In its simplest form, automation includes any improvement to a process that reduces human labor while resulting in an outcome that’s the same or better than that of the previous process. The goals of automation include improvements not only in productivity but also in quality and consistency.
Most of us are familiar with information systems that automate and streamline decision-making using tools to aggregate, extract and analyze information. All of that has been around for a while. But newer systems — based on automation — now include , machine algorithms, real-time computing, big data analytics and evidence-based-. This level of automation opens up exciting possibilities.
automation — basically, the intersection of () and computing — has become one of the fastest-moving technologies because of the rise of the digital and connected workforce. According to one forecast , the global robotic process automation market will generate revenue of $50 million in 2017 and will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 60.9 percent from 2017 to 2026.
Buzz: C-Suite Interest?
The earliest successes in the field of automation involved products such as warehouse robots powered by , automated restocking systems, self-driving cars and systems that predict electricity demand. However, despite the influx of billions of gigabytes of data and vast investments, deployment of is still relatively low — though it appears that, thanks to the current wave of buzz, C-level executives are taking an interest in how investments in can result in greater success.
In a Harvard Business Review article, researchers from the McKinsey Global Institute reported that only 20 percent of respondents to their survey said they use one or more technologies at scale, while 41 percent said they were experimenting or piloting . Nonetheless, a McKinsey report sees as a new disruptor that will accelerate “shifts in market share, revenue, and profit pools.”
McKinsey identifies early adopters as digitally mature larger businesses that will use in core activities through multiple technologies, and that focus on growth over savings. […]