How COVID-19 is Accelerating Automation

Even before the COVID-19 virus devastated the world economy, robotic process automation (RPA) was rising as a cost-effective, efficient and long-term solution for replacing some of the routine, mundane and tedious jobs performed by humans. After the virus struck, the development of RPAs accelerated since companies cannot bring back their workforce in full capacity, but the volume of work is only increasing every day. In this article, we will take a look at how the COVID-19 virus is accelerating the development of automation and some of the new cutting-edge robots that have been created to fill-in human workers. 

How COVID-19 is Accelerating Automation

Japan is One of the World Leaders in Accelerating Automation 

For countries like Japan, the virus is a double whammy because they were experiencing a labor shortage even before COVID-19, but now there are even fewer people since a lot of the employees have been getting sick. Since Japan was already facing a 1.5 million worker shortfall, they increased the pace of automation especially since a lot of the jobs are redundant tasks, two-thirds of which could be automated. This includes occupations collecting and processing data such as payroll officers, legal support workers, mortgage originators, and many other occupations. In total, 56% of the jobs in Japan are highly susceptible to automation. 

Countries like the United States have also embraced innovation, but they also rely heavily on BPO outsourcing to help them fill positions. In fact, 57% of companies currently outsource a business process with industries like e-commerce and healthcare on the rise. This year we have seen the global BPO market grow to $92.5 billion since US companies are relying on it to lower overhead costs while increasing efficiency. 

RPA is on the Rise 

Even though a lot of the companies in the US have not fully embraced automation, this can be attributed to the fact that the RPA market itself is relatively new. The AI technologies that allow robots to replace humans in performing certain jobs have only recently advanced to the point where the robots can function in their immediate environment and perform tasks with a high degree of accuracy. This year we have seen companies finally implement RPAs for tasks that have previously been viewed as impossible to automate. A great example of this is what FedEx has done with a robot package sorting machine. Due to the disruption caused by COVID-19, their employees cannot come into work to sort all of the packages, but the rise of e-commerce has only increased the volume. They created a robot that automated such processes, but this is something that has traditionally been viewed as “the most difficult job to automate.” 

If we take a step back and look at the big picture, a survey by Deloitte shows that 53% of companies have started their RPA journey this year and this number is expected to grow to 72% in the next couple of years. The issue that we are seeing is only with scaling the digital workforce. Even though companies may have automated a job here and there, they have not yet found a solution that will allow them to create fully automated facilities and offices. Perhaps this is why human workers will still be needed in the foreseeable future. 

If we take a look at the healthcare industry, for example, we are seeing automation all over the place, starting with machines that can help doctors diagnose patients and robots greeting patients in the lobby of the hospital. However, such robots can only assist doctors, not fully replace them. Also, we need to remember that humans are still necessary to create the robots themselves. This includes tasks like data annotation that allows researchers to train the machine learning algorithms and enables the robot to identify objects in medical images and their immediate surroundings. 

Mindy Support is Facilitating the Development of RPA Technology

We already mentioned above that AI technology requires data annotation work to be done, which is a very time-consuming process. Mindy Support takes this burden off the soldiers of researchers allowing them to focus all of their efforts on developing their product. We are one of the largest BPO providers in Eastern Europe with more than 2,000 employees across sic offices all over Ukraine. Our size and location enable us to source and recruit candidates quickly and our QA process allows us to scale your project without sacrificing the quality of the work performed. 

Posted by Il’ya Dudkin

September 14th, 2020

Mindy News Blog