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Automation has a huge potential to change the nature of work, freeing up workers from tedious, repetitive, and precision work. Automation is a transformational change for owners, employees and customers, along with the society at large.
A McKinsey study estimates that around 50 percent of current work could be automated, and companies that support automation and AI end up creating better jobs.
A thorough reassessment is required of how the company operates and how best to capture the impact of automation.
Companies who have just automated on the surface have had small and limited results that don't last. Companies that have understood and deployed the high-risk, high-reward proposition have completely transformed it's business offerings and have become market leaders. They have also redeployed the freed up workforce and provided additional services, even turning their competitors into customers.
A joint effort of commitment and communication is essential for a thorough approach to automation and has to be led by top management.
Apart from IT, all stakeholder groups like HR, Operations, Business Units have to be engaged, and communicate consistently.
A company-wide program, lead by the senior leaders, is essential to establish and empower a team to manage the effort.
A central transformation office is important as, without centralized control, each unit or function will misalign if left to itself in isolation.
Many executives think of automation as an annoying IT function when the company-wide program is not lead or communicated properly. This has to be taken care of by prioritizing implementation efforts while ensuring business continuity.
It's a good idea to start building internal capabilities to ensure that the resources needed to roll out the new technologies can be sourced in-house.
Reduce dependence on external automation providers by starting early to develop automation and related skills among the existing workforce. Training of employees and providing growth opportunities sends a strong positive signal in the organization.
"If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea." - The little Prince
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