How To Use Automation To Future-Proof Your Business

Automation is coming. In many different businesses, it is already here, and it will transform how businesses are run forever.

According to a study by Faethm AI, 1.4 million jobs could be replaced in the next year with automation in one form or another. That is 4.8 per cent of the working population, and this will have a significant effect on businesses across the country.

It is important to note that automation is a tool and a core part of Industry 4.0. Taking advantage of automation will allow your business to remain competitive and make the most of your employees and talent pool.

Here are some ways to use automation to expand and future-proof your business.

Focus On Human Skills

Artificial intelligence and automation can be used not to replace human workers but augment it and expedite types of work that are painstaking for a human being but much easier for trained automata, which leaves more of an opportunity for creative tasks.

According to Faethm’s analysis, work could take 1.3 per cent less time to complete, which is more time than your staff can use to take advantage of their more unique talents.

Automation cannot replace every job, particularly where creative skills and adaptability are more important than rote exercises and routine, and it is important to foster these skills and enable them to flourish by reducing more menial tasks.

Consider Unautomatable Jobs

Artificial intelligence is very good at routine, regular jobs with set rules and a limited amount of possible options. These tools are what make deep learning systems good at a game like Chess but would struggle in certain environments.

There are three main categories of jobs that can’t currently be automated according to Kevin Roose:

  • Jobs with unexpected variables. Teaching a class, creative fields and other jobs where an AI would be expected to quickly adapt are not the best roles for AI.
  • Jobs with emotional labour. Any job where the role is to make people feel an emotion rather than simply making a product. Waiters, for example theoretically could be replaced with an automated app and delivery system, but that would take away from the dining experience.
  • Jobs requiring rare skills. Many jobs require people who can make complex decisions that would be either impossible or unacceptable to automate. This includes emergency services roles.


Retrain Rather Than Replace

Most people who are at risk of being replaced by automation have incredible talent that could be used elsewhere and have the knowledge and ability to be a key asset to your business.

By having your recruitment philosophy be built around your current talent and making them the best they can be, you can increase productivity, motivation and morale, and enable genuine progression.

We have seen over the past year how jobs that were seen as requiring an office space could be undertaken anywhere, as well as how quickly people can be trained and adapt to a new system.

Ultimately, most automated systems will need some form of maintenance repair too, so training staff to be able to maintain and manage automated systems will be crucial.

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