Growing and maturing a company are two different operations, yet they share a common goal: to stay in business for the long run. As the number of new companies multiplies all over the globe, competition grows fierce. Surviving the digital age in a sea of competitors requires thoughtful preparedness and agility. What we want to do is start building a workplace for the next 100 years.

SAP’s recent study revealed that 84 percent of CEOs believe the digital transformation of their workplace is critical to their survival in the next five years. Only three percent have completed any company-wide transformation efforts. This  three percent of dedicated leaders are leaps and bounds ahead of their rivals:

  • 85 percent of leaders say the transformation has increased market share
  • 70 percent say they are already seeing higher customer satisfaction
  • 64 percent of employees at leading companies feel more engaged
  • 80 percent of leaders say the transformation has increased profitability
  • Forming a business framework to outlast this century takes commitment and follow-through to fuse the right mix of software applications, human talent, and robots successfully.

Humans and robots: a combined workforce.

The data age poses profitable opportunities for businesses. IDC’s Data Age 2025 report commented: “Data is helping us reach new markets, serve existing customers better, streamline operations, and monetize raw and analyzed data.”

How can data make such a profound impact? Robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), and other machines work alongside humans to process multitudes of data and leverage its advantages.  

Machines process data at infinitely higher speeds than humans.

Machines take on tedious tasks most employees don’t enjoy, at reduced risk and cost. Quicker, efficient data processing enables higher-quality products and top notch customer service that keep consumers coming back for more. A senior Japanese executive commented in a 2018 Deloitte survey, “Robotics is not about cost reduction. It’s about maintaining the business.”  

On the flip side, robots require people to feed them the right data and ensure useful output is delivered.

Creative tasks, like planning a website redesign or a new product release, requires human critical thinking skills. Bots are process-dependent, so individuals are needed to manage all other work scenarios. Combining people skills and robotic intelligence can cover all aspects of work most efficiently.

A unified digital workplace for humans and machines.

How can companies manage a seamless flow of data to synchronize the work performed by humans and robots? Employees need one efficient tool and not a pile of fragmented, inflexible applications. This single tool is required in order to manage whatever kind of work that comes their way, both repetitive tasks they can hand off to robots and creative projects requiring a human touch.

A digital workplace is a central platform where automated processes, one-time projects, cases, and collaboration function in harmony. All types of work are performed and tracked in the same application, ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks, including customers’ needs.

Ninety-five percent of global consumers say customer service is a significant factor that determines brand loyalty. So, efficiently managing internal operations and customer needs must be a top priority to sustain a solid customer base and long business life.

Many solutions are inflexible and don’t directly address business problems.

Other programs take too much effort to learn, so employees resort to their own tools, taking security and compliance protocol for granted. Employees need a user-friendly digital workplace where data is shared and integrated.

Workflow for both robots and humans can be easily modified. Does this mean only big-budget enterprises will be able to afford a digital workplace to survive the data age? Not necessarily.

Citizen developers are presenting a new precedence.

The astounding shortage of computer science professionals in the US demonstrates the need for enterprises to become less reliant upon IT professionals to persist in digital transformation. SMBs often have a limited IT budget and were previously unable to utilize high-tech tools to improve operations. Building a tech-savvy business for the future, no matter the size requires a new approach to business solutions.

No-code development platforms are beginning to take the place of expensive IT teams and may help and may help build a business for 100 years.

These no-code companies offer smaller businesses the opportunity to reap technology’s benefits. In a digital workplace, any business user can automate a repetitive process, build a project board, or construct a case workflow through a drag-and-drop interface without writing any code.

In the past, IT professionals had to build every application from the ground up, a lengthy process. Now, in only a matter of days, users can create custom applications covering a wide range of both internal and external operations.

This potential can boost productivity by 90 percent and increase customer satisfaction by 70 percent. Embracing citizen development in a digital workplace is key to building essential, custom solutions for both humans and machines to excel.

Eye on the future

The only thing constant is change, especially in the business environment. But a majority of businesses aren’t adapting successfully. Only one in five companies can be marked as digital leaders—agile, tech-forward companies who are using technology disruption for explosive growth.

While businesses stuck in email and spreadsheets lag behind, leaders who embrace the digital age race ahead. Employing a combined workforce of humans and machines in a digital workplace will put your company on a track that stretches into the next century.

Suresh Sambandam

Suresh Sambandam

Founder & CEO

Suresh Sambandam is the CEO of KiSSFLOW, a disruptive, SaaS-based enterprise-level workflow and business process automation platform enterprises with more than 10,000 customers across 160 countries.