• Brett Gross

Digital Co-workers are part of the team

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

I was recently invited to speak on the podcast The Friendly Futurist, about Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and the rise of digital Co-Workers. The increasing popularity of Robotic Process Automation and the deployment of digital Co-Workers begs a lot of questions, some of which I answered in the podcast:

- Why digital Co-Workers?

- digital Co-Workers are part of the team, not replacing the team

- digital Co-Workers and our economy

Firstly, let’s understand the current scale of the market and where this is going. The global Robotic Process Automation (RPA) market is forecast to grow to more than USD $13 billion by 2030, an increase of more than USD $12 billion compared to 2020. RPA is there to mimic mundane and repetitive tasks in front of a computer and complements an end-to-end complex process automation orchestrated by a business process automation (BPA) solution.


Why digital co-workers?

There is a dual answer to this question. It can be answered from the point of view of an organisation and from the point of view of an employee.

For an organisation digital Co-Workers can:

  • Improve the bottom line by removing the robotic tasks out of your knowledge workforce and assign them to your digital Workforce (digital Co_Workers)

  • Reduce the risks of errors, reducing re-work whilst improving significantly compliance and governance. This is something that is always top of mind in FSI industry sector due to their strict compliance and regulators oversight.

  • Increase employee engagement and retention – Now that the mundane and repetitive tasks are not part of day-today operation, it becomes easier to retain or attract knowledge workers who feel appreciated for their valued contribution.

  • Mitigate the skills shortage issue post pandemic, by focussing existing workforce on high value tasks only.

And what about the employees, the humans that form part of that organisation?

Let’s use a scenario as an example and assume you work in the Finance Accounts Payable team. How much of your time would you want to spend cross-checking invoices and entering data into a system versus how much time you’d prefer working on an interesting, innovative and high-value project? I suspect the second.

We all deal with repetitive and mundane tasks in our day-to-day work. They can be frustrating, take a lot of our time and put us under pressure to complete other tasks within assigned deadlines. Offloading those to digital co-workers can dramatically improve the quality of life of human workers, especially in an environment where the line between work and personal life is increasingly blurring.

In short, having digital co-workers in the team can:

  • Increase motivation and satisfaction doing more meaningful, interesting work