Digital workers (digeys) are software-based workers. They are the most recent use of intelligent automation, which integrates RPA, NLP, and machine learning. Digital workers automate a range of tasks that are delegated to them, via natural language. Digital workers have:
- Unique identities.
- Level of authority.
- Team members to report to.
- Access to certain business tools such as ERP, CRM or finance automation systems just like their human colleagues.
Digital employees, just like junior staff members, can handle numerous business processes from beginning to end. However, because they are relatively new collaboration technologies, many managers are unaware of these sophisticated automated tools.
This article aims to expand on the growing literature of digital workers, by highlighting the 7 benefits that they can bring to your business’ competitive advantages.
1. Automate time consuming tasks
Since the concept of digey is the subset of intelligent automation, and RPA in general, it is not surprising that their main benefit is automating mundane/time-consuming tasks. Automation leads companies to use time wisely. For instance, a bank has shortened the days it used to take to accept 80% of loan requests to a few seconds thanks to automation and delegate remaining time on the dealing with complicated loan requests only.
Digital workers are advanced automation tools that are capable of end-to-end automation. They are flexible because of their AI capabilities, which also enable digeys to perform difficult jobs. They are human-oriented rather than task-oriented. As a result, they can be instantaneously-like assigned to various duties.
For instance, you can ask your digital employee to organize a meeting with your team members. Then you can demand to create a sales chart for a specific product by using Salesforce and ask it to send the chart to the sales director as an email.
Figure 1 illustrates some of the tasks that can be automated by digital workers. To learn more about digital workers use cases you can check our 17 Digital Workers Use Cases for Different Business Units article.
Figure 1: Automation capabilities of digital workers
2. Work around the clock
Digital workers can complete tasks while employees are sick, sleeping, eating, or otherwise occupied with other higher-value labor. As a result, certain processes can be completed 24/7.
Digeys have an identification and access to well-known business technologies like Workday, Salesforce, and SAP, just like their human coworkers. Consequently, a salesperson can program digital workers to keep an eye on the sales offers that are made on Salesforce whilst she has a meeting with one of her most important clients to improve customer relationships. In such scenarios, digital workers alert the salesperson by sending a message via messaging services like Slack when there is a new proposal on Salesforce.
Similarly, as a supply chain executive, you may concentrate on making strategic choices like enhancing the sustainability of the corporate supply chain while letting digey monitor the flow of raw materials which can notify you if there is a problem.
3. Learn by experience
By dealing with more data, AI models become more accurate at making predictions. And the same rules apply to digital workers. The implication is that digeys that work in a certain department, like sales, recognizes queries of workers more precisely and develops their skills by doing things repeatedly.
Think about a digital worker in the sales department. It will become more proficient at finding the best discount rate for a particular consumer because digey’s memory allows it to recall:
- Past transactions, and the discount rates with that particular customer.
- Importance of this particular customer for the company (like their share in total sales).
- Cost function of the company,
- General pricing practices of the company, and more.
Additionally, because of their conversational AI capabilities, digital workers are interactive AI models. They can; therefore, be regarded as human in the loop models where feedback of users helps machines perform better. Professionals emphasize the parallels between junior employees and digital workers because of this. You may train digital workers and allow them to execute more accurately over time, just like you would with junior employees.
4. Enhance business adaptability
Adaptability of digital workers help human staff use it in a most efficient way.
McKinsey analysis found that adaptability is by far the most significant skill that boosts employment chances (See Figure 2). Companies are conscious of the rapidly changing nature of the modern world and seek individuals who are adaptable to new situations and eager to learn new skills.
Why do you prefer a task oriented RPA bot while you are expecting the opposite from your employees? Digital workers, being human-oriented, can switch between jobs instantaneously which increases your flexibility.
Figure 2: Relationships with skills and % of being employed
Consider a digey that is deployed in your HR department. When it is the annual time of determining promotions, you would like to use it on tasks such as:
- Sending emails to managers that notify them regarding the beginning of the promotion period.
- Submitting certain employees as nominees via data-driven criteria.
- Merging each manager’s decision into one spreadsheet that can be used by the HR department
- Updating employee records who have promotions on systems like Workday.
Once the annual promotion season’s workload is over, you might then want to use your digital employees to help recruiters by:
- Posting job ads.
- Organizing recruiters’ calendars for interviews with candidates.
- preparing spreadsheets and distributing them to various department managers, informing them on the credentials of the candidates who pass the initial evaluation, etc.
5. Easy integration & deployment
Digital workers are designed to integrate with major business platforms such as SAP, Salesforce, Workday etc. Thanks to APIs, they can reach many business functions like their human colleagues. Thus they can automate countless business operations.
Another benefit of digeys is their leveraging of no/low code automation. Digital employees are given commands in natural language. Working with digital workers is therefore not difficult for personnel who are not professional code writers (such as a regular HR employee).
6. Offer an alternative solution to Great Resignation
Employee productivity is increased by digital workers by allowing people to concentrate on the tasks where human intellect excels.
Almost 50 million people quit their jobs in 2021 (See Figure 3), and PwC predicts that this trend will continue through 2022, endangering businesses. Great Resignation/Reshuffle results in rapid staff turnover, which lowers the contribution of individuals to corporate processes. They quit the company for a new job before becoming familiar with the procedure of a particular corporation. Even worse, highly skilled baby boomers are retiring and permanently departing the workforce.
Figure 3: Monthly US resignation rates as a % of total employment
In such an environment where there is a labor shortage, there are 2 major strategies to combat with the great resignation:
- Corporations can make their working environment more employee friendly to increase employee retention rate.
- Firms can augment their workforce with intelligent automation. In this regard, digeys offer a lot for businesses.
To learn more regarding how to combat with the Great Resignation you can read our 3 Strategies to Combat the Great Resignation article.
7. Being interactive
AIMultiple considers NLP driven interactive futures of Digeys makes work environments more fun and will enhance employee satisfaction and happiness.
More than 70% of respondents find interacting with interactive AI models to be enjoyable. Since we are social animals, talking to someone improves our emotional connection to them, and communication eventually builds trust and ties us together.
The American Psychological Association estimates that communication accounts for more than half of human activity in a workplace. As a result, it would be preferable for workers to interact emotionally with their robots rather than designing a rule-based RPA to automate activities. A typical exchange between a salesperson and a digey is seen in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Conversation example between a person and a digital worker
If you want to learn more about digeys you can reach us:
Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.
Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.
Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.
He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.
Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
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