Ready or Not: The Role of Automation in 2023 and Beyond

Robotic arms work on a chip, thus showing the increasing importance of the role of automation in different fields.

At its core, automation refers to technological applications where human input is reduced to the minimum. This encompasses personal applications, including home automation, business process automation (BPA), and IT automation. As we move further into the 21st century, automation has become increasingly essential to how we approach our everyday lives. From automating mundane tasks to influencing business decisions, automation is a crucial component of our lives and the world of technology. Now, as we look ahead to 2023, we must ask ourselves: what role will automation play in our lives then? In this article, we’ll explore the role of automation with a critical eye on the upcoming trends of 2023 and beyond.

How will automation help reduce costs and improve efficiency in 2023?

Automation is predicted to play an increasingly important role in businesses’ efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and productivity in 2023. Automation technology is used in various areas, such as customer service, data processing, and supply chain management. By using automated processes and technologies, companies can reduce costs and improve efficiency by streamlining operations and eliminating many manual tasks associated with traditional processes.

For example, automation can help streamline customer service by automating repetitive tasks such as answering customer queries and providing customer support. This can reduce costs associated with hiring, training, and managing customer service representatives. Automation can also help improve supply chain management by providing timely and accurate information about inventory levels, order processing, shipping, and other related processes. If you want to know more about how you and your team can become experts in leveraging customer service and efficiently managing a complex multi-vendor environment, check out the Digital Service Manager Career Path.

Automation can finally help reduce costs associated with data processing by automating data entry and analysis tasks, which can improve accuracy and reduce errors. In 2023, automation is expected to benefit businesses significantly in reducing costs and improving their process efficiency. If you are curious about a project management methodology that uses automation to improve accuracy and reduce errors, check out our blog post about the benefits of Lean Six Sigma!

More than six decades of automation across industries – from the 1960s to today

Over the last six decades, automation has played a significant role in many aspects of our lives. From the 1960s to today, automation has been used in industries such as manufacturing and robotics, as well as in healthcare and finance. In the future, automation will continue to play an increasingly important role in our lives, but it’s essential to know how automation has evolved in the last 60 years.

Around 1946, the term “automation” was used in the car industry to characterize the growing use of automatic machinery and controls in mechanized production lines. D.S. Harder, an engineering manager at Ford Motor Company, is credited with coining the term. It is also worth mentioning that Ford was the first company to introduce the assembly line in 1913 – radically boosting the production speed of the factory.

  1. Automation has been used in the automotive industry since 1961 when the first robot was used on an assembly line: Unimate, invented by George Devol and widely used in General Motors (GM) assembly lines. It has enabled the automaker to produce cars more efficiently and significantly reduce labor costs.
  2. In the 1970s, Airlines began experimenting with automation using digital technologies. Automation was a great solution to make air travel safer at the time because studies revealed that most plane accidents were caused by human error rather than technical error (self-driving car developers also use this argument). Even if the first rudimental example of autopilot for planes was invented in 1913, commercial aircraft had a crew of five in the cockpit until the 1950s: a flight engineer, a radio operator, a navigator, and two pilots. The first three positions became superfluous during the following few decades due to automation and advanced technology, which also helped aviation firms save money.
  3. David R. Humble of CheckRobot Inc. invented the first automated checkout machine (self-service checkout) in 1986. The role of automation started playing a pivotal role in the retail industry from the 1980s onward.
  4. Automation has been used in the retail and hospitality industry since the 1990s. Even if IBM introduced the first POS system for restaurants in 1973, its use became widely spread when Microsoft delivered the first digital POS client for eateries in 1990. Gradually, self-service kiosks and checkout machines were introduced worldwide. Automation has enabled retailers and hotels to provide faster and more efficient customer service and greater convenience and cost savings. In the recent era, one of the most famous examples of the role of automation has been the introduction of Amazon Go stores in 2018, which use fully automated checkout technology – replacing cashiers’ work entirely.

Which role will automation play in the job market in 2023?

Automation will significantly affect the job market in 2023, pushing strong growth across different sectors. Automation technologies are, in fact, rapidly evolving and will continue to replace traditional manual labor. This will lead to more automation of existing jobs and the creation of new jobs as means of business transformation as well. Here are some of how automation will play a key role this year:

1. Automation is expected to be commonplace in almost every industry by 2023, mainly manufacturing, transportation, information technology, healthcare, and finance.

2. It is predicted to boost efficiency and productivity, with some estimates predicting a 30% increase in production by 2023.

3. Automated technology is anticipated to reduce overhead and labor costs, leading to improved business bottom-line results.

4. Such technology will have a significant impact on customer service. For example, automated chatbots may replace human customer service representatives in many cases by the end of 2023.

5. Automation technology is expected to become more sophisticated as more AI-powered systems are developed to handle complex tasks. RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is a clear example of that.

6. Automation is expected to create new jobs in various sectors as companies look to develop and maintain automated systems, as we highlight further in this post.

7. Automation is expected to increase workplace safety in many industries, with automated systems taking over dangerous tasks that require a human workforce.

The impact of automation on the job market in 2023 will depend on the extent of its adoption and implementation. On the one hand, if it is adopted widely and quickly (as we are experimenting already), certain professions could be impacted more severely than others due to the increased efficiency of automated processes. Automation could also lead to job losses in certain areas, like manufacturing and logistics, as some jobs might become redundant. But there’s no need to panic.

