The pandemic forced organizations into survival mode, and many turned toward automation. Investment in all sorts of technologies exploded. Automation was applied out of necessity to support immediate pandemic needs for remote work and contactless business. The floodgates opened, and it was off to the races. Companies quickly leveraged automation as a competitive differentiator.

But just because a process can be automated doesn’t mean it should be. We need greater concern for automation’s collateral effects. In many cases, workers and customers change to suit the goals of automation when the reverse is what we desperately need: to design automations that adapt to people and elevate their experiences.

Our Interactive Decision Tool Is A Great Start

Automation should complement our human bodies and brains and keep us more engaged at work and at home. Understanding how an automation can do this will help us make the right decisions. Whether to automate or not is an inevitable skill we will develop. The question is: Will it be soon enough, insightful, and proactive, or will we continue to let automation mold us in its image?

In the 1920s, cars slowly transformed our cities with their demands for new bridges and roads. It took decades for urban planners to understand the impact. The automation we face today is a far more powerful and faster-moving change agent. Without careful consideration, it threatens to pull us inward, push us physically apart, alter our mental states, and change how we work.

Beneath the veneer of improved efficiency and cost reduction lie serious consequences and real risks to your business. Automation for automation’s sake is never a good idea.

Forrester’s new interactive decision tool is a starting point. It provides balance to the dominant automation-at-all-costs mindset coming out of the pandemic. Our tool gauges your readiness to automate by asking a series of 17 questions across four categories: process characteristics, employee experience, customer experience, and organizational adoption risk that, when viewed collectively, can help you form a more holistic picture of whether to automate a process or not. The full report provides additional context and recommendations to help enterprise leaders make the best decision for their business needs.