Fusing technology into business operations over the years has been steady but slow. Then came 2020, and Covid19. Who would have thought that 2020 would be the year we would have to stop shaking hands and start elbowing each other, always stand two meters apart, or stop going to the office at all? The reality hit hard – things changed, and they changed entirely.
For most, the cliché of ‘hard work makes the dream work’ in business was the refrain, and there was the misconception that long hours of hard work were key drivers of a thriving business. In recent times, the world of technology has overtaken the need for solely manual labour, and many business owners have ended up in a fit of discontentment. What happens next? The endless cycle of job termination and rehiring from the assumption that employees were not working hard enough, resulting in spending more, employee and customer dissatisfaction, and on and on.
The remedy to this is to understand the value of a transformative approach to business – instead of being stuck in our ways– and connect with technology to change the way we do business. Research predicts that by 2024, 69% percent of business processes will be automated. The question is, will businesses in Africa be ready?
Automation, whether you choose to call it robotics or not, can help employees work more effectively and productively, and is a powerful tool for business when used properly. It works best when work processes are predictable and manual using AI to assign tasks like data collection and processing or planning. It acts like a complementary tool to human effort and helps to cut costs, improve work processes and the overall customer experience.
The misconception is that automation completely replaces humans. However, keen judgment and empathy, two skills that automation technology cannot duplicate and will never be able to automate are still necessary skills in the business process. The future of work involves not only automating tedious transaction tasks in the digital world but also streamlining processes to increase productivity and raise the standard of human work by allowing workers to concentrate on more crucial tasks. This means automation handles monotonous jobs, while humans are allowed to focus on value thinking and higher brain work.
In the world of business, the fittest survive, and staying relevant has a whole new meaning. To assist businesses in keeping up with modern technological trends, Enterprise Computing Limited (ECL) offers automation solutions with round-the-clock fanatical support to the pan- African business spectrum. These businesses can then offer their customers an enhanced customer service experience. Work smarter, not harder.
The writer is the Chief Technology Officer, ECL