On the other hand, automation will also lead to job opportunities in emerging industries specializing in automation and “old” industries using it at full power. For example, the need for specialized software engineers, robotics experts, and analysts who can develop and manage automated systems will increase. Additionally, organizations that use intelligent automated processes will need staff to manage and maintain these systems. According to the World Economic Forum, automation and AI will generate 12 million more jobs than they will likely destroy by 2025. Undoubtedly, that’s some positive news.

It is, therefore, important for organizations – and especially workers – to be prepared for the impact of automation to remain competitive in the job market. We’re just at the edge of it, but things are rapidly changing – and that’s why there’s the need for a solid re-skilling plan for most of the workers.

Stay up to date or die – the necessary need for re-skilling

As we’ve seen, automation is already significantly impacting the job market. While it may lead to job losses, it will also provide opportunities for new jobs in the automation industry. However, as PwC’s “Will robots really steal our jobs?” report states, AI could automate 3% of employment within the following years. COVID-19’s increased digitalization has already accelerated the tendency.

By the middle of the 2030s, 30% of employment and 44% of people with low levels of education will be at risk of automation as AI develops and becomes more autonomous.

Therefore, workers need to stay informed on the latest developments in the automation industry and plan to re-skill themselves. Identifying the skills that will be in demand, and acquiring them in time, would be essential for maintaining one’s employability in the digital age.

However, staying informed on the latest developments, especially if the level of education is lower and the amount of information available is scarce and composite, is a big deal. Many employees have little opportunity to start the reskilling process – if not prompted by their employers, managers, or teams. Also, there’s a lot of uncertainty on which skills will be needed more – and which less. In this context, a free competency assessment tool like Astride – the digital guide that helps you assess your actual competencies’ level and suggest how to start the up-skilling and re-skilling process, is vital. Astride carefully analyzes hundreds and hundreds of data points from your answers and prompts you with a detailed overview of your competencies, the ideal job fits, and the steps you can take to stay competitive in the job market! From DevOps to Agile Scrum and Data Protection, Astride will immediately suggest which courses and certifications can bring you the most value and boost your career. Entirely free.

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The role of automation in digital transformation and service management

Digital transformation refers to using technology, digital tools, and data to improve processes, services, and customer experiences. Automation can play an essential role in this transformation by streamlining processes and helping to improve customer service. Automation can automate mundane tasks, such as data entry and analysis, to reduce costs and improve customer service. Additionally, automation can be used in customer service to provide faster and more efficient responses to customer inquiries and offer more personalization. In 2023, digital transformation and service management efforts will undoubtedly be impacted by automation. As organizations embrace automation, it will become increasingly important to develop strategies for leveraging automation to improve customer service and increase efficiency. This is why Service Management is fully becoming Digital, generating the word Digital Service Management: by utilizing tools like AI, machine learning, and cognitive computing, DSM will transform service management from reactive to proactive and predictive. Automation and IoT will make service management more technologically advanced, especially in cases of irregular operation. Waiting for someone to discover something is broken won’t be necessary. Virtual agents and chatbots will handle most of the tasks involved in customer interaction. This allows Digital Service Managers to tackle higher-level problems, including lowering technical debt, innovating, and addressing issues.

What are new areas of automation likely to emerge in 2023?

By 2023, automation will likely be used in various new areas, including healthcare, transportation, and domestic services. In healthcare, automation is expected to streamline the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, while autonomous vehicles and delivery drones may become commonplace in transport. Additionally, robots are increasingly being used in domestic services such as housekeeping and security, as well as providing companionship to the elderly and disabled. As technology progresses, there is yet to be a telling of what new areas of the automation market will emerge. We are sure of one thing, though: the speed at which Artificial Intelligence is integrating with automation has few competitors.

Automation and Artificial Intelligence – a decisive match

The combination of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) is set to revolutionize how businesses and organizations operate. AI can control and manage automated processes, allowing companies to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve customer service. AI can also develop and train robots and mechanical systems to complete complex tasks, freeing human resources to focus on more strategically important tasks. In short, AI and automation are a powerful combination that is likely to have a significant impact on the job market in 2023 and beyond. For example, AI systems will be utilized in industries like healthcare to detect illnesses, create individualized treatment programs, and even carry out complex surgeries.

What are the ethical implications about the role of automation in 2023?

The ethical implications of automation in 2023 are largely still being determined as the technology is still developing. However, a few potential implications have been discussed in recent years. These include the potential for automation to reduce the number of jobs available for humans and the potential for algorithms used in automation to perpetuate existing biases and lack of diversity in the workplace.

It is also essential to consider the implications of automation on privacy and data security. Automation technologies increasingly rely on cloud-based systems and sophisticated algorithms to analyze large amounts of data. This means that companies and governments could have access to a massive amount of personal data, and there is the potential for this data to be misused or abused. Different huge fines have already been levied against non-compliant companies and individuals. That is why it is more and more crucial to have an in-depth knowledge of data protection practices and laws.

Ultimately, it is up to governments, organizations, and private citizens to ensure that automation technologies are developed and implemented ethically. This means that everyone involved must be aware of the potential implications and take steps to ensure that technology is used responsibly. You can read more about this in our article on the most recent news and possible fines for the improper use of automation and Artificial Intelligence.

Final thoughts: get ready to automate

The future of automation is here, and it is essential to be prepared. As we’ve seen, companies and organizations must be aware of the potential implications and take steps to ensure that automation won’t replace jobs and is implemented ethically and securely. Additionally, governments must put in place regulations to protect the interests of citizens. Despite the potential risks, automation is likely to have a significant positive impact on the job market in 2023 and beyond.

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