• Inok Systems

The Obscure Art of Fine Balance between Automation and Human Work

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Throughout my years of experience, from being an end user of case management systems to one that deploys such systems, I have seen a dramatic increase in the amount of automation or customization in the system. This definitely poses a very interesting conundrum and let me give my two cents worth.

Automation is definitely not a bad thing at all, but the extent used is of high significance. Let’s explore this in the User dimension first. Someone once told me, “Computer can do a lot of things, but it cannot help you think”. Over-automation that reduces the amount of brainwork by the user and in the process, not only dehumanizing the user and at the same time, reduce the amount of learning opportunities that the user have. If the user strictly follows the procedures coupled with fact that most of the business process is already pre-programmed, the user’s potential may not be maximized. This is closely related to worker’s satisfaction.

Let’s look into the business dimension and the impact of over automation. Businesses are constantly readjusting to suit the ever changing environment and over automation may incur long term customization cost to keep up. A simple example would be, how much it would cost to verbally brief the users to change the input of a field versus the cost of hiring programmers/engineers to change the source codes of an application.

There would be more things that I would share in future posts.

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