Leading companies claim that technology has streamlined our lives and made us more efficient. To some extent, they are correct. However, despite being constantly connected, the rate of productivity growth has been declining for two decades.
Instead of making us more efficient, the technology available to us has made the management of both our personal lives and our businesses more complex than ever before.
Technology meant to increase productivity has actually slowed it
The productivity paradox isn’t a new trend. It was first introduced as the Solow computer paradox by economist Rober Solow in 1987. Solow stated, “you can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”
As the world invests more in technological innovation, our combined productivity appears to decline. In other words, while technology promised to make our lives easier, somehow all of us are busier than ever before.
Take media, for example. The average American adult consumes five times more information each day than our counterparts from 50 years ago. According to data from Nielsen, we’re each spending roughly 10.5 hours in front of screens every day.
Our attention is scarce, and the way we spend our personal time is rapidly changing. As new technologies continue competing for our attention, productivity growth will only continue to slow.
Automation technology helps solve the productivity paradox
Despite the profound decline in productivity and efficiency, the future is bright.
Software robots and robotic process automation (RPA) can act as a bridge between disparate systems to deliver on the promise of technology to make our lives better and our companies more profitable.
The beauty of RPA - and the reason behind its rapid growth - lies in its simplicity. By automating existing business processes at the user interface (UI) layer, RPA can help every business user connect disparate technologies and streamline processes without expensive and time-consuming projects.
Automation lets companies tie existing processes together without needing to rip and replace what they already have. This means companies can achieve a rapid return on their investment and do so within a few months. The reduction in menial tasks means employees are more engaged, leading to increased productivity. Higher productivity lets employees accomplish more within the same time and stay motivated. And, greater accomplishments lead to more satisfied customers and happier employees.
Written by Param Kahlon, Chief Product Officer, UiPath
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