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History – The Rise of Automation in the Workplace 

Automation has been a driving force in the evolution of work for centuries. From the earliest use of simple machines to the development of complex robotics and artificial intelligence, automation has continually transformed the way we produce goods and services, and has had a significant impact on the economy and society. 


Robots at a charging station

The history of workforce automation can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where simple machines such as the wheel and lever were used to improve efficiency and reduce the physical labor required for tasks. In the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries, steam power and machinery revolutionized manufacturing, leading to the widespread use of machine tools and assembly lines. This marked the beginning of the mechanization of work, which greatly increased the productivity of factories and allowed for the mass production of goods. 

Automation Economy

As technology advanced, workforce automation became more sophisticated and began to include the use of computers and electronics. In the 20th century, the development of programmable controllers and robotics led to the automation of many manufacturing processes, further increasing productivity and reducing the need for human labor. 

Today, workforce automation is prevalent in a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, and finance. Robotics and artificial intelligence are being used to perform tasks that were previously done by humans, such as assembling products, driving vehicles, and analyzing data. While automation has brought many benefits, including increased efficiency and productivity, it has also raised concerns about job displacement and the potential for widespread unemployment. In response to these concerns, there have been efforts to retrain workers and provide education and training in fields that are less likely to be automated. 


Overall, the history of automation is a complex and ongoing process, with both positive and negative impacts on society. As technology continues to advance, it is likely that automation will continue to play a major role in the way we work and live. 


Empowering Business Efficiency through Low Code, RPA and AI: Transforming the Future of Work in the Automation Economy  


Low code, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotic process automation (RPA) are three technologies that are transforming the way work is automated. These technologies allow businesses to automate repetitive tasks and processes, freeing up employees to focus on more value-added activities. Low code refers to the use of graphical user interfaces and pre-built modules to create software applications and automation workflows, without the need for extensive coding knowledge. Low code platforms allow businesses to quickly develop and deploy custom solutions, reducing the time and cost associated with traditional software development. 

AI is a broad term that refers to the use of algorithms and machine learning to perform tasks that would normally require human intelligence. AI can be used to automate tasks such as data analysis, customer service, and decision making. 

RPA is a type of software that is designed to automate routine, repetitive tasks. RPA robots can be programmed to mimic human actions, such as logging into systems, filling out forms, and extracting data. By automating these types of tasks, businesses can improve efficiency and reduce errors. 

One key benefit of low code, AI, and RPA is the ability to automate tasks that are time-consuming or error-prone for humans.  

For example, a low code platform can be used to automate the process of onboarding new employees, while an RPA robot can handle the task of reconciling accounts payable. By automating these tasks, businesses can free up employee time and reduce the risk of errors. 

Another benefit is the ability to scale automation efforts quickly and easily. With low code platforms, businesses can quickly develop and deploy custom automation solutions, while AI and RPA can be easily integrated into existing systems and processes. This allows businesses to quickly adopt new technologies and take advantage of their benefits. 

While automation technologies such as low code, AI, and RPA have the potential to bring many benefits, they also raise concerns about job displacement and the potential for widespread unemployment. To address these concerns,

 “ is important for businesses to provide education and training for employees, and to ensure that automation is implemented in a way that complements and enhances human work, rather than replacing it.” 

Worker adjusting a robotic arm

Overall, low code, AI, and RPA are transforming the way work is automated, and are poised to play a major role in the future of work. By adopting these technologies, businesses can improve efficiency, reduce errors, and free up employee time for more value-added activities. 


Especially in the area of Low Code /  No Code, SAP has various products that make it possible to develop software with little or no programming knowledge. Examples of this are several solutions in SAP Build: 


When it comes to artificial intelligence, there are different products and functionalities in the BTP. (Artificial Intelligence | SAP) 



How Big is the Market of Automation in the Workplace? 

It is difficult to quantify the exact market share of automation in the workplace, as automation is used in a wide range of industries and applications. However, automation technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and low code platforms are increasingly being adopted by businesses in a variety of sectors. 

