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Workplace Automation
Business Transformation

New Trends in Workplace Automation

Workplace Automation is the process of digitizing and workflow automation management for a more efficient operation, as well as cutting

Workplace Automation is the process of digitizing and workflow automation management for a more efficient operation, as well as cutting back on human error. The robotization of the workplace has been the stuff of science fiction novels. But never in the era of human civilization has the concept has become more real as now.

Trends in Workflow Automation

While the benefits of business process automation are obvious, only a small percentage of US industries have been willing to invest in new innovations. In fact, a large majority is expected to be affected by the digital disruption caused by AI and robotic automation.

Industries are caught in the good news, bad news predicament. The good news is that more and more companies acknowledge the importance of investing to grow automation in order to compete. The survey by Forrester Consulting for Enova Decisions revealed that as low as 3 in 10 companies to as high as 48% are already integrating machine-learning, AI, and Internet-of-Things in some form or the other. By 2020, the number is expected to shoot up to as high as 90%.

The bad news, however, is that only 42% of companies have software products that are already obsolete in relation to the new hardware innovations being introduced in the market today. Meanwhile, more than 2 in 10 of executives say that they are satisfied with how their companies are employing new technologies to improve workflow management.

Future and Impact of Work Automation

The report by McKinsey Global Institute titled, “Jobs lost, jobs gained: Workforce transitions in a time of automation,” debunked the myth about artificial intelligence and robotics displacing human workers. Indeed, there are jobs that will be redundant due to the business automation solution, however, new jobs will also be created in turn. This means that the feared massive drop in unemployment rates may not happen.

Besides, you can expect resistance from some business owners, especially in countries or cities with lax labor laws, who will insist on hiring cheap manpower than investing in business automation technologies.

Another offshoot of automation technology is the expected upgrading of human capacity and skills. Higher prerequisites in employment and retention are necessary in order to compete with robotic automation. This could either be a positive or negative outcome, depending on where you sit.

So will automation eventually replace human workers? The answer is no.

In fact, that’s not the design of the automation technology and tools right now. The purpose is to make the work easier for people so they have more time for leisure activities while, at the same time, reduce the margin of error in order to increase the profits. Innovations in artificial intelligence and robotics are constantly being developed in order to build on human aptitude.

On the business side, technology is being exploited to ensure maximum gains from each human worker. There’s a downside to this, of course, and that is the dehumanization of the workplace.

Narrow Understanding of the Technology

Unless there’s a major upheaval, the current trend of conservative investment in workflow automation management will likely continue. The main goal of businesses is to cut back costs and boost profits, and their business process automation goals will revolve around this principle. In their ideal setup, robots will replace middle management while they can still retain their cheap manual labor. It also helps in operations optimization.

Although the digital disruption caused by the business automation technologies is already being felt by some sectors, full automation is still good 10 years from now. That should provide businesses with a comfortable window to change their systems. The important thing right now is for companies to come up with workable strategies for the violent transition that is bound to come.


The success of the automation project will depend on if you have the right team working on it. That’s why it’s important to identify the right talent before the project begins to increase your chances of it succeeding.

There are plenty of ways to fill the roles you need, whether it be through LinkedIn job posts or indeed to identify the talent you are looking for full time or part time. Another option is to hire a consultant. They offer expert help for the duration of the project, and also help to train existing staff. One way is to hire a strategy execution consulting firm such as MicroAgility, to provide you with the professional consultants to work with your team. Or if you’d like to quickly find resources and relevant talent, you can explore consulting platforms like iAgility, where they have vetted consultants on demand.

Feel free to explore your options to identify which is the best route for you. Good luck with the execution of your strategy, if there’s anything our team can do to help, let us know!

If you want to learn more about strategy execution, explore our other blog articles here…

Posted by
Sajid Khan

Sajid Khan is the President at MicroAgility and has over three decades of management and consulting experience. He leads the efforts in many projects including operational improvements, cost reduction, and managing growth. Sajid strives to help others succeed and to create opportunities that are sustainable and uplifting for humanity — always guided by the virtues of hard work, quality, and kindness