Feb

Pros and cons of automation

Automation drives forward the economy. It allows businesses to scale and service large groups of customers. Automation first appeared in traditional industries, such as cotton production in England in 18th century or car conveyors in the US in early 20th century. The automation replaced physical labor.

With the invention of computers automated systems began to replace intellectual labour such as math calculations. Most of the software applications we use today can be described as automation. Online payments processing, online tickets purchasing, tax returns software, computer games, search engines, and endless other programs are all examples of software automation system.

As a next step we are now aiming at automating human decision making processing and high-level intellectual activities, historically considered to be sole domain of humans.

 

One interesting aspect of automation is lesser quality of service compared to manual service.

This is to be expected. If we gain in quantity we lose in quality.The gain in quantity is what automation is about - it allows to reach out to a large number of customers. Manual product or service can reach out to individuals only. The price we pay for the ability to deliver product or provide service en masse is the drop in quality.

 

Sometimes automation is an obvious choice. This is when the gain, the scalability, hugely outweighs the costs, lower quality. Search engine is a popular successful example. In other cases, the advantage in not so obvious. Online travel booking offers fast service without leaving the comforts of the home, but it does not often deliver the best option, such as finding the cheapest flight, and therefore many people still use ‘manual’ travel agents.

 

Interested in reading more? Check out our other blogs:

Lessons for Businesses from Brazil’s World Cup Disaster

1. Mental, or psychological, state of your team is important: you can put so much pressure on people before they crack. Brazil players didn’t become unqualified professionals overnight. They failed because they were overwhelmed by their country’s expectations, distorted sense of history, and the right to win considered divine. They were too emotionally charged, not in the proper state of mind to compete. So better keep calm, relaxed atmosphere in your team even before launch, or important deadline.

2. Manage customer expectations. Brazil were ramping them up unreasonably. Aggressive messages like the 6th[title] is coming, statements by their coach about two more steps to heaven massively backfired by creating an unhealthy emotional frenzy in the society, which in return influenced the players (see 1.)

3. Logic, organization is the key to successful execution. Germany are not a great team. But they are very well organized. They had a detailed game-plan where every team member knew his task and several different scenarios where prepared. They were able to adjust when the situation on the field changed to squeeze maximum advantage. Sounds simple? That’s because it is. 

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