A recent New York Times Magazine issue focuses on fears about the impact of artificial intelligence and process automation to workers and to our culture, kicking the issue off with a grim cover image that features a robotic hand holding a human skull. Despite the lurid image, the articles in the issue focuses on the broader impact of automation and AI to our lives as workers and consumers.
From the perspective of RPA vendors like Blue Prism, there is no doubt that process automation and AI WILL be disruptive and will change our lives. According to their projections, nearly 80 million jobs in the U.S. and 15 million jobs in the UK could be impacted by RPA. For employees deeply involved in routine, administrative tasks, that’s scary news. But for employees who loath dull repetition and have the desire to develop higher-level skills, RPA promises more fulfilling work life that allows them to contribute more meaningfully to top line business results while robots support the bottom line through cost savings and efficiency gains.
Two examples of the kinds of process-intensive operations common to most companies that are ripe for RPA are accounts payable vendor invoice processing and customer sales order processing. While most companies have staff members dedicated to the document handling, data entry and administrative tasks related to these operations, robots don’t necessarily threaten the jobs performed by these employees. It just changes the work they do.
While RPA bots can handle routine paperwork, including validating, entering data and routing data and documents for review, human knowledge workers still have plenty of value to add. Instead of pushing paper and pecking at keyboards, they can reset their focus and do the kind of high-value, creative work that only humans can do. For customers of Artyl’s InvoiceAction and OrderAction applications, those staff members often get more involve in analysis, forecasting and budgeting work.
Business transformation platforms like Artsyl’s docAlpha make it easier and more cost effective to automate back office processes, so they can not only get started more quickly—they can ensure that the solution they’ve chosen learns and adapts as business changes. That means less work for AP and Sales Order teams, but also for IT.
Does RPA/IPA threaten the jobs of the IT staff? Again, IT teams won’t go away. But the work they do will change significantly.
What makes RPA/IPA so revolutionary is NOT that it can automate routine processes. That has been achievable for decades—but at a significant cost, in ways that have not always been flexible enough to keep up with the pace of change within an organization. The key is that RPA/IPA can deliver automation without coding and without IT hand-holding every implementation. Instead, human process owners are able to own the process as well as the application and configuration of automation.
Instead of being slaves to manual tasks, employees can truly own the process they are involved with, allowing them to go beyond keeping up with the pace of business to focus to focusing on how those processes improve the lives of employees, partners and customers. THOSE are the activities thatreally matter.
Leave the rest to the robots.
For more information about how to apply intelligent process automation to your accounts payable, sales order process or other business processes, contact your Artsyl Technologies representative.