Ad Image

Stop Saying Automation is Replacing Jobs

Stop Saying Automation is Replacing Jobs

Stop Saying Automation is Replacing Jobs

As part of Solutions Review’s Contributed Content Seriesa collection of articles written by our enterprise tech thought leader community—Abhijit Kakhandiki, Chief AI and Innovation Officer at Redwood Software, explains why automation will not replace jobs but augment them.

It’s projected that automation will replace half of the hours spent on work. Now, this may immediately raise concerns like, “Is my job next to go? If I can’t work on the tasks I do now, what hours are left for me?” And why shouldn’t you be worried? Headlines every day announce companies are looking to become leaner and making investments in machines over people. The elephant in the room seems obvious. Still, I see this focus on concern and worry as misplaced—a narrative pushed into our minds as the only plausible option. Let’s look at what’s not being discussed.

Advancement Doesn’t Equal Replacement

Society often equates advancement with replacement, and it’s natural to feel apprehensive. Change is hard. But it also makes things easier. Why are we not shifting our thoughts to the opportunities created by automation? With mundane tasks automated, employees can dedicate more energy to research and development, leading to innovation that meets evolving customer demands and potentially driving revenue growth and new deals for their organizations.

People are an indispensable part of the automation equation and have been long before the hype of automation and AI took off. So, when we discuss infrastructure automation, we mean the ability to streamline systems, oversee resources, and execute mundane, repetitive tasks in a way that significantly lessens manual intervention.

Not only will automation not replace employees, it will also allow them to play a pivotal role in digital transformation initiatives, resulting in increasingly interesting and impactful work. But what, exactly, does that mean? And how does automation enable that shift?

There Continue to Be Many Things Automation Can’t Do

Let’s get to the point: a business process workflow is like your company’s secret recipe. It’s a series of steps designed to complete a specific job efficiently and effectively. From onboarding a new team member to managing a purchase order, every step matters. But automation isn’t a new idea. We’ve experienced it in various forms in our security systems, email management, and the packaging of everyday products.

For decades—even before the rise of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in the 2000s—automation has been helping enterprise businesses run these processes in the background. Yet, despite its familiarity and widespread use, why does its innovation raise concerns about job displacement and people being forgotten?

Today, the average organization has over 125 SaaS applications, and companies’ growing software stacks add cost and complexity at a time when leaders are under pressure to maximize resources. Because automation provides greater—not less—visibility and control of resources at scale, IT professionals will have increased opportunities to solve larger-scale problems and apply deeper insights across their tech stack.

In other words, there will continue to be many things automation can’t do, such as creative thinking, collaboration, innovating, and problem-solving.

The Shift to Higher-Value Work Begins

It’s people who excel at creating processes that work. While automation is completing its share of the work, it’s doing something equally important: empowering people by freeing up their time and enabling them to access more of their potential.

Advances in AI and automation allow people to cognitively offload repetitive tasks. With less time spent on rote tasks, people can see the big picture and perform higher-value work. Employees can engage in decision-making and strategic thinking, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of data—and ultimately, the application of this newly acquired knowledge about a company’s business toward its growth, rather than spending valuable time monitoring every process and transaction.

As organizations deal with complex, hybrid environments and use various solutions, the automation rate will increase. As interoperability improves among these systems, more enterprises will leverage automation to streamline and automate processes based on their specific goals and needs across their entire organization.

Executives and team leaders can reassure their employees by reminding them that automation only works alongside people—whose contributions remain at the center. Businesses that leverage the combined power of automation and the high-level contributions of people will have a competitive advantage, allowing them to provide better customer and employee experiences, operationalize their strategic initiatives, and unlock new possibilities for new growth.

There’s No Such Thing as Too Much Automation

Automation is not just a trend; it’s a necessary shift where the more its capabilities expand, the greater the potential for supercharged business growth. From boosting efficiency to driving innovation, its benefits are manifold. As we move towards an era where technology drives businesses, IT automation is a pillar of growth and transformation, where all stakeholders are aligned, management processes are optimized, and your business achieves operational excellence. But even with a suite of fully integrated automated systems, companies cannot succeed without the contributions of people.

Download Link to BPM Vendor Map

Share This

Related Posts