I believe that once Covid-19 is contained, we are about to see a huge acceleration of change around the Future of Work. Work that is repeatable and requires little human skill is going to get automated away much, much faster than it already was. Think how useful it would be right now if we had automated pharmacies.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has been in stealth mode for the last 5 years, quietly infiltrating companies around the world. PwC, a global Accounting, Tax and Consulting firm has spent two full days teaching RPA to every single one of it’s 23,000 employees in the U.S. so that they can in turn roll it out in their clients.
RPA performs the routine tasks of a business that require little skill but much repetition.
I think that we are about to see an explosion of RPA once Covid-19 is contained. Businesses are realizing that having people perform the many routine tasks of a company puts them at serious risk when those people are not around. RPA provides a way for a business to keep the cogs of a business turning without having to have people around to do it. Covid-19 has really highlighted how big an issue this is.
David Moss of Blue Prism RPA said that doing RPA properly requires management to think about what parts of everyday work are “repeatable” and what is “humanistic”. You assign “repeatable” work to robots, RPA. You assign “humanistic” activities, such as answering customer’s questions, to humans.
If you want to see RPA in action, this video shows RPA software from UIPath processing orders all the way from getting them via email to the accounting general ledger. It even sends emails if it finds a problem.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gp3hG9UFFk4&feature=emb_logoThe leading vendors of RPA are Blue Prism, UIPath and Automation Anywhere. They are likely to see explosive growth in the next two years.
Again, I believe Covid-19 is going to provide is an acceleration of what we covered in the Future of Work section right at the start of class.