What corporate robotic future looks like

March 9, 2020 Corporate Blog

What corporate robotic future looks like

Automation coming after jobs has become an adage in the past five years or so.

The World Economic Forum predicts the loss of 75 million jobs and the creation of 133 million new jobs by 2022. While employees calculate their chances of losing their job, business owners eagerly look for new employment models.

In 2019, McKinsey & Company claimed that at least 27% of operations in a record-to-report process could be automated with technologies that already exist. Given the rapid inroads that artificial intelligence (AI), intelligent process automation and the Internet of Things (IoT) have made lately, companies will have to revise their corporate structures pretty soon.

Here is our projection of what an organizational chart (excluding CEO) might look like in the future.

Bot unit operators

Sales, marketing, customer support and human resources are the areas that major businesses already successfully automate.

As a set of bots, a bot unit could take on a variety of tasks ranging from live communication to reporting and data analysis. The bot unit has the potential to replace entire departments within an organization.

However, you need a manager to operate complex IT systems like that. ‘Bot unit operator’ is one possible title for the position.

Who they are:
Your ideal candidate for the role of a bot unit operator should possess expertise in at least three areas.

The first is defined by the respective business aspect: HR, finance, marketing, sales, etc. Bond this expertise with finished STEM-education and experience (2nd area) and you almost have a perfect match.

Almost, because this person should also be specifically trained to operate bot units (3rd area).

What they do:
As the title suggests, this specialist supervises and manages bots within their department. They analyze the performance of the network and the response from the target audience (customers, partners or employees) to maintain and improve quality within their department.

At some point of interaction, human-to-human live communication may be required, such as closing a complex deal, clarifying details of an agreement, or consulting. This is when the area-specific skills of your bot manager become important.

System supervisor

When your bot unit operator spots an improvement opportunity or bug, they request algorithm changes from a system administrator.

A set of bot units forms an automated environment, a system in which departments ‘speak’ with each other. This is an even more complex structure, which requires technical expertise beyond the limits of a department manager. Someone like a system supervisor could take on this job.

Who they are:
A supervisor of a digital workforce system is a full-stack engineer with a degree in IT. They don’t need the skills of a specific bot operator as their sole focus area is software.

What they do:
If your bot operators are each responsible for their own department, a system administrator oversees the overlying layer — an entire automation environment.

In general, this job is not much different from that of today’s DevOps who conduct preventive operations to ensure system stability, introduce changes on request and fix bugs.

Your supervisor can initiate retraining of AI algorithms to introduce new patterns through machine learning, depending on the needs of various departments.

Field engineer(s)

If your business runs on driverless vehicles, drones or hardware robots, it will still require humans to fix the machines at their deployment sites.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you will need to have a mechanic on board, as repair contractors may come out as a more cost-efficient solution. But, in cases there is a risk of commercial secrets being compromised through the involvement of third parties, a dedicated field engineer might be a viable option.

Who they are:
Field engineers are mechanics equipped with a robust set of tools to mend what a remote team or machines cannot.

What they do:
Imagine that a robot informs its operator that it went out of service due to physical damage. The operator then hands the report containing the details of the issue to the field engineer, who gets to the site and gets the machine going again.

Strategists

What corporate robotic future looks like

Bots can execute specific tasks and provide analysis, but it still takes a human to make decisions based on a big picture. We expect the role of strategic planners to grow with the development of automation.

Who they are:
Strategists boast expertise in specific areas, which makes them similar to bot operators. What differentiates the two is that the former are more focused on the company’s development roadmap.

As PR generalists, marketing strategists and financiers with strong analytic skills and some tech literacy, they do not need advanced knowledge of bot management as they do not directly interact with the bot side of the business.

What they do:
Strategists analyze data, looking for patterns that AI might have missed and studying projections with predictive analytics tools. Based on that, they create roadmaps with concrete milestones, set goals and plan campaigns.

Creatives

As your business reaches out to the human audience (no exception made for B2Bs), it needs to speak with a human voice, and not only literally.

Visuals and music are what makes your brand’s message stand out from the crowd. And someone needs to create them — the human way. According to the “Will Robots Take My Job?” website, the likelihood of extinction of most creative jobs through automation by 2024 is below 10%.

Of course, if the freelance economy continues to flourish, you might not need to have creatives in-house at all. Nonetheless, consider building a pool of trusted partners in this field so that you don’t have to go to gig platforms every time you need a custom-made piece of media.

Who they are:
Here are some examples of creative jobs and their likelihood of being taken over by robots, according to “Will Robots Take My Job?”:

  • Graphic designers (8%)
  • Composers (1.5%)
  • Content writers (4%)
  • Musicians (7%)

What they do:
They create unique media content to help you attain your promotional targets as set by your strategists.

Negotiators/salespeople

Are you in B2B? Or maybe you sell luxury items or services? In this case, you might know the pains of closing and renegotiating deals.

You must also be well aware of the importance of the human touch and personal relations in your business — something that a bot could never do. This secures jobs for experienced negotiators and gifted sales reps.

Who they are:
People with advanced soft skills and solid personal-professional networks, including your target customers, will always remain a valuable business asset.

What they do:
Without devolving into social engineering, negotiators and salespeople can leverage their connections, intelligence and analytical data from relevant departments to procure information that AI-powered bots cannot.

Furthermore, they can jump into the nurturing process at any point to guide the prospect to the bottom of the sales funnel, where bot managers lack relevant expertise.

Conclusion

This projection of staff structure does not claim to be perfect or applicable to every business out there. Instead, we wrote it to help nudge your imagination toward further steps to optimize your processes with intelligent automation techniques.

And if you want more concrete ideas on process automation or are not sure how to build a cost-efficient model based on this technology, request a consultation with our team, which has helped a whole array of companies improve their ways of doing business.

Images source: shutterstock.com