Remote but ready: Post-lockdown world ready for automation technologies

August 09, 2021 1:45 AM

Automation has become an imperative as businesses consider long-term remote and hybrid work scenarios

Anil BhasinAnil Bhasin

By Anil Bhasin

As the second wave of the pandemic subsides and vaccination drives gather momentum, ‘return to work’ and ‘hybrid workplaces’ are gathering precedence in most organisational conversations. It has become essential for organisations to plan what would be their ‘new normal’, in a post-lockdown scenario.

One silver lining is that this global crisis has pushed companies to innovate like never before. Leaders who may have been slow to adopt automation technologies— such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML)—have begun exploring them. Companies are using these technologies to provide faster service to customers, optimise costs, maintain business continuity, and revamp their operations for distributed work. And, the automation work done today will pave the way for a better tomorrow. Apart from emergency solutions for the current situation, automation has the potential to drive long-term strategic changes to allow business to thrive in a post lockdown world. There are several use cases that demonstrate the positive implications of RPA.

The Covid-19 crisis has exposed the inefficiencies in healthcare systems around the globe. There is an urgent need to optimise processes and enable them to be as productive as possible. An important aspect of this is to automate administrative tasks such as claim processing, member enrollment, creating reports, updating records, etc., such that health professionals can dedicate more effort towards patient care.

Similarly, government organisations are looking at RPA to give relief to their overburdened teams. For instance, In India, state health departments needed to undertake an extensive contact tracing effort to track Covid-19 patients and their immediate contacts. The states deployed RPA bots to pick up data from the statewide response sheets and update the comprehensive records of quarantined people. Expect organisations to assess the power of RPA and include automation in their future ready strategies.

Conquering the future of work
Remote and hybrid working is the norm for several organisations. In this setting, automation is and will continue to become increasingly commonplace. Additionally, existing technology trends will be accelerated from sheer economic necessity, even as new trends emerge. These include the acceleration of enterprise digital transformation and the automation of work.

In a survey conducted earlier this year by UiPath, 65% of respondents believe it’s possible their jobs will evolve in the next ten years, 76% of workers believe upskilling opportunities offer job security, while 94% of the respondents felt that being trained in automation software has improved their job performance this past year. Around 89% of the respondents would be more willing to continue working at a company that offered them training opportunities to learn new skills or further enhance their current skills.

Recession winners will use RPA, process mining
Enterprises in India are looking for ways to embrace automation to lower operational costs and maintain business continuity. Recession winners this time around will use hyper automation technologies such as RPA, process mining and task mining to make bold decisions about where to selectively reduce costs and meet business objectives.

The writer is MD & VP, UiPath India and South Asia

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