What Impact Automation Will Deliver Post COVID-19?



Decoding the automation challenges and opportunities for the new normal.

The COVID-19 has created incredible economic chaos across the world, putting businesses in a struggling position. However, in order to respond to the crisis and planning to reopen business activities, many organizations across diverse industry verticals are increasingly turning to automation solutions. They are going ahead to automate complex business or industrial processes that were already intricate to humans. While businesses wrestle with revenue generation efforts, inflated costs, overburdened resources, and supply chain issues, they are vigorously looking for solutions to address these challenges faster.

At the same time, they are seeking to thrive in the contactless environment as the prevention of the COVID-19 virus demanded no-touch ecosystem. Thus, the implementation of automation technologies, with the rapid adoption of chatbots, automated tele-calling, voice assistants, or robotics solutions are increasing at a striking pace across manifold industries.

Businesses are using such solutions to develop new processes and operations to serve their customers and partners, and address organizations’ critical business needs.


The World Influenced by Automation

Already, a majority of organizations have begun leveraging automation technologies, such as Robotic Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning to cut costs during the economic crisis induced by COVID-19. They are using these technologies to revamp their operations for distributed work, reskilling and upskilling employees to deliver higher value.

While some industry analysts raise concerns over job losses once automation technologies and automated systems take on higher-value work, they are now able to save and even create more valuable jobs.

In the time of crisis, many countries started experimenting with the capabilities of AI and automation to fight against the pandemic. There are an array of applications that have been deployed so far to solve the health crisis, including disease surveillance, virtual health assistants, automated disinfection, facial recognition, temperature measurement and more.

There is no wonder that automating tedious, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks will enable work to be completed faster than ever and drive improved productivity. By doing so, new efficiencies, cost reduction, and an increase in competitive edge would also be achieved.

According to the Forrester research, companies have planned to invest in cognitive capabilities and AI, industrial robots, service robots, and RPA as businesses recover post-covid-19. Further, the crisis has made automation more imperative as business leaders expand business continuity plans and take new risks.

Principal analyst at Forrester, Leslie Joseph said that automation adoption across BPM (business process management) sector has been the highest over the past 4-5 years both for customers and internal efficiency initiatives. Global captives also adopted automation to a great extent. Automation comes with costs so businesses were walking the line between efficiency and cost which at the Indian wage rates was still possible.

On the other side, investments in drone-based delivery by Alibaba, Amazon, and JD.com and robotic telemedicine by companies including UvD Robots and Yuoibot, during the pandemic, have shown viability for the large-scale deployment of automated systems.

Moreover, the COVID-19 outbreak has paved ways for innovation in several ways, enabling decision-makers to reap much higher-quality outcomes and deliver the best quality of services to customers using automation.