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Taking Advantage of Technology: The Role of Automation in the Modern Workplace

 Humans have used technology to outsource labor since the Roman water grains in 1BC. However, The term automation has been in practice since the mid-40s when a manager at the US Ford car manufacturing plant used the word to describe its mechanized production line. Fast forward almost 80 years, and we have self-driving cars and robots that can perform surgery.

Digital technologies in the modern workplace are some of the most meaningful and impactful types of automation. Many of these advances are so seamless that they almost go unnoticed. Yet, if we switched back to manual, workplace productivity and employee satisfaction would take a nosedive.

As we move toward what Gartner calls the era of Hyperautomation, it is time to look at how automation has and continues to transform the workplace by streamlining various business processes. 

Image by on Freepik

Benefits of automation

Before we explore the digital technology that is transforming the world of work, we should highlight the four primary benefits of automation.

#1. Increased productivity

The most significant advantage of automation is that it allows businesses to be more productive in several ways. Digital automation technology boosts productivity because machines can:

  • Work 24/7, 365 days a year

  • Perform many tasks much faster than human workers

  • Outperform humans at tasks like analyzing massive datasets (Machine Learning)

  • Augment human workers to drive employee productivity to new levels

  • Reduce human error across a variety of tasks

When it comes to the crunch, business is a competition, and automation allows businesses to compete harder and faster.

#2. Happier workers

A big part of automation is about taking repetitive and mundane tasks and outsourcing them to machines. We've all had specific work duties over the years that we dread because they were just flat-out boring. Automation helps teams handle these tasks and lets workers get on with more interesting, value-driven jobs. That means happier workers who feel more satisfied and engaged and less likely to quit.

#3. Cost reduction

Labor costs can be as much as 70% of a company's expenses. Adding more staff just isn't viable for many businesses. Automation helps teams improve their output without increasing their headcount. 

What's more, it can help teams replace formerly manual tasks and rotate their workers into other positions, or even downside.

#4. Scaling

Winning new business is great, but only if you can handle it. Automation can help teams scale up to meet increased demands and add revenue without extra labor costs. Of course, it's not just scaling up that is useful to businesses. Automation also allows teams to scale down, which is useful for industries with fluctuating workloads.

Automation trends that are changing the world of work

Automation has impacted the world of work in ways that were scarcely imaginable only 20 years ago. However, these advances are set to continue. Let’s explore some of the trends that are helping organizations realize a true 21st-century digital transformation.

#1. No-code tools

No-code tools are one of the most exciting advances in software development in recent years. Coding is expensive, time-consuming, and hard to learn for most of the population.

No-code tools allow even nontechnical employees to build applications for the workplace with simple drag-and-drop interfaces.

These advances are democratizing the process of software development and opening up new pathways to people, regardless of their education or technical aptitude. While there are existing software applications for every conceivable use case, no-code tools allow teams to build customized solutions at a fraction of the time and cost of typical software development projects.

#2. Cognitive Robotic Process Automation 

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has been around for several years. Businesses have used these tools in all manner of high-volume repetitive tasks, like data backups, transaction processing, and invoice generation. However, one consistent criticism of the technology is its inability to handle unstructured data.

Advances in AI have largely solved this problem. Computer Vision Technology (CVT) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) means that RPA tools can interact with and "understand" different types of data, which opens up the scope of potential RPA tasks. 

Now, these tools can resolve customer service problems, process documents intelligently, and, with the aid of Machine Learning (ML), make data-driven decisions. In the past, RPA was a workhorse that needed clear and defined instruction to complete even simple tasks. Thanks to AI, it’s more like a bright intern that doesn’t make errors.

#3. Generative AI-powered chatbots

While the unbridled hype of 2022 might be dying down a bit, Generative AI is here to stay and bring value into the workplace. There are so many interesting applications of this technology, from producing text, images, and video to summarizing text and even writing code. 

Large Language Models (LLMs) are trained on huge repositories of human knowledge. This gives these AI tools a large amount of flexibility to both parse unstructured data and written text and crunch it into language that computers understand. What’s more, it’s like a font of human knowledge that is accessible through conversational interfaces.

The possibilities are nearly endless, with teams being able to collect important data and implement sophisticated chatbots that can detect human sentiment. The impact these tools can have on automated customer service is immense.

#4. Sales and marketing automation tools

Sales and marketing are two areas that have benefited the most from automation. Technology like email marketing automation and Machine Learning-driven digital marketing optimization have become mainstays of revenue generation. However, they're just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to customer acquisition.

Automated demo software is a great choice for teams who want to demonstrate the power of their solution 24/7. Thanks to sales demo automation tools like Usetiful, you can build interactive product tours and walkthroughs that allow prospects to experience what it feels like to use your solution. It’s the perfect solution for presales, product-led growth, or any sales pipeline that can benefit from product demos.

What's more, our sales demo automation tool makes building product tours easy, thanks to a no-code drag-and-drop interface. Of course, that’s not the only way a digital adoption platform can help your revenue teams. Check out this article to see how a DAP can help your sales teams.

#5. Digital adoption tools

As Digital Transformation continues at pace across the economy, more and more businesses are waking up to the benefits of technology to drive growth. New tools disrupt old workflows and business processes, forcing staff to adopt new skills and master applications. But as software stacks grow, it presents a problem: how to ensure your employees get the most from your software investments?

There are multiple pathways that organizations can take to ensure their employees can take advantage of digital work tools. An automated digital adoption platform (DAP) is one of the best options. 

One of the many benefits of using a digital adoption tool is its versatility. You can use this software to overlay helpful content in individual applications or across entire workflows. What's more, they are the perfect choice to complement or augment various learning and development approaches, including employee training.

Of course, automated onboarding software is not only useful as an employee onboarding tool. The same principles that help employees adopt new software are also suitable for assisting users in adopting your own products. In an era where new solutions pop up constantly, and competition is fierce, ensuring users know how to get immediate value from your app is a commercial imperative.

User onboarding software also helps the team activate new users and boost adoption and retention rates. It's a powerful way to keep up users' momentum when they sign up or access a product because they have a problem or pain point they want to solve. A user onboarding tool removes points of friction and ushers users toward the "Aha moment" within the software and into loyal, paying customers. 

Another thing to consider is the clear customer trends towards self-service products. Users have gotten used to a kind of on-demand service, and they don't want to wait around for an online business to open or a customer service rep to get back to them. Automating your onboarding means that you can deliver great service with a lean organization.

Final thoughts

Automation technology is getting better every day. Product developers are finding new ways to make our lives easier by building technology that allows us to hand over various tasks to machines so that we can rotate into more value-driven tasks or even have more time for ourselves.

The path is clear. Machines will help to augment humans and allow us to work faster, more efficiently, and even allow us to unlock potentials that didn't seem possible. 

Digital employee onboarding tools will play a critical role in the enterprise space by allowing staff to navigate and master this range of exciting automation tools. 

Usetiful is at the forefront of this digital transformation because it provides businesses and publishers with a user-friendly, no-code solution for user and employee onboarding through interactive product tours, walkthroughs, tooltips, and more. 

Best of all, we offer a forever free version of our tool. Register here today.

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