Humanizing automation – Acing the ideal human-machine balance | HCLTech

Humanizing automation: Acing the ideal human-machine balance

November 17, 2022
Saurabh Mangla


Saurabh Mangla
Associate Vice President-Digital Transformation
November 17, 2022


“Unity can only be manifested by the binary.” – Gautam Buddha.

We live in a world where interactive experiences are defined by algorithms and computational intelligence of smart devices, with the core objective of enhanced and widespread automation. It comes as no surprise that the helpdesk automation market, one of the most critical drivers of the digital transformation landscape, is estimated to grow to USD 26.2 billion with a CAGR of 32.10% by 2030.

When engaging with customers, humanizing the digital experience is quite a challenge for enterprises struggling to balance customization and standardization. In an ideal scenario, a machine-human “synergy” would be a viable solution to this conundrum. But the real-world is far from ideal. In the practical world, the machine-human “divide” can be marked on a sliding scale with two primary concerns associated with the adoption of full-scale automation across domains:

  1. Will automation fall short of conjuring anything that remotely resembles human experiences?
  2. Is the scope of human automation diminishing the strategic and effective workflow?

Humanizing automation cannot happen without improved innovations that support meaningful interactions. Paradoxical as it may sound, cutting-edge technologies like interactive chatbots powered by AI and application programming interfaces (APIs) are at the forefront of this machine-human tussle. The adoption of a flexible approach to leverage these technologies can preserve human connections and streamline business process automation (BPA) tools at the same time. However, it is only by embracing change with intuition and judgment that enterprises can hope to achieve such a result without dealing with a large-scale revamp of their digital transformation strategy.

The automation agenda – friend or foe?

It is a widely held belief that pre-programmed automation tools are inherently inauthentic. Artificial intelligence (AI) may replace management but cannot support personalization. According to a PWC report, 82% of US and 74% of non-US consumers want to see more human engagement in their interactions. Adding a layer of human context helps in the adoption of automated technology. When systems are automated, tasks fulfilled by manual labor are converted to faster, and more manageable processes completed by machines, AI, and ML. Almost any repetitive process or system can be automated, ensuring the task is completed the same way, every time. Moreover, employees can focus on the bigger picture and work on higher-value tasks. The data mined by AI can also anticipate and address challenges along the customer journey.

Key automation solutions – how can we humanize them?

Customers interact with automated services and devices through voice, touch/tap, mouse, and keyboard, including AR/VR modes. From verifications and feedback, commands to alerts – there is always an activity-history linked to the user account, which is the primary identity. Every interaction has a set of actors – the human and the artificial or algorithmic participant. Any attempt at humanizing automation must revolve around these points of contact.  At the heart of the matter lies the needs of the end user. So, what does humanized automation involve? 

  1. Embracing inclusive coding

Low-code or no-code programs make it easier for non-developers to design apps and automate workflows. Non-technical business users can participate in developing applications using drag-and-drop or point-and-click interfaces. It democratizes our access to technology and empowers all kinds of users.

  1. Paving the way for pattern recognitions

AI, or more specifically natural language processing (NLP), can categorize unstructured data while machine learning-enabled recognition can spot patterns in the data. For instance, automatic sound identification can track audio outputs and compare them with recorded sound data to report non-conformities. In a use case from the automobile industry, machines can identify engine sounds to establish what is wrong and needs to be fixed. It assists shopfloor workers in a collaborative capacity, saves time, and enforces a faster go-to-market (GTM) strategy.

  1. Reaping the benefits of RPA

RPAs are known to deliver high volumes of work with great speed and efficiency. They mimic human activities through automation technologies. RPA bots or chatbots are transforming the customer experience. Given their growing consumer acceptance, the RPA market value is set to reach more than USD 10 billion by 2023. Being software programs that carry out digital work, organizations can identify these digital assistants to humanize the service delivery process. It also allows company agents to handle more complex tasks that require service escalation.

  1. Managing BPA tools

BPA tools used to perform, analyze, document, and redesign business processes can easily integrate with content services and SaaS platforms. Automation tools can pull up data from digitized records, verify it, and populate customer relationship management (CRM) profiles. For instance, an automated assessment of an insurance claim can verify if the claimant’s current policy covers the reported loss. Such solutions unify digital experiences, reduce the margin of human errors, and improve workflow.

  1. Considering the API angle

APIs allow one software to exchange data with another. Data collected from consumer touchpoints are rich with information on consumer trends and preferences. API solutions can be customized by incorporating inputs from multiple stakeholders. For example, when requesting an Uber ride, the app uses Google Maps API to pull location data. The API functionality connects the consumer with a driver, shares the location information, and enables tracking. It also sends arrival alerts and marks the completion of the ride. From an end-user point of view, they enjoy useful and usable access to customized solutions.

Telling human stories through increased automation with HCLTech

Consumers around the world are increasingly valuing self-service options. They interact for two basic needs: either to find a solution to a problem or to conduct transactions. Humans are better at assisting with the former, while machines and technology can conduct the second effectively at speed and scale.

Solving industry-level problems with next-gen AI and ML, HCLTech offers cognitive and sustainable automation solutions that reinvent business processes while balancing the touchpoints with a human touch. By nurturing a balanced workforce and driving customer-centricity with a humanized vision of enterprise automation, HCLTech helps enterprises future proof themselves.

Nurturing a balanced workforce and driving customer-centricity with a humanized vision of enterprise automation, can help enterprises future proof themselves.

Power your workspace with worker-centric automized frameworks with HCLTech.

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