Luck O’ The Bots!

By RG Conlee

“Decision making, creative solutions, empathy for a disgruntled customer: These things cannot currently be automated, nor should they.” – RG Conlee, chief innovation officer 

Ironically, luck had nothing to do with Saint Patrick’s accomplishments in Ireland. History tells us that, instead, it was his unwavering drive and sheer determination that convinced others to see things his way. Basically, he had a vision and stuck to it, utilizing creative and innovative solutions to get the end result he desired for a cause to which he was loyally committed.

Drive, determination, creativity, innovative and loyalty. They sound like the required attributes of an exceptional employee, don’t they? The kind of people you want servicing your customers, exceeding expectations and being a living extension of your organization’s brand. Yet, those people are hard to find, much less keep when you place them in positions of repetitiveness. It’s too easy to lose the motivation to excel when mundane tasks are all that they are doing. This results in reduction in productivity and a loss of quality as mistakes are made more frequently.

So, is the solution RPA?

You may think that using robotic process automation equates to people replacement and that the job loss numbers will grow exponentially worldwide. This simply is not accurate. In fact, RPA is intended to reduce the amount of time an employee spends on the more tedious, repetitive tasks. This allows your staff to focus on the higher value work requiring emotional intelligence. Decision making, creative solutions, empathy for a disgruntled customer. These things cannot currently be automated, nor should they.

As noted in this article in the McKinsey Quarterly, it is misleading to believe that entire occupations will be able to be automated. Rather, automated solutions revolve around certain activities, taking the robot out of the human and truly redefining an employee’s role. Improved productivity to enable employees to utilize their assets where they are truly needed – focused on providing business value. That is the reality of robotic process automation. Not cutting jobs. Instead, RPA used effectively will augment human labor. Your organization will be able to seek out and hire those employees with the same drive, determination and creativity we see in St. Patrick. And that’s no blarney!

One thought on “Luck O’ The Bots!

  1. Aman Mustafa March 22, 2016 - Reply

    Couldn’t agree with you more. Similar to your reference to luck and Saint Patrick, watching Star Trek those days I remember one of the episodes Data the android gets an ’emotion chip’ implanted, and the results were hilarious! RPAs may not create a huge unemployment scenario, but will certainly improve and optimize the repeatable processes, which should certainly optimize the performance of us human beings. That is still computing capability and processing power. What can make a difference in our day-to-day life would be self-learning computing capability that can enable humans to make decisions quickly – not with data but with intelligence. Then we obviously move into the realm of AI. Are we ready to apply self-learning computing capability to business applications?


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