Automation arrived long back in India and the country is now driving Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based technologies globally -- even ahead of the US and Japan -- a new study said on Tuesday.
According to the Augmented Human Enterprise – a major academic study conducted by Goldsmiths, University of London, and research commissioned by Automation Anywhere, a leading enterprise software provider -- 71 per cent of Indian respondents said their employees used RPA and AI-based augmentation to its full potential -- the highest proportion for any of the four markets surveyed.
Companies that invest in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) or Artificial Intelligence (AI) see much higher performance returns, especially if they also invest in people. In fact, the very presence of automation in the workplace is making work environments ‘more human’, states the academic study.
While 66 per cent Indians said that they are empowered to take risks, 77 per cent said that their organisation prioritised employee development.
India also outscored other markets on employee engagement and (with an impressive 84 per cent) on employee listening.
The research delves into understanding how automation makes people happier at work. It frees them from repetitive tasks to concentrate on creative and strategic work – the bits of their job they enjoy most. But the research also warns that this doesn’t happen by itself. The research highlights that automation must be used to enhance employee skills and complement their working styles to derive the maximum benefit.
Investment in automation technology alone results in some improvements in business performance. But investing simultaneously in people — by creating a human workplace — supercharges the performance boost that companies can expect to gain from the technology investment.
"Think of the human body breathing. It's a complex and critical mechanism but automated so our brains are freed to power everything else we do. I think for many organisations, all they can do is 'breathe.' It's so important, it's all the employees can focus on," said Mihir Shukla, CEO at Automation Anywhere.
When that breathing is automated within the organisation, then employees can focus on so many creative and strategic issues and opportunities.
"It's perhaps why this unique research shows that augmented organisations outperform non-augmented enterprises and have more 'human' workplaces," Shukla added.
For the study, the research team surveyed senior business leaders from major enterprises in India, the UK, the US and Japan.
The team also interviewed leading automation and AI subject-matter experts, including technologists, CEOs, scientists and engineers.
They found that in global augmented workplaces, workers are 38 per cent more engaged than those in non-augmented workplaces.
Nearly 70 per cent of respondents said augmentation had improved the well being of their team while 80 per cent of those using AI and 78 per cent using RPA said it frees employees from repetitive work.
"While the hyped potential of AI generates endless headlines, technologies such as RPA are quietly being rolled out in many of the most productive companies around the world -- humans and bots are already working alongside each other across the globe and in every sector," informed Dr Chris Brauer, Director of Innovation in the Institute of Management Studies (IMS) at Goldsmiths, University of London.
The team highlighted that automation must be used to enhance employee skills and complement their working styles to derive the maximum benefit.
Firms investing in people alongside the technology see better outcomes across three different dimensions of performance, including financial returns, innovation and cultural performance.
"India leads the way in reaping the benefits of augmentation, with 86 per cent of the respondents saying that automation has increased employee productivity," said the study.
Automation Anywhere is the world’s largest software provider of robotic process automation, the platform on which more organizations build world-class Intelligent Digital Workforces. Automation Anywhere’s enterprise-grade platform uses software bots that work side by side with people to do much of the repetitive work in many industries. It is the only true Intelligent Digital Workforce platform because it combines sophisticated RPA, cognitive and embedded analytic technologies.
Over 1,000 organizations use this AI-enabled solution to manage and scale business processes faster, with near-zero error rates, while dramatically reducing operational costs. Automation Anywhere provides automation technology to leading financial services, insurance, healthcare, technology, manufacturing, telecom and logistics companies globally.
(With IANS inputs)