Process automation is being implemented in businesses across multiple industries. The technology enables better transparency and control within a company, while also streamlining processes to support more efficient work. These qualities make process automation desirable to c-levels, but it doesn’t seem to be desirable to everyone involved.
When people hear about automation and robotics, they naturally imagine some variant of The Terminator movies, where robots go rogue and threaten humanity. Process automation is no exception. When it comes up within a company, employees can feel a looming threat that their jobs are at stake. It’s important to understand however, process automation is here to assist us, not take our jobs. In fact, this intelligent technology will likely create a variety of jobs moving into the future.
What is RPA?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is an advanced type of process automation software. RPA is user-specific and can be implemented in any existing business model to learn how to execute tasks. The technology works by deploying software “bots” into a system to watch how humans complete a task. These bots will replicate the process and adapt it accordingly, improving how they function over time.
Although these bots are learning from humans and streamlining processes, they are not considered “intelligent” like Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence (AI). This means that there is no threat of bias or discrimination in the decision-making process; it can only learn from the way different people complete a task and develop the most efficient process from there.
RPA is designed to automate processes in a way that reduces the amount of human intervention needed, but this doesn’t mean that it’s going to take over jobs and leave employees with nothing to do. It will simply change the work we’re doing.
Creating RPA Jobs
Research done by the McKinsey Quarterly suggests that less than five percent of jobs can be fully automated. This means that while it’s possible that RPA will eliminate some jobs, it’s much more likely that it will result in new opportunities for careers.
Although RPA aims to remove the human factor from process completion, this doesn’t mean that people are exempt from involvement. Humans are required to maintain the software to ensure that it’s performing correctly. This creates a field of high-quality jobs for anyone who is able to monitor and improve RPA software.
Employees that are willing to go through certifications and training to learn how to manage RPA will hold a very stable position in their workplace. Positions that manage RPA will only continue to grow as more companies implement the technology.
Most automatable work is already depleted through offshoring. Companies may not see value in having in-house employees do mundane work. As a result, they might take steps to send that work overseas.
As the implementation of RPA increases, companies gain the ability to “reshore” some of their work. Businesses will now be able to rely on a combination of labor from within their borders and the RPA bots, reducing the number of jobs they send overseas.
With RPA, companies that reshore business operations will be creating more jobs without having to eliminate any. This means that there will be more opportunities for expansion and internal growth within a company that implements RPA.
Challenging Roles for Employees
When it comes to how RPA will impact our jobs, the reality is, it’s more likely to automate part of our work rather than all of it. This means that employees will no longer be tasked with monotonous, repetitive work that typically causes burnout. Instead, they will be able to focus on the strategic and creative work that makes employees feel fulfilled in their job. With more time to focus on this work, employees can find themselves in more meaningful and challenging roles within their company.
Automation might be changing the way we work, but that doesn’t mean it’s eliminating our work. At the end of the day, RPA isn’t a looming threat to employees. Instead, it shows promise that a company is growing and developing. With this newfound growth and development, employees have the opportunity to capitalize on company advancements and ensure security in their role.