“Warp speed developments in technology-automation, artificial intelligence, and the arrival of the sharing economy are transforming how we work. Beyond technology traditional working patterns are also being disrupted by changes in society, organizations, and workforce management, leading to the rise of a more independent and dispersed workforce.”-Alain Dehaze
We are living in an era when most processes are automated simplifying our lives! And, the pace at which technology is advancing, definitely the future which will leverage technologies such as artificial intelligence, IoT looks promising!
Automation is the application of technology to processes and procedures so that they can be carried out with minimal human intervention.
Automation technology minimizes costs and risks associated with a business. It helps achieve compliance, accelerate speed to market, thereby enhancing revenue streams.
Although automation has a high initial cost, the benefits it offers far outweigh the expense. It enhances productivity, efficient use of materials, better safety and control on the quality of output.
Automation reduces the time taken to perform repetitive tasks thereby enhancing productivity.
Automation is used in both manufacturing and service industries. It benefits both the service providers and customers. It enables service providers to offer a better customer experience. In the case of manufacturing, it helps provide better quality products. This leads to customer retention.
Businesses can also optimize internal resource allocation and scale.
Automation finds application in nearly every function affecting our lives.
Some areas where automation is used are:
Industrial automation has become common because of the numerous benefits it offers. Automation in industries entails employing control systems such as PLCs, computers, and robots for managing various processes and machines. Today’s industries cannot fathom functioning without automation as it has replaced humans from certain routine tasks. This has enhanced the quality of products and overall productivity.
Industrial PCs initiated automation in industries. However, currently, the application of PLCs and PACs is more prevalent in the industrial environment.
What is PLC(Programmable Logic Controller)?
PLC is a modular controller that is used in industries to monitor the state of various input devices, take decisions based on a set logic to control the output devices. Since it is a modular controller, the input and output devices can be changed according to your process. PLC enhances any process, production line, or machine function. Besides, it enables replicating of any operation and collecting and communicating vital data.
PAC-Programmable Automation Controllers
PACs are advanced versions of PLCs that use general computing processors and ethernet cable.
Home automation is not exactly a new concept. It has been used for simple operations such as switching on and off of lights etc. But, the IoT has opened doors to unlimited possibilities in home automation. Today, you can just give instructions to Alexa, Siri, or Cortana on your mobile from any location for any activity to be performed at your home! Smart Homes are now a reality! Home automation enables complete control of every device in your home. You can command how, when, and why a device should react! You can determine schedules for the devices! All this is possible using your mobile!
Building automation system entails automatic control of a building’s ventilation, heating, cooling, and lighting, etc. so as to provide its residents comfort. Building automation also focuses on efficient usage of energy, minimizing operating costs while enhancing the life-cycle of utilities.
A building with automation is a smart building.
Features of a smart building are:
PCs are an integral part of every home or organization. Numerous tasks are performed using them. However, certain tasks tend to get repetitive and time-consuming even when they are performed on a PC. Automation software Macros resolve this issue by recording, building, and replaying software processes and repetitive tasks. Windows macros can automate any Windows app and emulate a user.
Automation has made a foray into the arena of business management as well. Business processes are automated from end-to-end. Businesses build process based applications which automate routine tasks and manage data. Automation Anywhere is an AI augmented RPA platform that is widely used to automate any business process. It is intuitive, secure, and has fast scalability.
Process automation systems find widespread applications in industries such as oil refineries, paper, and pulp, chemical, etc. Process automation essentially connects sensors and controllers with operator terminals and actuators. The current process automation systems are linked to SCADA systems.
Digital marketing is also automated now empowering marketers to engage easily with their audience across various channels. Marketing automation includes software and strategies that enable businesses to nurture prospects with personalized content which leads to conversions. Marketing automation automates various repetitive tasks undertaken during a marketing campaign. On average 51% of companies are currently using marketing automation. (Email Monday)
Automation of marketing campaigns entails publishing content, analyzing results, and optimizing on the go making the campaigns agile. Salesforce Marketing Cloud offers digital marketing automation and analytics software for email, mobile, social, and online marketing.
Automation tools are available to marketers for optimizing their marketing efforts. Marketers can use tools such as Leadsquared to automate the customer journey, Marketo for lead nurturing, or AdRoll for automating ad campaigns, etc.
We are all aware of the impact of social media on every aspect of our lives. On a personal and professional level, they help network. In addition, if leveraged effectively they help businesses in brand building and establishing a direct communication channel with customers. It is automation technologies that have enabled social media sites to be available as apps on mobiles, tablets, etc. With the high number of mobile users, availability of social media apps such as What’s app, Facebook, etc. on mobiles definitely makes it easy to use them. This positively impacts businesses as communication with their audience is simplified. In fact, even social media content sharing has been automated with the help of social pilot which is a social media scheduling and marketing platform.
Email marketing automation entails sending a sequence of emails automatically to contacts according to their schedule or their behavior and actions. Automation ensures sending the right message at the right time to the recipient. Email automation tools have simplified the task of scheduling emails. These tools differ in features, templates, cost, UI, etc. You can choose a tool according to your budget, the size of your contact list, and other requirements.
The future of automation looks exciting with technologies such as IoT, Ai, etc. providing limitless options to automation. This will positively impact our lives making it easier.
Some trends to watch out for: Emerging technologies such as AI and Machine learning are bound to elevate automation to the next level. According to Forbes, Experts believe that AI will add nearly $16 trillion to the global economy by 2030!
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