Episode 19: (Data Bites) The Dark Side of Robotic Process Automation

On Monday’s episode I waxed poetic about how wonderful and beautiful the future of robotic process automation and robotic desktop automation promises to be for organizations, employees, and customers.

However, on this short episode, we discuss the dark side of RPA and RDA that may be seriously problematic for most companies and employees.

To keep up with the podcast be sure to follow us on twitter @datacouturepod and on instagram @datacouturepodcast. And, if you’d like to help support future episodes, then consider becoming a patron at patreon.com/datacouture!

Music for the show: Foolish Game / God Don’t Work On Commission by spinmeister (c) copyright 2014 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/spinmeister/46822 Ft: Snowflake

Show Notes:

Welcome to data couture, the podcast about data culture at work at home, and on the go. I’m your host, Jordan Bohall. If you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe lows, get the latest episodes wherever you get podcasts. And if you’d like to stay up to date on everything data couture, be sure to follow us on Twitter at data couture pod. Finally, if you’d like to help support this in future episodes,
consider becoming a patron of the podcast through our Patreon page@patreon.com. forward slash data couture. Now on to the show.

Welcome to data couture, and I’m your host Jordan and on today’s data bytes, we’re going to talk about the dark side of robotic process automation. Following up on our main episode on Monday now, on Monday, I wax poetic about the benefits of robotic process automation, and robotic desktop automation. And if you didn’t get a chance to tune into that show, robotic Process Automation is an unattended set of processes that move large, most of the time quantities of data enterprise wide across your systems, usually located on a server whenever and wherever you choose to make your run.

And robotic desktop automation is a more localized set of processes and procedures that can run by the click of a button by a particular user to automatically do a set of tasks that require normalized set of operating procedures or so. Now, again, on the first episode on Monday, I talked about how wonderful robotic Process Automation is going to be for so many organizations primarily, I spoke primarily about how can really help say your customer service agents are your frontline staff as well as how it could truly help your data scientists or data engineers or your data professionals, of course, there’s so many other implications and applications for RPA, respectively.

But today, I want to talk about the dark side, that’s my best movie, trailer voice guy, whatever you want to call it. Nevertheless, the dark side is one that is often overlooked by most people looking to implement RP solutions at their organization. Namely, you are going to be able to automate so many of the tedious repetitive mind numbing tasks of various members of your staff. And what the industry tells us is great, that’s awesome. However, you need to upscale those staff so that they can do higher level jobs. What does that mean? What does it mean to upscale? It means to take whatever job they were doing, and train them on the jobs of the support people on whom they rely. Okay, great. So you train your frontline staff to do the jobs of the people that are in your back office, so to speak, in order that they may have a more fulfilling job. Okay. Sounds awesome. Okay, well, what about those people in the back office who are doing those jobs? Oh, you upscale those people, upscale them so that they do the jobs of the people who are behind them supporting them, say their supervisors or managers or even their directors or VP?

Okay, cool. So now you have second level up skills, so they can do higher level creative, critical thinking jobs. Okay, what do you do with supervisors, or managers or VP or directors or anyone else above them? Well, you upscale them. So they do even more creative and more critical thinking and more jobs pertinent to the strategy of your overall organization. And see where I’m going here. We’re in this weird situation where our pa is going to require upscaling assuming that we don’t want to fire any of our employees, any of our team members, because we value our team members. And I personally do not want to get rid of anyone in my organization. I like that a private directive almost. So what do you do? Well, our pa implies this goalpost moving this is the dark side, the dark side is well, does everyone want to be up skilled is everyone capable of being up skilled. And by that, of course, I don’t mean that people aren’t capable of learning new tasks or learning how to think critically in a more efficient manner.

I mean, to think critically, to improve various aspects of your business, I don’t mean any of that. What I mean is, you know, some people, like take me, for example, some people don’t have the time they they either don’t have the time, they don’t have the money, they don’t have the energy to learn something new and complicated. Same goes for anyone working in an organization, your organization only has so much time, money and energy to dig up to skill your employees to a certain point where they can perform higher function tasks. And so while our pa is ultimately going to be the way the businesses operate, there’s this nagging piece, there’s this difficult piece of what do we do for our team members? How do we take care of our team members?

How do we make sure that at the end of the day, they can take care of their families? This I’m worried about this, I wrestle over this honestly keeps me up at night because at the end of the day, I want to implement robotic process and robotic desktop automation. I want to employ these bots deploy these bots everywhere. I want this to be standard for the way that my company operates. However, I need to be able to answer this, this real question this this foundational question. How do I make sure that my team members, how do I make sure that my team members across my organization are able to keep up with it? How do I make sure that everyone is able to be scaled up in the right sorts of ways?

How do I make sure that this new technology will allow for people to have better lives? That’s what I want to know. And I’m very curious about how any of my listeners have accomplished this at their own organizations because I’m all ears. I would love to hear your thoughts.

That’s it for the show. Thank you for listening. And if you liked what you’ve heard, think consider leaving a comment or like down below. Stay up to date on everything data couture, be sure to follow us on Twitter at data couture pod. consider becoming a patron@patreon.com forward slash data couture music for the podcast. It’s called foolish game. God don’t work on commission by the artist spin Meister used under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, writing, editing and production of the podcast is by your host Jordan Bohall.

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