CIOs & Robots: What’s the Best Way to Use Automation in Business?

Automation is becoming more and more prominent in the workplace, and as much as 70 percent of executives state that they are planning to increase their investments in these technologies. In an article for ZDNet, Mark Samuels explores the implications of robots and automation on businesses and how CIOs should react.

The digital revolution is well underway, and the final, and largest, piece of this puzzle is automation, according to Alastair Behenna, an experienced IT leader and consultant at the CIO Partnership. Customer expectations are very high already, but they are going to continue to grow because of disruptive technologies. C-suite executives should be mindful of these new technologies and what they are capable of.

Many working people fear automation because of the implications it has on the available jobs. It is like a classic horror movie in which the robots take over the world. In India, the top five IT firms cut their hiring by 25 percent in 2015 alone because of the automation options available. Robotic process automation (RPA) utilizes robotics to handle mundane tasks, and RPA is expected to have a huge impact during the upcoming year. RPA allows for workers to have a new work mix that maximizes their superior human capabilities.

Cost and time efficiencies are imperative when it comes to automation. CIO Andy Wilton believes that all CIOs should be actively seeking ways to cut back on the use of any expensive resources and be aware that automation has already had a huge impact. Time is precious, and if something can be streamlined and automated, it should be.

Doug May, a regional IS manager at manufacturing specialist Messier-Dowty Limited, advocates that CIOs need to focus more on the big picture. CIOs so easily get wrapped up in the day-to-day operations that they fail to see the larger implications. Getting involved earlier in discussions about the future is one way CIOs can help combat this boxed thinking. Additionally, creative ideas can and should come from all areas of the business.

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