Can automation make work more human?
Milan Sheth, Executive Vice Presidentof IMEA, Automation Anywhere
With technology in the workplace becoming prevalent, the opportunity to upskill and reskill employees could help ensure that the talent base in the UAE is future-proofed.
Throughout history, the emergence of new technologies and innovations introduced a new growth trajectory for people and economies, transforming how we live and work. Today, automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are driving new trends in business and transforming how organisations operate.
Robotic process automation (RPA) can now match or even surpass human performance across a widening range of business processes. This rapidly evolving technology is being adopted across industries including banking, healthcare, insurance and manufacturing as benefits like improved accuracy, efficiency and productivity become clear. Its greatest advantage, however, is not just to organisations, but also to humans, who stand to benefit from the technology.
A study conducted by Goldsmiths, University of London concluded that automation technology will positively transform workplaces and the people who work there. Eighty per cent of respondents using AI and 78 per cent using RPA said that these technologies will free employees from repetitive work, while 70 per cent of respondents said augmentation had improved the well-being of their team.
Why does this matter in the UAE? The nation aspires to push new boundaries and constantly strives to set new global benchmarks. The need to innovate has been recognised by the nation's leadership with "Innovate or withdraw" being one of 10 principles of governance as outlined by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. With nations and economies striving to drive happiness agendas and create a smarter, productive workforce, the ability to avoid repetitive tasks will transform the workplace experience for them.
For example, finance teams in large organisations can free up significant time if they are freed up from tasks like payroll and reimbursements. With a low chance of error, automation solutions also increase quality of work.
In the customer services field, by deploying RPA solutions, we are able to make humans available to spend time on complex solutions instead of investing time and effort on minor customer requests. In the region, we've seen businesses like Emirates NBD and Dubai Asset Management successfully deploy RPA solutions, thereby driving up productivity and efficiencies.
Businesses adopting RPA technologies will also be better positioned to attract the best of talent, as executives increasingly seek out technology-focused businesses. Moreover, with technology in the workplace becoming prevalent, the opportunity to upskill and reskill employees will help ensure that the talent base in the UAE is future-proofed. Workplaces wanting to lead in the future, will continue to invest in technology and talent, and RPA solutions will help bridge gaps and help humans unlock their full potential.
Over the next several years, a dramatic increase in the adoption of RPA technologies is expected, with the UAE leading the way for the region. A study from Deloitte estimated 72 per cent of enterprises will use RPA by 2020, leading to near-universal adoption within the next five years. With RPA, employees are free to do what humans do best: think creatively to solve the most important problems of our day and build towards the future.
Robotic process automation (RPA) can now match or even surpass human performance across a widening range of business processes.