Intelligent Automation Points the Way to Future Economic Growth

Our Knowledge 17 event is coming up soon, and I’m excited about everything we have to share. Even if you just glance at the keynote lineup, you’ll see one of our key focus areas is intelligent automation. It’s a topic that’s generating a lot of conversation about how it can improve how we get work done, and more broadly, how it will transform the global economy. We’re going to examine why we should embrace, not fear, intelligent automation, and how you can use it today to speed the development and rollout of critical business applications.

Intelligent Automation Takes Center Stage

During his keynote presentation “The Lightspeed Enterprise,” our CEO John Donahoe will explain how IT, security, customer service, and HR organizations are leveraging innovative intelligence and automation to make their employees’ lives better.

Our global CreatorCon competition that kicked off last September will culminate on Day 3 when we announce the finalists in the Developer Hub category. Those finalists will then participate in a “pitch-off” on the main stage following the keynote presentation by Pat Casey, our Senior Vice President of Development Operations. Pat will teach attendees how to use intelligent automation to build applications faster, and provide a preview of our Now Platform roadmap for developers.

Embrace Intelligent Automation

Intelligent automation will receive a lot of attention at Knowledge17, as well it should. It’s a truly transformative technology.

According to a recent McKinsey report, automation will increase productivity by up to 1.4% per year over the next 50 years. That’s remarkable when you consider that the steam engine only drove 0.3% annual increases, and the IT revolution only raised productivity growth by 0.4%.

By working hand-in-hand with intelligent technology, we can achieve greater things. It frees us from mundane, repetitive activities – unleashing creativity and letting us build stronger, more productive working relationships. Intelligent automation makes us more human – not less.

Long resolution times, human error and low customer satisfaction levels are the bane of any business’s existence. They’re the unavoidable pitfalls of relying on manual processes. For example, hands-on IT administrative processes — like managing incidents via email, phone, or desk drive-by – are productivity killers. Leveraging intelligent automation enables the immediate and hands-off routing of issues and requests promptly for speedy resolution. IT can instead devote its time and energy to high priority requests and allows users to see progress in real time.

Change Will Close Some Doors, Open Many More

While I’m a staunch advocate for implementing intelligent automation technologies, I also understand the worry and consternation it causes. I’m often asked about its impact –  will it create prosperity and growth?

My answer is always the same – intelligent automation is a vast opportunity, not a threat. But don’t just take my word for it.

James Bessen, an economist who teaches at Boston University School of Law, told the Wall Street Journal that automation does not eliminate human jobs. In fact, he said just the opposite is true. Jobs and automation often grow hand-in-hand, and there’s hard evidence that the increased productivity brought about by automation and invention leads to more wealth and less expensive goods, which boosts consumer spending power. These factors all combine to create more jobs.

That same McKinsey report I referenced earlier makes an interesting point: Only 5% of today’s occupations are candidates for full automation. On the other hand, nearly every occupation could be partially automated – in other words, this is about enhancing productivity, not eliminating occupations. That’s exactly what we need to drive economic growth and increase employment.

We must identify and focus on skills needed for this new “automated economy.”

Learn How at Knowledge 17

Knowledge 17 runs May 7-11 in Orlando, and we’d love to see you there. To learn more and purchase conference passes, please visit: