Automation is not only the future, but it is very much the present right now. If the future is to bring anything in the field of automation, it would have to be along the lines of improved and/or intelligent decisions by the bots, powered by years of machine learning. As things stand now, automating business processes, from preprograming manufacturing robots, to automatic testing of software applications by test bots, is becoming the standard for even SMEs.
As no business decision is taken without a short-term and/or a long-term business benefit in sight, rest assured that the standardisation of automatic processes would not be adopted if there were not enough benefits to justify the action. Stay with us as we go through some of those benefits that come with adopting automation across multiple industries, and sometimes, irrespective of the operation’s scale.
Human beings cannot be as perfect as machines can be in their work output, while even the most sophisticated AI algorithm cannot even come close to human ingenuity and sentience. However, when we combine the two, the result is something that more and more industries are not just coming to realise, but also beginning to adopt as part of their own, day-to-day operations. This winning combination is allowing even small businesses with limited resources to accept projects and finish them in time, which would otherwise be impossible for them, either due to lack of a sufficient workforce, or on account of the fact that they would not have the means to hire a necessary workforce to begin with.
Thanks to automated processes, small manufacturers can employ a single, intelligent robotic arm to do the job of a workforce which they don’t have the means to hire. On top of that, automation software (accounting, file management, inventory management and so much more) simultaneously handles repetitive, time-consuming, but absolutely essential back office work in a flash without errors. Human employees will of course be necessary to handle more complex tasks in both the front and the back end, but only a handful of skilled workers should be sufficient to do the work that the machines cannot handle all on their own. However, it would be incorrect to state that this can instantly put SMEs in competition with the bigger enterprises, but they will certainly enjoy a productivity boost over their competition all the same.
Here’s where human intelligence and machine learning works in perfect coordination with each other to produce immaculate work. Advanced as learning algorithms might be at this point in time, they are not yet at a stage where they can replicate human sentience and innovative capacities. The best part is, neither do they need to! When it comes to ensuring quality, automation and human intelligence work side-by-side to plan, develop and correct a product to perfection.
There is no better example for establishing this particular aspect than the software development and testing process itself. Automated testing after every stage of an application development project is complete, is essential for debugging possible errors. As Global App Testing points out, with both general and project-specific best standards for automated testing in place, a development team can test all possible scenarios in a small amount of time. This is of course possible because of the AI bots that enable automated testing in the first place. By eliminating the need to manually test every known process, deadlines can be met with better frequency and chances of scope creep can be reduced to a great extent.
However, there’s only so much that a developer can predict, and intelligent as your automation software maybe, it is still limited to the pre-programmed testing scenarios only. The post quite rightly mentions that manual testing powered by human testers take care of explorative, user end testing, so that errors can be found in corners where the software just cannot look on its own. Automated testing in application development is truly the perfect example of a business scenario where man and machine work in perfect harmony with each other all the time to create a (near) flawless product for the client. There will still be bugs that will pop up later on, but patching those up should prove to a be a much easier task, given that these problems should be far and few in between.
Higher Revenue Generation
A productivity boost alone is enough to generate significantly higher revenues in any field of work, so this can also be considered as a general and usual result of adopting automation in business. However, automation also plays other direct and indirect roles to improve revenue generation by boosting productivity in those specific sectors as well. A few examples of the same can be cited as mentioned next:
- Target client/customer identification
- Marketing and social media
- Lead generation and management
- Project management
- Inventory management
- Payroll management
- Accounting and taxes
- Customer care and customer management
- Predictive analysis, financial suggestions and more
- Document generation and updating
The principle idea behind all these automation powered software tools is to improve a company’s ROI, which can only be achieved by not just ensuring higher revenue generation, but also by boosting profits simultaneously.
Automation is believed by many to be the end of human workers, but that is not exactly true. It cannot be denied that in manual fields of work, the need to use less labourers due to the immaculate and unmatchable efficiency of preprogramed machines will cost quite a few jobs. Nevertheless, the central idea behind automation is to make dangerous manual work safer for workers, and business more profitable for the employers. The machines will still need guidance and automation is also creating jobs across the various sections of every industry. They are higher paid jobs which requires more knowledge and efficiency though, which can prove to be a limiting factor for many. It remains to be seen what the impact of automation in core industries turns out to be in a few years’ time, as far as human employment is concerned.