If there was ever a need for people to become expert in technology and learn senior-management skills, the time is now.

Non-exempt, lower-level jobs will continue to disappear. Why?

New software “robots” in numerous industries are increasingly taking over and making business “smarter,” according to senior-level managers who responded to a survey.

This should alarm workers who are not prepared.

Specifically, robots in intelligent process automation (IPA) are being used for artificial intelligence, big data usage and machine learning.

And the trend is likely to grow.

Such findings are from a 2015 Cognizant study. The company surveyed 537 business and technology managers in North America and Europe.

“The future of process work includes connecting skilled people to increasingly powerful technologies such as autonomic computing – including artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning – that can increase savings, enhance insights, and accelerate business,” said Gajen Kandiah, executive vice president of business process services at Cognizant.


The respondents were from financial services, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, pharmaceutical, retail and technology.

Cognizant says IPA leads to faster processing with fewer errors, unlimited scalability, and lower cost of ownership, along with the ability to make more timely business decisions through automation-enabled analytics.

The executives also said IPA is not even close to its full potential.

“Our new study findings show that this trend will only accelerate over coming years as business leaders seek agility, better customer understanding, and cost savings,” added the Cognizant executive.

To insure you’re not going to be replaced by a robot, remember technology and senior management are the ticket.

There is a long tail of process systems yet to be automated, as machine learning and artificial intelligence enable a new generation of knowledge ‘robots’ that can mimic human actions while interacting with multiple applications.

Key findings:

— Respondents believe they are automating, on average, 25-40 per cent of their workflow today. The survey indicates this automation is occurring with workflows that follow rote procedures and manual inputs, paving the way for next generation IPA technologies to drive greater cost savings and efficiency while driving richer business insights when applied to more complex workflows.

— About half of the respondents saw automation as significantly improving their business processes within three to five years. About 44 per cent have similarly high expectations for business analytics.

— Nearly one-fifth reported achieving cost savings of greater than 15 per cent from IPA over the past year.

— Health insurers emerged as industry trailblazers, pushing frontiers of cost reduction through automation of middle-office functions, such as claims coding and processing, with over one quarter seeing at least 15 per cent cost savings year-over-year.

— In banking, nearly half of those surveyed reported at least 10 per cent revenue growth driven by process-aligned analytics over the past year, and nearly three out of every four banks (73 per cent) expect to see similar growth in the next three to five years.

So if you don’t want to risk being replaced by a robot, the proverbial writing is on the wall.

While it might be good for efficiency and cutting expenses, the trend serves as a warning for employees. To insure you’re not going to be replaced by a robot, remember technology and senior management are the ticket.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are links to related tips:

To Become a Leader, Develop Strategic-Planning Skills in 5 Steps — A salient characteristic of leadership is strategic thinking. If you’re ambitious, the ability to be a strategic planner is critical for your success. Here are five ways to achieve your goal.

Best Practices to Capitalize on Business Intelligence — In the majority of situations BI isn’t effectively used to identify and create opportunities for sustainable growth, according to Forrester Research. Here are the best practices in BI.

How New Managers Can Win as Great Communicators — Poor communication results in managerial dysfunction and vice versa. That often happens because a significant number of workers is mistakenly promoted into management. You’ve heard of The Peter Principle, right? That’s when people rise to their level of incompetence.

Human Resources: 4 Reasons Why New Managers Fail — Best practices guarantee success for new managers. Not to over-simplify, but there are often four reasons why new managers are unsuccessful – ineffective communication, failure to develop trusting relationships, weak results, and a failure to delegate. As a new manager or small business owner you’ll quickly learn that labor costs will amount to 50 percent or more of your expenses.

25 Strategies to Succeed as a New Manager — Congratulations, new manager. Welcome to a job you’ll find most challenging – and satisfying – if you do it right. You’ll be carefully watched by your staff. You’ll be judged on values demonstrated by your actions. What values will you show your employees?

 7 Tips for a Young Professional to Become a CEO — Whether you’re a human resources or marketing professional seeking to be a partner in the C-suite, it’s vital to communicate effectively with senior management. Effective professionals often have ideas that will benefit the organization – opportunities for growth or options to conserve revenue.

“Artificial intelligence is growing up fast, as are robots whose facial expressions can elicit empathy and make your mirror neurons quiver.”

-Diane Ackerman


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.