The Future of Work: Collaborating with your new Digital Workmates

Digital team members can communicate and complete tasks with people, systems and other digital workers, to reduce time to service customers and improve overall quality.

New Update

Our world is changing faster than ever before – right before our eyes. The challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic have fundamentally shifted the way we work and the very idea of what a “workplace” means. As remote work has become the new norm for us in India, and a hybrid work-from-home-and-office model is most likely how businesses will operate in the near future, as business leaders we must ask ourselves two important questions.


How can we consistently deliver great work without a team physically nearby? And are businesses taking advantage of digital automation solutions to both help and enhance their workforce’s capabilities?

According to a Blue Prism research study entitled, “The Impact of a Digital Workforce on Business Agility and Survival,” although a majority of business decision makers believe that despite automation being rolled out and understood, 75% of them are struggling to apply it and 83% believe that more thought needs to be put into its application.

Thanks to robotic process automation (RPA) technology though, we - human workers - can now collaborate with digital teammates. And with intelligent automation (RPA fuelled with artificial intelligence which enables a digital worker to mimic even closer a human skillset through AI capabilities) we can achieve better outcomes, aligned to clear business objectives, in a more efficient and accurate way than ever before.


Digital teammates vs. software robots

The idea of integrating new digital team members is an exciting one, and one that is far more important than ever to consider. And they aren’t just for helping us keep track of daily workflows and maintaining effective operations.

Digital team members can communicate and complete tasks with people, systems and other digital workers, to reduce time to service customers and improve overall quality. Chatbots can be deployed to work with digital workers to autonomously service customers, and when needed, escalate actions to human workers.


But is a digital teammate just another software robot? The answer is no! They are actually quite different in terms of their design and capabilities. For example, record-and-deploy software robots rely on recorded process steps to complete tactical tasks, but can’t adjust to any unplanned changes, requiring programming and constant maintenance. By contrast, an intelligent digital team member is capable of automating processes over any past, present and future application as they uniquely use and access the same IT systems and mechanisms as humans, without APIs.

It’s important to note that digital workers are pre-built, highly productive, self-organising and multi-tasking with autonomous processing capability – with intuitive interfaces that allow business users to access, train and put them to work. They perform activities in the same way as humans by mimicking and learning business processes like humans — delivering more complex activities at a much faster pace and with total accuracy.

In short, digital workers possess business-led, no-code, centralised design principles. Also, they can run on premises, cloud or in hybrid environments and never run the process on the same desktop as humans.


Learning without being programmed

Apart from digital worker’s great capacity to collaborate with humans in an enterprise-friendly way, there are many other skills worth highlighting how this intelligent software helps further replicate human decision-making and sustain their evolution.

With intelligent automation, digital workers can derive contextual meaning from datasets, as well as recognise process and workflow changes, while adapting accordingly without human intervention. Essentially, to “learn” without being programmed.


Not to mention that they can harvest information from different data sources, understand it and deliver previously unattainable insights. This enables them to deploy natural language processing, so organisations gain new insights into customer behaviour, mine data for better understanding of processes and use this insight to quickly deploy new programmes.

A future workforce value add

In some situations, digital worker’s planning capacity might even be much better than humans, particularly when working under pressure. Digital team members can optimally plan workflow and workload execution to deliver the best outcomes to manage workloads both instantly and intelligently. If an operational crisis arises, digital workers can solve logic, business and system problems without intervention - using automatic problem detection to ensure the highest levels of service and problem-solving ability and increasing productivity throughout all processes.


Having new digital workmates onboard can add great value to future workforces as they can help humans tackle new challenges and even go the extra mile. These automation tools now exist to help alleviate some of the pressure put on ourselves and our colleagues – it’s time we put them to use! Together, we can embrace the future way of working.


The author is Peter Gartenberg, Managing Director & President, India, Blue Prism.