Innovate or Evaporate – Will RPA be the Way?

Are you hesitant to stretch the bounds of innovation? Are your fears keeping you from exploring the realm of automation? From the mindset of a well known Houston celebrity, fear of innovation results in the downfall of many organizations. Will RPA be the way out of this fearful mindset?

“Innovate or Evaporate”

There is a local celebrity in our hometown of Houston Texas, that has been leading the high quality furniture market for years. His name is Jim McIngvale, better known to Houstonians as ‘Mattress Mack’. His celebrity-hood stems not entirely from his catchphrase and frequent commercials, but from his community outreach during city-wide disasters and times of difficulty.

More often than discussing furniture sales, he’s shares business ethics, political viewpoints, the Gospel, and enthusiasm for local sports. McIngvale has been so successful in the tumultuous industry of furniture retailing because of what he stands for – service. McIngvale willingly shares his “Ten Tips for Success” wherever he goes. While all 10 tips on the list are certainly useful,  one tip in particular is the inspiration of this post.. #6: Innovate or Evaporate.

Fear of Innovation

As this local businessman can attest to, change is the only constant. Innovation by definition means the acceptance of change, and nothing is inciting change in this era more than automation. Does the idea of automation make you fear job security? Or is it still so ambiguous that you’re applying a ‘wait and see’ approach? If your role is to LEAD change, you should know what this means to you and your workforce. Waiting to see which way the wind takes you means that early adopters will likely take root with newly automated processes first, which may include your competition.

So why is automation critical in business? Demands for products and services are not slowing down in the present day economy. Organizations that are striving to uphold the highest quality of service, solutions and products are being forced to continuously assess their business processes. Automation of any kind serves the purpose of making those processes more efficient with less manual stimulation. Thus, employees in organizations that invest in automation have more freedom to innovate and experiment.

Robots are NOT after your jobs

Sometimes the fear of innovation stems from the mindset that robots (of some kind) are after our jobs. Robot Process Automation (RPA) is a form of technology that serves the purpose of automating various forms of business processes. Through RPA, an organization can configure a digital “bot” to control and oversee an organizations manual step-by-step tasks. It must be grasped that this bot will not perform any task that it is not configured to do. An example of this is how various finance organizations have integrated RPA to conduct their standard accounts payable/receivable transactions. This in turn does not alleviate the accountant from their duties. Rather, this accountant will now have the time and bandwidth innovate in other areas of the business.

See where RPA is taking business in 2019

Consider the creation of social media, which changed the role of marketing. Through social media, marketing roles were adapted, created and re-prioritized. It may have meant the replacement of some jobs in some places. However, we can probably all agree that by and large, it ultimately created jobs (social media manager, for one).

The most obvious outcome at this stage in the automation evolution is that jobs will adjust, and responsibilities will be realigned. Think of each integration of an automated process as a task replacement, not a job replacement. One task is taken away from the humans and given to the bots, so that space can be made for a new task that only humans can do.

The Time is NOW!

2019 is an era of true innovation. The choice to automate is not so much of a ‘choice’ anymore, rather an upcoming standard if businesses wish to remain relevant. Now is not the time for fear. It is a time for adaptation, innovation, growth, and a willingness to experiment. Even Mattress Mack can appreciate that!

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