The march of progress is inexorable, and for many industries, this means embracing technological advancements. Some people are concerned that technological advancements would make human workers obsolete, but this is likely a long way off. That being said, technology still needs human oversight to ensure that it is working as it should. One of the biggest advancements in recent years, which has been transformative for a lot of industries, is automation. The question is, is automation worth it? Read on to find out.
What is Automation?
To give it its technical definition, automation refers to the use of technology – either in the form of machinery, systems or software – to perform repetitive tasks. This negates the need for manpower to do these tasks, although they do still often need human oversight, whether this means random spot checks or approving the finished product. It has uses in any number of industries and businesses. For example, most businesses would benefit from a look into cost management software like the one provided by Kahua.
Automation does have a number of benefits to consider. Firstly, it can help to increase employee engagement. No one enjoys tedious, repetitive tasks, and automation can take them off of your staff’s to-do lists; this also frees them up for other tasks where they can really add value. Next, through the use of automation, you can expect a more consistent end result and often a more consistent time frame for the output too. This is simply not possible for humans who are subject to any number of external factors that can affect their performance.
Speaking of human error, automation – once it has been correctly configured and implemented – can mean that the likelihood of error is reduced therefore saving the business money. Depending on the form of automation that you choose, you are likely to find that it offers you the opportunity to scale up its use as needed without necessarily reinvesting any more money.
Of course, as with anything in life where there are pros, there have to be cons too. Arguably the biggest con is the financial cost of automation. There is the upfront cost of the technology and then the cost of implementation. If you are already paying humans to carry out this work, then unless you let them go, you will have to pay for the work twice in a sense. Your staff also might not appreciate the shift in their roles, and it might affect their morale and their performance. Finally, automation may also remove the possibility of flexibility and customization.
The Final Verdict
In the end, it is hard to say whether or not automation is worth it because the answer should be personalized to your business. Technology is not going anywhere, and that reliance will likely continue to grow. In that respect, automation does seem to be somewhat inevitable. However, if you own a smaller business that cannot necessarily afford to invest in automation at this juncture, then it might not be worth it right now, although this decision is likely to need to be revisited.