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Will RPA take away human jobs?


Over the last few days, I have been asked quite a few times – will RPA take away jobs? Adoption of technology or any automation (whether it be through RPA or through the implementation of enterprise applications or robots in a factory) will always get asked that question.

Impact of Automation can be categorised in to two types:

  1. Labour augmentation: Automation that complements a human, making them more effective. E.g. a forklift enables a worker carry weight many times greater than they would be able to carry with their bare arms
  2. Labour replacing: Automation that takes the place of a human worker. E.g. machines in factories that can do the job of multiple workers

For us at Centelli, we focus on enabling outcomes and delivering business benefits. Once those outcomes are achieved, benefits are unlocked, it is up to the customer to determine the appropriate way of capitalising on it. We start all exploration of possible areas for automation with a simple question – “If you were given a magic wand to make any task go away, what would you want to stop doing?”. The response becomes the target for automation.

These answer to this question are inherently oriented towards labour augmentation. The work that has been taken over by the Digital Workers has been work that the human workforce was doing but was never thrilled by it. 

Once the Digital Workers have been deployed, there is a significant positive impact on the staff. Human workforce is freed up from repetitive tasks and is able to focus on more value adding tasks, tasks that require greater thinking, provide a greater challenge. Mckinsey in an article published as early as 2017 on Intelligent Process Automation, has identified freeing up of skilled resources as one of the 4 major benefits of RPA. In one particular implementation at a hotel contact centre, there was an improvement in motivation levels, better output and overall greater job satisfaction. 

Automation is about people and how we can best use the experienced and cognitive capabilities of the human workforce the best. We say that RPA is not Robotic Process Automation but is Routine Processes Annihilated!

If you are doing tasks that are repetitive and should ideally not be done by humans, get in touch. Find out how our Digital Worker solution can help.


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