By Dijam Panigrahi is Co-founder and COO of Grid Raster Inc.
It’s important to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technology especially as it can make or break a company’s efficiency and bottom line. With that in mind, businesses should be aware of the latest trend: automation technology. Deemed as the number-one trend by Gartner in 2020, automation technology is the future of business.
Automation technology can be programmed to complete logical processes for a particular business. This grouping includes, but is not limited to, robotic process automation (RPA), intelligent business management software (iBPMS), machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).
Automation Technology Assets that Help Move a Business Forward
With the already large array of technological applications and programs businesses use, what makes automation technology the next best thing? First, automation technology is flexible. It can be used by many industries in their own unique way, such as aiding them in data mining, targeted marketing or constructing precision-based financial models.
Evidence of this can be seen in the industries that are interested or already implementing the technology: manufacturers, tech and engineering firms, mining precincts, utilities, oil and gas. Not only is the technology flexible in its implementation, but in what it is compatible with. This technology can work with diverse business applications, and structured or unstructured data.
Reduced Human Interaction for Social Distancing
Furthermore, it reduces the role of direct human interaction in many operational activities. Unlike technology of the past, an employee does not have to continuously monitor automation tech to make sure it does its basic function. Instead, any human involvement, like critical or social thinking, can propel automation to be faster and error-free.
This is extremely beneficial and relevant to the current environment, especially with the Coronavirus pandemic. A company does not have to worry about breaching any safety guidelines with automation. In fact, this technology can be handled remotely from a social distance setting or even from the comforts of home by an employee.
Beyond this flexibility and independence, automation also allows for the acceleration of projects that would have been impossible before this technology. A great example of automation’s flexibility as well as reach can be seen in medical research. Currently in the medical field, automation is being used to test the outcome of drugs and vaccines.
As stated by University of Washington computer science professor Pedro Domingos1:
“Machines can attend to vastly more information and more complex processes then human beings and try out more drugs or vaccines than we can in the lab. Machine learning is used to discover drugs by simulating the process on a computer, which takes a fraction of the time and cost.”
The most beneficial aspect of automation is the organization it can create with data. With organization comes the enhancement of the internal day-to-day of a company. By neatly putting everything into order, this technology frees the company up to focus on other areas. Employees can forget working on mundane tasks and learn new skills. Managers don’t have to worry about monitoring systems and can focus more on the members of the workforce.
Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality Creating Efficiencies
Companies in many industries are also implementing other technologies, such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to bring more automation into the production cycle. AR/VR solutions have been effective in creating more workflow efficiencies on production floors, in the equipment design room, employment training, and virtual customer visits.
How to Build Automation Technology into a Business
The first step in the process is to take an initial, objective look at the organization. When an analysis is reached through taking an objective look, there will be an understanding of what automation technology is best suited for the organization.
Once a decision is made, it is crucial to have a team made up of those in and out of the technical field. This includes data scientists, SMEs, business analysts, operational executives, RPA developers and RPA testers.
Once automation technologies are implemented into a company’s workflow, continuous testing and performance measurement are key to scalability. According to the research firm Gartner, automation is expected to lower operational costs by 30 percent or more by 20242.
Technology is an integral part of any company, taking part in multiple facets of a business. Automation technology is, for good reason, the newest trend. It is essentially the future of business with benefits that promote streamlined efficiency. Any company that integrates automation into its system can only expect to excel as the possibilities are endless.