Bots don’t care if you live or die

The best approaches to automation don’t automate everything. Where processes are automated, exceptions are bound to happen. And when those exceptions happen it’s important that humans are able to address them…especially when the life and death of humans are concerned.

When too much is automated, humans lose skill and vigilance. They become less responsive and less capable when things go badly. It’s for this reason that responsibly-built airplanes automate less than they can, and in fact intentionally build friction into their processes.

A bot doesn’t care if we live or die, succeed or fail. That’s why a robust approach to hyperautomation must consider, not just whether a process CAN be automated, but also whether and the extent to which it SHOULD be.

Hyperautomation is necessary to human survival

As a result of digitization (converting analogue to digital information) and digitalization (deploying processes that make use of digital information) congnitive load has INCREASED, not decreased.

The speed that information travels today means that just being able to keep up is a competitive advantage. But the result for humans is more communication channels, more meetings, and more demands. Burnout is a real thing. I’ve seen people change jobs as a way of declaring ‘email bankruptcy’ — they have become so under water and so overwhelmed that the only way to escape is to leave their job entirely and start fresh somewhere else.

Hyperautomation is not a technology. It is a change in culture where everyone is empowered to automate anything that can be. The democratization of software development made possible by no-code and low-code platforms is vital to realizing that vision.

Hyperautomation is most frequently cited as a solution to business problems. And it is. But it is more importantly the solution to a very real HUMAN problem: how to survive and thrive in the face of digital transformation.