Automation - Are we heading for another Industrial Revolution?

Much like the Industrial Revolution of the late 18th century, automation is changing the face of our working world from agriculture to healthcare and beyond. It is altering not only what we do but how we do it. In the 1950’s, factories and offices were revolutionised by the introduction of automation: the Bank of America replaced 2500 bookkeepers with computers (BBC) The result? Hundreds of hours were saved and the margin for error was reduced dramatically.

Since then, we have seen a steady incline in the implementation and use of automation. One modern day application is the “start to finish” automated dispensing of medication in hospitals. (Watch video here). Not only does this application of automation save a great deal of time in searching for the correct medication; now nurses have more time to spend with patients, error margins are massively reduced, and everyone has visibility over the process.

Perhaps one of the greatest transformations when it comes to recent automation technology has occurred in the humble Accounts department. The number of full time employees working in accounts departments for big firms has reduced by 40% (The Economist) Invoices can now be sent electronically or scanned in, sent for approval and archived without so much as someone lifting a finger.

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So, along with the introduction of Artificial Intelligence and the sophistication of current automation technology, are we heading toward another industrial revolution? Or – perhaps more importantly – does this mean we are at risk of losing our jobs to the machines? And what about the people that used to carry out these now-automated tasks? Well, rather than losing jobs, research shows they are being trained in more fulfilling roles that better reflect their potential. More time is created for teambuilding, creativity and collaboration: all contributing factors to well-being and job satisfaction (Libre, 2005; Nesta, 2015).

Perhaps we are heading for another industrial revolution – we know businesses need to make their IT budgets stretch further and thankfully, automation is the key to being cost effective and resource savvy. By embracing automation and the changes it will inevitably bring, we can achieve those efficiencies, become better at our jobs, and more fulfilled in them too.

At Ben Johnson, we’re passionate about automation and making it an affordable reality for every business, no matter how big or small. Read our case studies or call 01904 698698 for more information.

Authored by Sarah Beall, Marketing Executive

Photo credits: Image 1 : Santiago Cornejo Source: Shutterstock. Image 2 : Source: I E Cloud

    Posted in Technology - 29th June, 2016

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