Unpacking the Differences Between Automation and AI in the Enterprise
In the push for digital transformation, enterprise decision-makers often use the terms “automation” and “AI” interchangeably. But while both automation and AI are poised to transform processes across industries—PwC estimates that AI alone could contribute over $15.7 trillion to the global economy within the next 10 years—they are discrete technologies.
As enterprises strategize the incorporation of automation and AI-driven applications in their technology ecosystems, it’s critical to clarify the distinctions and understand the unique role each technology plays in digital transformation initiatives.
A Comparison Of Automation And AI Technologies
Automation and AI enable enterprise migration from manual routines toward more innovative and efficient digital processes. Although both technologies equip organizations with solutions to the evolving demands of customers and employees, there are key distinctions in their capabilities and limitations, as well as the benefits they deliver to the enterprise.
Robotic process automation (RPA) merges traditional automation with AI capabilities, enabling access to next-level automation technology. Blending elements of automation and AI, RPA moves organizations down the path toward intelligent automation—the ultimate goal for many businesses.
Using RPA, businesses can configure software or “robots” to partially or fully automate manual, rule-based activities. With 43% of decision-makers identifying RPA as a key element in their organizations’ digital transformation strategies, according to a report from my company, RPA is positioned to play a pivotal role in companies’ technology ecosystems.
Key Takeaways For The Enterprise
Traditional automation, AI and RPA all have potential applications in your organization, provided you understand their unique capabilities and align your strategy accordingly. As you move forward with the implementation of these technologies, here are several considerations to keep in mind:
According to a different study from my company, a majority of employees recognize the opportunities associated with automation and AI, but they are also concerned that these tools could result in the elimination of their jobs.
As you evaluate the potential of automation and AI technologies in your enterprise, consider how you message their implementation. To ease employee concerns, develop an empowerment narrative around automation and AI, emphasizing how these technologies stand to benefit the organization and augment (rather than replace) human workers.
Author: Eric Johnson