Does a process need to be improved before migrating it to a new technology platform or operating model (fix-shift)? Or should the process be moved to the future environment and then fixed (shift-fix)? That choice, long debated in the business process outsourcing (BPO), offshoring, and shared services worlds, is now confronting decision-makers as they deploy robotics and cognitive automation (R&CA).
Robotics and cognitive automation (R&CA)-driven technologies are already working alongside humans in many settings, replicating their actions and judgment to perform routine tasks at lower cost. I believe R&CA is going to become a dominant business driver in just three short years, so companies should be setting their R&CA strategies now.
Do the numbers add up when it comes to implementing robotics and cognitive automation (R&CA) – technologies that replicate human actions and judgment? They appear to, judging from the growing number of mail order houses, telecom providers, retail banks and others that already have software robots working alongside contact center agents. For those companies, bots are performing many routine tasks, such as validations and cross-referencing, that humans would have to do otherwise.
In our first post on this topic, we addressed the question: Can robots replace HR? While the answer is “not entirely,” there is no doubt this technology represents both a significant disruptor and opportunity for HR. To back it up, our team has spent the last couple months working with early adopter clients and deploying internal Deloitte pilots to better understand the potential of robotics and cognitive solutions within the HR function. Our experience to date indicates there are three primary capabilities where digital options should be considered to supplement and augment the human talent in HR.
Automation and artificial intelligence are hot topics these days, to the extent President Obama has recently started to position the future of smarter technologies as a critical topic for his successor to address.1 This transformation has broad impacts, but the changes expected in the HR function and the overall workplace are of significant interest.