your automation is efficient and user friendly.
Automation is your friend. It isn’t here to take your job or make your life hard. On the contrary, the whole point of automation is to take the robot out of the human. To remove the high volume, menial tasks within your role or your team, freeing people up to contribute more value-add work to your business, so don’t fear it, work with it!
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