Will Robots Replace the Human Workforce?
By 2027, the market value for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is anticipated to grow to $11 billion.
With bots carrying out a lot of daily tasks and activities nowadays, this probably comes as no surprise to you.
- boost productivity
- cut costs
- increase convenience
- reduce task monotony
- drive scalability in meeting the evolving demands of customers.
But while the application of RPA offers a wide range of opportunities to benefit businesses like yours, there have also been some fears around it replacing the human workforce. In fact, people are even saying that automation is changing “the classical” approach of laying off employees.
So, how will job functions be truly affected? Let’s discuss the implications of RPA on the human workforce – today and tomorrow.
A quick recap: what is RPA?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology handles all the tedious, repetitive and high-volume tasks, so that your employees don’t have to.
By optimising software robots (“bots”) that learn, follow and execute pre-defined instructions, RPA enables your business to automate time-consuming processes and streamline workflows.
With the help of RPA, tasks can be accomplished quickly and accurately at reduced costs with a lesser need for human intervention than ever before.
This doesn’t mean, however, that robots will completely replace the human workforce.
Worries about job elimination due to technology
We can’t deny that RPA has the power to alter the way businesses work. After all, bots speed mundane processes up and minimise the risk of errors.
However, just to assure your employees, the capabilities of RPA technology won’t negate the need for humans in the workplace. Humans will always have skills that bots just cannot replicate. Experts even suggest that, with businesses moving towards digitalisation, RPA is actually more likely to contribute to potential job reallocation and even job creation rather than job loss.
The key reasons why RPA can’t entirely replace the need for a human workforce
- RPA can only perform rule-based and repetitive tasks.
Ideal processes for RPA often include tasks that are specific, predictable and clearly structured. Aside from being repetitive and rule-based, it’s also preferred that processes have high frequency, low exception rate and contain readable inputs.
RPA isn’t suited for human-centric activities or tasks that require creative and critical thinking.
- RPA still needs support from humans to be successfully implemented.
The technology of RPA can neither operate without human intervention nor can reproduce the higher-level thinking and actions of humans. To maximise the potential of RPA, humans must still play a crucial role in its application.
Your people are also the only ones who can determine what business processes are suitable for automation, as well as monitor if bots are performing well for your organisation’s operations.
- RPA lacks soft skills.
Bots don’t have soft skills, making the human workforce much more effective in catering to customers’ needs and expectations. Because RPA technology can’t make complex decisions, solve situational problems and communicate deeply, businesses still need to rely on employees to get most of the job done.
To learn more, here’s an overview of the potential opportunities and difficulties of implementing RPA.
The impact of RPA on the human workforce
Institute for Robotic Process Automation (IRPA) Founder, Frank Casale, believes “It makes sense to work with RPA – not necessarily to put workers on the unemployment line, but to retrain them in ways that also make sense for what we are capable of creating and producing in the 21st century.”
Rather than completely replacing your human workforce, RPA aims to augment and complement how your employees work. With this smart technology, your team will no longer have to focus on repetitive and tedious tasks which are essentially more suitable for robots to perform.
Employees will get more of their time back, allowing them to focus on other areas that are more profitable for the business such as research and innovation, product development, marketing and customer service.
And as your business thrives in new markets, industries and customer segments through RPA, you will also be able to create more job opportunities that will benefit more people in the workforce.
Furthermore, RPA will empower your employees to work smarter, not harder. This, then, leads to less burnout and greater job satisfaction. If you watch the video below, you’ll understand the true synergy between humans and bots, as well as how they can effectively work together to add value to your business.
Impact on Higher-End Jobs
RPA is usually known for automating back-office tasks. Nevertheless, RPA can also support employees who are focused on higher-end tasks too.
Let’s consider, for example, those involved with certain high-value finance and accounting processes such as managing risk and compliance, completing tax returns, developing accounting software and financial advising.
Due to advancements in technology, even these higher-end knowledge professionals may consider RPA as a threat.
So, to ease their concerns, you can assure your team that RPA is a tool that’s designed to become a competitive advantage – not just for your business, but also for them as well. Working alongside robots, they can focus more on effectively applying their analytical skills where required, make more value-adding decisions and gain new knowledge that will allow them to succeed in the digital landscape.
The Future of Work
RPA has already started having a positive impact across many businesses and industries, and it will continue to have a promising future ahead, especially when working alongside humans.
At CiGen, we partner with organisations like yours to help you unlock the full business benefits of digital automation and establish a flexible operational environment for your and your employees’ future growth.
Our ultimate goal is to energise organisations and the workforce of tomorrow as digital technologies increasingly evolve toward Artificial Intelligence (AI), Computational Intelligence (CI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
Harness the true power of automation with CiGen On Demand
Our team of RPA specialists are here to ensure you reap all of the rewards of business automation, while we address any potential risks or concerns you may have.
We even provide an affordable automation service to small and medium-sized businesses through our CiGen On Demand subscription solution, making it even easier for your business to harness the true power of automation and earn back your valuable time.
Contact us today for more information on how we can help your business to succeed through robotic process automation.