Does Robotic Process Automation Take Jobs Away From Real People?
One of the biggest concerns that people have about Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is that it will take jobs away. And it’s a valid concern. At the surface, it looks like the whole point of RPA is to create robotic software programs that can take-over certain jobs for real people.
But does automating a business process really mean you’re putting people out of a job? Not necessarily. Let’s take a closer look at exactly how Robotic Process Automation actually affects real people’s jobs.
Creating Jobs Elsewhere
You can think of Robotic Process Automation in a similar way as outsourcing. In both cases, you no longer need in-house employees to handle the business processes that you outsource or automate. But someone still has to do the work. So even though you’re taking certain jobs out of your organization you’re still creating jobs elsewhere.
When you outsource, these new jobs are often created overseas (though there are U.S.-based outsourcing firms as well). But with Robotic Process Automation, you can actually repatriate jobs that would otherwise end up handled by an overseas outsourcing firm. Someone needs to run the software, maintain the bots, and handle customer service for your RPA supplier. And that means when you use RPA in your business, you’re creating jobs in the Robotic Process Automation industry.
Making Human Jobs Easier
According to Frank Casale (founder and chairman emeritus of the Institute for Robotic Process Automation), RPA isn’t really taking jobs away. It’s just making those jobs much easier to do. Using IT as an example, Casale points out that “The average IT professional spends 80 percent of his time keeping the lights on and 20 percent [focusing] on critical work.” In contrast, when they use “RPA the bulk of the mundane work gets done by software – freeing team members to focus on innovation.”
When bots take over certain tasks, that doesn’t always mean a real person loses their job. Sometimes it just means that Robotic Process Automation helps people do their jobs more easily. Bots take over mundane and repetitive tasks so human employees can focus on the sort of engaging, meaningful, and creative work that automation can’t do.
Jobs Within Your Company
So what does all this mean within your company? If you are looking to downsize, RPA can help with that. You can outsource business processes to an RPA company and pay their employees to keep certain aspects of your business running instead of maintaining an in-house department.
But if you’d rather keep your employees, RPA can help with that too. In an interview with Cape Business News Ajit Paul (Associate Director of Deloitte South Africa’s Technology & Applications Outsourcing) said RPA doesn’t “necessarily suggest job losses.” In fact, it “creates more value-driven and complex jobs as companies free resources from volume-driven work.” Using RPA in your company doesn’t mean you have to get rid of employees. Rather, it can change the type of work your employees are doing.
Robotic Process Automation is not meant to replace people. It’s designed to make human lives easier. And if that’s something you’d like to do in your company, just get in touch with NextProcess. We’ll help you customize our automation programs to fit your organization’s goals for robotic process automation.