Automation and Development Democratization with the rise of Citizen Developers

 

The Covid-19 pandemic has permanently altered the way people work, shop, and access services. In response, enterprise organizations have accelerated their efforts to shift toward digital-first business models and adopt automation in every aspect of their business operations. And, the ultimate goal is to offer best-in-class customer experiences, while also nurturing employees that are making it happen at the back end. The pandemic has made us learn the hard way that technology will aide us in fighting any future disasters and the ultimate differentiator for scale and efficiency

As per Gartner’s 2022 predictions, the speed of the automation process is accelerating, and organizations are rapidly shifting towards developing fully automated value chains. The survey predicts that more than 80% of organizations are poised to increase their investments in automation technologies in the near future. The pace at which automation is replacing & augmenting the human effort in BPO firms is an indication of how AI driven Automation and Robotics are changing the way we live and work.

Embracing automation in different verticals of business operations is a transformative effort on the part of enterprise organizations, largely driven by C-suite decisions and the scale and benefits the initiative yields to the organization.

The democratization of automation is one of the most important things that will happen in 2022 and beyond, as it will significantly impact how we live and work. The next wave of automation will be more sophisticated and have a greater impact on our lives than ever before.

To take full advantage of AI & Automation, companies need to ensure that there is collaboration between Humans, Machines and Algorithms. We must understand how humans can most effectively augment machines, how machines can enhance what humans do best, and how to redesign business processes to support the partnership.

A lot of the focus right now is also on people as well on humanoids. In case of humans, we have to identify talent — especially retraining and redirecting the existing workforce as needed — as one of the keys to delivering AI & Automation led digital transformation. And even the use of data has a human side. While data management is another important element of digital transformation, in my opinion “it’s often more of an organizational challenge than a technical one.”

Success requires both digital-savvy leaders and a workforce with the capabilities to make a digital transformation’s changes happen. Hence we have to keep Digital learning as an integral part of growth and career development. 

There are two primary ways in which companies with successful transformations are empowering employees to embrace these changes. 

The first is reinforcing new behaviours and ways of working through formal mechanisms, long proved as an action that supports organizational change. One related key to transformation success is establishing practices related to working in new ways. 

Another key is giving employees a say on where digitization could and should be adopted. When employees generate their own ideas about where digitization might support the business companies are more likely to succeed. Empowering workers is ensuring that people in key roles play parts in reinforcing change. Success depends on both senior leaders and those engaged during the transformation

Also, organizations should focus on technology-innovation managers, who bridge potential gaps between the traditional and digital parts of the business. People in these roles help foster stronger internal capabilities among colleagues. Technology-innovation managers possess specialized technical skills and lead work on a company’s digital innovations

So, what does this all mean for the future of work? It’s hard to say definitively, but one thing is clear: automation is here to stay, and it will only become more prevalent in the years to come.

Why automation?

 

Business process automation is no longer a mere luxury for bigger businesses, instead, it is rapidly evolving as a required essential for businesses of each size to assure continued success. Business and IT pros who don’t scrutinize employing automation in the future face forfeiting their competitive advantage.

Automation presents advantages for both customers and service providers. Customers notice an improved experience as a result of improved consistency in the services delivered, better response times, and usually lower costs. These are the advantages for the service providers as well: enhanced user experiences improve customers’ lifetime value and brand loyalty. Automation authorizes organizations to capitalize on opportunity costs, optimize internal resource allocation, and allow businesses to climb while assuring consistency in CX. With automation, companies are either making or saving money.

Democratizing automation: What does it really mean for organizations?

 

Democratization of automation in simple language means accessibility of automation technology to more and more people. Today’s movement to democratize automation stems from a few recent trends such as reduction in labor productivity, scarcity of technical talent, tech-savvy employees, user-friendly technologies, and increasing costs involved in running business operations that in a way be reduced by the use of automation technology. 

 

It is changing the way we work, with more and more people working remotely and using technology to perform tasks that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. 

The pandemic has taught us to take care of ourselves—not only physical well-being but also mental health. Organizations across the globe have realized the importance and taking efforts to respond well to the mental well-being of their employees. Manual and mundane tasks are rapidly being automated. As per studies, around 30% of activities that we perform daily could be automated using technology. Self-driving cars are one of the best examples of automation technology in our lives.

A shift towards providing opportunities that allow employees to explore creativity, and developing new skills is gaining importance all by way of embracing and democratizing automation. Many new generation organizations are already reaping the benefits of democratizing their automation endeavours. Often automation is perceived as something that happens in a factory setting, where machines are used to perform tasks that are repetitive and dangerous for humans. But today automation is becoming increasingly democratized, with new technologies making it possible for individuals and small businesses to automate tasks that were once the privileges of big corporations.

The rise of citizen development

 

The easy accessibility to technology has given rise to a novel business process concept called Citizen Development. It inspires non-IT-trained employees to grow into software developers, utilizing the IT-authorized low-code/no-code (LCNC) platforms to develop business applications. This method of software development allows employees — despite their absence of formal training in coding — to become citizen developers, the authorized business users who build new or modify existing business applications without the necessity to involve the IT department.

The citizen development strategy not only hastens innovation and the application development procedure but also lessens backlogs and frees the IT team, to prioritize and tussle with more critical business-wide issues. This method simultaneously manages security concerns related to shadow IT and third-party apps via resource sharing, transparency, and monitoring among IT professionals and citizen developers.

Advantages of automation in business processes

 

Automation enables the automation of tasks or processes using technology. In many cases, automation can save time and money while increasing efficiency and productivity. One particularly impactful area is in the field of marketing. It has helped in automating marketing tasks and processes, including email marketing, social media campaigns, lead generation, and more. This saves time and allows businesses to nurture their leads and build relationships with them over time, ultimately increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Other areas where automation can be beneficial include human resources (HR), customer service, and sales. For HR, automating tasks such as onboarding and employee performance reviews can save time and improve efficiency. Automating tasks such as answering customer queries can free up ample time for customer service representatives and allow them to handle more complex tasks.

Understanding the different types of automation

 

When it comes to automation, different types can be used to make things easier. The most common type is called process automation, which is the use of technology to automate tasks that humans would otherwise complete. This can include tasks such as data entry, scheduling, and email management.

Another type of automation is known as task automation, which is the use of technology to automate specific tasks. This type of automation can be used for things like online ordering, appointment scheduling, and payment processing.

Finally, there is robotic process automation, which is the use of robots to automate tasks that humans would otherwise complete. This type of automation can be used for things like manufacturing, assembly line work, and packaging.

Will we ever end the long debate over automation?

 

The debate over automation has been around for quite some time. On one side are those who believe that automation is a necessary part of progress and on the other are those who believe that automation takes away jobs and undermines the economy. 

On the positive, automation helps enhance productivity, and efficiency and reduce overhead costs, while also helping to nurture employees. It helps to eliminate safety risks by reducing human intervention in hazardous conditions.

On the downside, automation can lead to job losses. It can also result in increased inequality as those who can benefit from automation will see their incomes increase while those who lose their jobs will see their incomes decrease. Additionally, automating tasks can lead to a loss of skills as workers no longer need to learn how to do certain tasks.

Anticipating positive impact on our lives

 

It is evident that the democratization of automation will play a major role in the future of the work and lives of global citizens. As more and more companies adopt automation technologies, it is important to consider how this will affect workers. While there are some concerns about job loss, it is also important to remember that automation can also lead to the democratization of work, giving employees more control over their own work lives. Overall, automation is likely to have a positive impact on the workplace of the future.

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