Keeping up with the speed of business

Keeping up with the speed of business

As we bid farewell to 2018 and look ahead to the next 12 months, it is no surprise to hear that things will only progress more quickly. Leading enterprise robotic process automation (RPA) software company, UiPath, predicts that “everything will be accelerated in 2019”.

The company has newly released its top five predictions from some of its senior leaders. Kulpreet Singh, managing director EMEA, reckons the pace of automation will increase as large-scale RPA implementations advance rapidly in the region. He says they will be “turbo-charged” by the spread of expertise through widely available training programmes, new open marketplaces and the maturation of internal centres-of-excellence.

Singh adds that such implementations will progress more quickly in the EMEA region than other parts of the world, especially when it comes to deploying attended software robots in a wide range of settings.

UiPath also forecasts that automation will be “democratised” through global vendor education initiatives and that senior executives will back RPA and it will be easier to gain senior executive sponsorship for automation because its benefits have become so obvious.

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While the predictions have far-reaching effects for workplaces and the world of business, they are both positive and indicative of how technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics are being embedded into workplaces and work practices. There is still a great deal to be done and those leaders that have distanced themselves from digital transformation programmes must roll up their sleeves and get stuck into what needs to be done to advance their organisations into the digital era.

Surveys will continue to be published and headlines were written that warn AI and machine learning will mean loss of jobs and bring major changes that may initially alarm people but we also now know that these technologies will create new roles. It will not be plain-sailing though and not every organisation will get it right the first time.

A recent online post I read complained about how an airline’s staff stood by while passengers using the self-service struggled to lift heavy bags and sort boarding passes. As you’d expect, the writer was rightly angered by this and it reinforced their view of the pitfalls of self-service. This was not the fault of the self-service system though but a failure of leadership that the staff didn’t have a mindset to help customers. Not only does it scream of poor customer service but also of badly implemented automation.

So while the pace of technological development means that things will only get faster, it is down to us as leaders to make sure they also get better. Finally, it remains for me to say thank you to everyone who has read and commented on my blogs during 2018 and to wish you all a very happy Christmas and New Year.

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