We’re living in a time when computers, the Internet, and wireless technology are so widely diffused, we often take them for granted. Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly supplanting traditional human-based information processing. This is all very much what we expect from automation. It feels more techy…more futuristic. But it’s the combination of these technologies that have enabled a brave new automated world. How? Well, computers let us complete complex processes with speed and ease, whilst the internet created global connections. Wireless technology then expanded on the internet and let us connect to others in faster and more convenient ways. When AI was introduced, we were able to program computers with human-like characteristics which utilized machine learning abilities (power for AI to naturally develop through experience and recognition of patterns in data without hard-coding).
These inventions have led to the automation capabilities businesses of nearly any size have at their disposal. Thanks to computer technology, we can now control and manage complex manufacturing processes and achieve improved levels of productivity. More recently, the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) has also made automation much easier to implement. We now can connect devices across a network and have these devices communicate with each other.
What often goes unseen are the significant developments behind the scenes to make what’s currently available much better and cheaper. Because of this, more businesses are now choosing to automate. In 2020, 31% of businesses choose to fully automate at least one function and 66% of businesses piloted solutions to automate at least one business process1. Compare these figures to those from 2018 (29% and 57% respectively), and its clear automation is no passing trend.