Like it or not – technology is the king of business and will always reign supreme over our business efforts. What we are limited to in business is usually determined by the boundaries of technological developments. Take the internet for example. Before the internet came along, the world of business had stayed the same for a long time – it had only experienced a revolution during, well, the Industrial Revolution.
That’s an event that isn’t going to recur any time soon – but the internet slowly changed things for businesses and where the Industrial Revolution improved production amongst other things – the Digital Revolution improved connectivity and networking. It broke down a number of barriers and allowed businesses to become global – almost by default. We’ve got a lot to thank the internet for and while it might make it slightly harder for a business to break through due to market saturation in some areas – and of course adverse effects of globalization – it has never been easier to start a business. It’s a good time for businesses worldwide.
From the advent of digital technology, through to virtual reality and the Internet of Things, we are still slowly going through the Digital Revolution brought on by cyberspace, cloud-computing, and the internet – but thanks to the speed of developments brought about by the internet, we might be on the cusp of another revolution in the workplace. Technology is mutating every single day, and it’s at a seriously rapid pace, and the developments are sometimes shocking and almost always astounding. Apps, smartphones, marketing – there have been a lot of amazing inventions in the past twenty years and it’s been at rapid pace. The surge of science hasn’t been stopped.
The next revolution? It could very well be an automated revolution brought on by developments in robotics and software. Automation? It’s a pretty scary word, and we don’t blame you if it automatically makes you think of Arnie in Terminator 2. The robots are certainly coming, and they are certainly coming to take over – but not in a nefarious way. No, not at all. Robotics have a big place in the workplaces of today – and their role will only grow and grow. That scares people.
Why does it scare us? Because we’re scared of robotics. We are scared of their perfection and their efficiency. When we think of the word automation, we see a long line of unemployment, and we see very upset workers. That’s because automation has never been employed right – and it hasn’t been dealt with well by any government. Simply put, the automation revolution has been rushed thus far – by businesses too quick to cut costs. Workers will be lost, but this can be accounted for in many ways – en masse automation will herald the introduction of different safeguards and welfare measures such as basic income – but this hasn’t happened yet because automation hasn’t arrived on a large scale. So when a business uses robots, it tends to make its staff redundant, and the staff lose out because those societal safeguards are not in place. That’s a shame – because automation is a big benefit but no-one, not the Government nor business owners, have done anything to protect workers from this revolution. However, that will change with time – surely. For every single job lost via mundane tasks performed by automation, new jobs have been created in engineering and computing to support the robotics and software.
Automation happens a lot right now – and it’s not just big robots. We’re very much in the dawn of automation, and while robotics play a huge part in industries like manufacturing – we can see automation take route in computing. Software – especially in the world of finance has automated a lot from accounting to investing and there are plenty of areas ready to take automation into account to become more efficient. Businesses are ready to take gambles to streamline their processes. However, as stated – they need to work with their Government to ensure that the redundant worker is cared for.
Automation can mainly be found through repetitive tasks. That might be painting a screw in a car factory, or inputting data at a Ledger Firm. Businesses are beginning to find the value in automating boring tasks, so they can save money and put manpower into higher thinking – for the good of the business. Phone lines can automate customer service tasks, so most areas have scope for the automation revolution to take place.
How can we help transition? Well – we need to fight for automation and for the workers left behind by automation. As we said, for every robot or application of software – it is likely that someone loses a job, despite a new job being created. The displaced worker no longer has the skills needed for the role and is usually dismissed.
Basic income was mentioned earlier and the idea of Universal Basic Income is very co-operative with the idea of the automated world. If we can pay everyone in a country based on the savings of complete automation, we can support everyone to not only live, but pursue new ventures. Firstly though, we need to come to terms with automation and the idea that it is not negative. Certainly, it has been used poorly in the past by businesses too eager to cut costs and this has created a negative image – which points to the fact that education is needed. We need to rethink a lot, really – that is scary in itself.
For businesses big and small, automation is changing the world slowly. We might be ten to thirty years from a fully automated world, and that can seem like a scary thing – especially so if we pursue it without thinking about the forgotten workers who use their job. Automation brings a lot of questions – bigger than business, but as for you – the business owner? Don’t be scared – you can use automation the right way by bringing it on before it displaces anyone in your workforce. It is something that you need not fear, not at all.
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