According to a report by the International Federation of Robotics, the global market for industrial robots is expected to grow at an annual rate of 8% between 2021 and 2024. The automotive, electrical/electronics, and metal and machinery industries are among the top users of industrial robots. 

In addition, the global market for low code platforms is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 20% between 2021 and 2026, according to a report by Low code platforms are being used in a variety of industries, including healthcare, finance, and manufacturing. 

Overall, the adoption of automation technologies is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, as businesses seek to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase productivity. 


But, how is job automation impacting various industries? 

Automation has the potential to impact a wide range of industries, as it can be applied to a variety of tasks and processes. Some industries that are likely to be significantly impacted by workforce automation include: 

  • Manufacturing: Automation has long been a driving force in manufacturing, and the use of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly prevalent in this industry. Automation can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase the speed and accuracy of manufacturing processes. 

  • Transportation: The use of self-driving vehicles and drones is becoming more common in the transportation industry. Automation can improve safety, reduce the need for human labor, and increase the efficiency of transportation networks. 

  • Healthcare: Automation is being used in healthcare to improve patient care and safety, as well as to reduce the workload of healthcare professionals. For example, robots are being used to assist with surgeries, dispense medication, and transport medical equipment. 

  • Finance: Automation is being used in the finance industry to improve the accuracy and efficiency of processes such as trading, risk management, and customer service. AI is being used to analyze data, identify trends, and make decisions, while robotic process automation (RPA) is being used to automate routine tasks such as data entry and account reconciliation. 

  • Retail: Automation is being used in the retail industry to improve efficiency and reduce costs. For example, self-checkout kiosks and automated inventory management systems are becoming more common in stores. 

Overall, automation has the potential to significantly impact a wide range of industries. The extent to which automation will impact any particular industry will depend on the specific tasks and processes that can be automated, as well as the availability and cost of automation technologies. 


Is AI taking over Jobs? 

The automation of work has the potential to bring both benefits and challenges for employees. On the one hand, automation can improve efficiency, reduce errors, and free up employee time for more value-added activities. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and career development opportunities for employees. 

On the other hand, automation also has the potential to displace some jobs, particularly those that involve routine or repetitive tasks. This can lead to unemployment or the need for workers to retrain for new roles. In addition, the introduction of automation may lead to changes in the skills and knowledge required for certain automated jobs, which could require employees to continuously update their skills and adapt to new technologies. 

To mitigate the negative impacts of automation on employees,

“ is important for businesses to provide education and training opportunities for employees, and to ensure that automation is implemented in a way that complements and enhances human work, rather than replacing it.” 


It is also important for businesses to consider the ethical implications of automation, and to ensure that automation is implemented in a way that respects the rights and well-being of employees. 

Robots in a warehouse


Technology taking over jobs: What needs to be solved? 

The use of low-code, RPA, and AI technologies is rapidly increasing in the modern workplace, offering new opportunities for automation and efficiency. However, with the adoption of automation comes a number of challenges that must be carefully considered. From cost considerations and integration with existing systems to ethical implications and compliance with laws and regulations, it's important to be well-informed before embarking on an automation journey. It's crucial to approach automation in a way that balances the benefits and challenges, ensuring that it complements and enhances human work rather than replacing it. This may involve retraining and upskilling employees, careful planning of integration, and a clear understanding of the ethical implications and laws and regulations. 

By taking the time to consider these factors and approaching automation in a thoughtful manner, businesses can reap the benefits of increased efficiency, cost savings, and a competitive edge in the modern workplace. 

Overall, addressing these things is critical for the successful implementation of automation in the workplace. By considering the potential impacts of automation and taking steps to mitigate any negative consequences, businesses can ensure that automation is implemented in a way that benefits both the business and its employees. Especially with a view to the past, it becomes clear that these new technologies are not the devil's work but a new reality that companies and employees have to deal with in order to remain competitive. 


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