Another day, another slightly-delayed Intelligent Sourcing entry, this time because we’ve been interviewing Automation Anywhere CEO Mihir Shukla during his visit to London, after which he will be spending the week in Manchester for Shared Services and Outsourcing Week.
People with international perspectives will know Automation Anywhere well as it’s effectively the top of the pile in the robotics field. In some ways, says Shukla, it’s on the way to becoming the world’s biggest employer, albeit in many cases the employees are pieces of software performing tasks rather than human beings.
The interview was wide-ranging and will appear in our next issue.
Psychology and robotics
Some of his top-line views are worth flagging right now, though. Regardless of the various protectionist policies around the world, most notably in America, robotics is here and is not going away. Once one country is doing it, everyone else has to in order to stay competitive, he said.
The good news is that this will lead to productivity and profitability gains, and the even better news is that we’ve barely started. In the same way that Microsoft introduced Outlook in the 1990s and watched as everyone used it to duplicate the distribution of paper memos until they realised it could do so much more, robotics is installed but at the moment many people are using it simply to replicate existing processes. There is nothing wrong with adding efficiency but Shukla believes it will find its niche and the real benefits will start when we’re used to it and begin to stretch it in different ways.
The company is working with banks, retailers and other entities and we can expect the possibility of financial entities driven entirely by robots in future (this is technically possible; what happens to the regulatory environments that would allow such a thing to thrive is another issue entirely).
The full interview will appear in our issue at the end of June. Our editor left with his mind somewhat blown.