Human and Technology: Substitute or Complementary?

May 22, 2018

In the new world of data-driven business practice, it’s extremely important to integrate new technology that can improve productivity. New technology is a great way to help you handle your business and tackle all projects with ease, as well as reduce the complexity of any process. At the same time, you can’t expect the new technology system to be implemented on its own. Human plays a key role in implementing any technology system.

 

What is human’s role in implementing a new technology system?

 

1. Integrate the needs of users into planning

 

 

If you want to integrate a new technology system into the way you manage your transportation, warehouse or anything, then you must consider the needs of users. Each user requires different things. For example, a supervisor needs to keep track of employee’s working progress, while a delivery man needs a way to systematically manage delivery orders, locations of the day. Assessing the needs of user is not the job of technology, it’s human’s. In implementing a new system, human can conduct an audit of human interaction for improvement. This will make it a lot easier to identify along with handle any human-centered problems in the technology operation process.

 

You won’t be able to help people unless you take this into account. After all, the new technology system is set to make human life easier; so adjusting and managing everything with the understanding of human’s need is the way to achieve that goal.

 

When the root cause analysis of problems is done, human continues to make adjustments to ensure a seamless and safe integration into the system. This is a crucial step to certify the new technology is compatible with the current one and the working process.

 

2. Adjust training, policies, and processes

 

 

The next role of human is to continually adjust the technology system to make sure that it will fit the business. After integrating it, human needs to focus on the scope of training. Technology will be used by end user, but the operators/managers will need to be alongside to monitor the data-driven decisions. Operators/managers will bring the right guidance as users try to handle the new process and adapt the new technology system to suit their needs.

 

It’s also essential to guide the team and help them better interact with technology. That can be a true challenge at first. However, every decision-maker need to focus on that if they want the advance technology to increase productivity or meet their other expectations.

 

After all, people are the ones who set the new processes which bridge the system and the human operations. Technology requires a lot of components to run properly: connection, security, server, system, etc. Even one of those component’s failure can lead to the failure of the whole technology system. Therefore, it is the job of human to foresee those circumstances, and prepare for every situation with backup plans. While technology can help human in repetitive tasks, preparing and planning, that is the job of human.

 

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Will technology replace human? – No

 

 

As powerful and helpful as technology might be, it doesn’t necessarily mean to replace human anytime soon. The reason is simple; any technology system is programmed, it doesn’t think on its own. Even if you have an AI system, it still doesn’t match the complexity of the human brain, at least right now. Humans are the ones using, creating as well as adjusting the technology to suit their needs. Humans are also the one to bring in all the necessary solutions that make the process simpler and increase performance in the first place.

 

Technology system is, indeed, very supportive in automating some repetitive tasks. For example, in the transportation industry, those tasks can be planning route for drivers every day, distribute loads, assign tasks. It’s easier to tackle the problems and challenges in those tasks with a technology system. It works best with tasks that are programmed, and it’s the reason why it works so well. In the future, we cannot guarantee that technology won’t be able to think and create with the complexity level of the human’s brain. As of right now, technology is still a productive assistant to human.

 

Source

 

A report by McKinsey Global Institute indicated only 5 percent of jobs can be entirely automated. According to the report, many tasks can be automated and that most jobs have activities ripe for automation. Nonetheless, the report says that the near-term impact will be to transform work more than to eliminate jobs.

 

So what are transformed job? The best part is that human can spend more time and focus on strategic jobs. People can take the right managerial decisions and focus on strategy, which in the end will create a lot more values for the company. It’s well worth giving this a try and use technology to human’s advantages. All in all, people want to create more values for the company, and it can be easier to do that with the right approach.

 

According to McAfee, if you combine technology and the human element in a proper manner, the sky is the limit. With adjustment and customization to suit particular needs, technology can bring about amazing results and benefits. Leave the human to interact with one another and let the technology system tackle the repetitive tasks in the end!

 

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Conclusion

 

People, Processes, and System are 3 key elements to successfully implement any new Technology project. Besides, you have to customize the entire process to ensure that the results will be second to none. Implementing that in a meaningful way will certainly help you tackle all the operational problems as fast as possible. It will be a great investment for any business to have its own technology system, as it just makes things simpler and more convenient.

 

References:

1. https://www.advisorperspectives.com/articles/2017/07/31/the-human-factor-in-technology-implementation

2. https://ecurrent.fit.edu/blog/campus/business/human-element-technology/

3. https://talentculture.com/the-balancing-act-technology-and-the-human-element/

4. http://www.mhlnews.com/powered-vehicles-and-forklifts/introducing-tech-material-handling-consider-human-element

 

 

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