Digital workforce – a threat or advantage to employees
Digital workforce is becoming an increasingly interesting topic to businesses that have focused their business strategies on innovation or desire to grow faster.
Management are the first ones to see the benefits of implementing digital workers because they have a bigger picture of the business strategy and vision. On the other hand, employees will initially resist them – understandably because new technologies are always disruptive, always change the old way of doing business, old habits and old practices. In the beginning, digital workers are a great mystery, while the insecurity brought about by this mystery is a good enough reason to be skeptical and resist any novelties. Some employees fear their jobs will be taken over by digital workers, which is exactly why it is important to highlight the benefits brought by digital workers for businesses, employees and the entire organization.
What are digital workers?
Digital workers are virtual employees (software-based robots) that imitate sets of skills of human employees and automate business processes. A digital worker may perform complex tasks that would otherwise be time-consuming and tedious for the employees and are responsible for recurrent tasks requiring a low level of creativity, which they are able to perform faster, more efficiently and at lower cost.
Digital workforce is a crucial part of digital transformation strategies. It includes a scalable team of robotic and automated solutions that combine Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
What kind of an advantage do they bring for employees?
Technological progress in the workplace has resulted in an upward trend for digital workforce. Employees no longer need to be responsible for very tedious and cost-sensitive tasks. Instead, this new technology is able to improve an employee’s performance and productivity and give him or her time to focus on value-added strategic activities such as innovation. Technological advancements such as these give human workforce an opportunity to leverage on its ingenuity, creativity, empathy and collaboration. They make time available, which can now be spent working on projects requiring human intelligence and creating added value. This is actually an opportunity for employees to focus on their unique human values.
Ideal tasks for digital workers:
- Chatbots that improve customer experience
- Financial bots that automate financially sensitive activities such as payment verifications, etc.
- AI bots with sophisticated money laundering or retail fraud diagnostic & detection capabilities
- Analytical bots that monitor relevant metrics and prepare reports for stakeholders
- IT bots for integrating internal systems, migrating data from a database to another system/portal, etc.
- Checking inventory levels and analyzing prices in the supply chain.
Depending on the industry, digital workers may adapt to corporate needs and automate the weakest or most sensitive business processes.
Why should businesses implement digital workers?
Each firm that strives to become automated should obtain higher levels of operating efficiency, productivity and business agility. Digital workers are the first line of intelligent automation and digital transformation. They are much more cost-effective compared to automating the whole organization from scratch and also require minimum onboarding.
The digital ecosystem is developing and requires that employees and digital workers coexist in symbiosis. This is the future of work, capable of revolutionizing an organization and all its processes.
Author: Marina Meštrović, Business Solutions Consultant, TIS