Automation has been a hot topic for a while now, and there’s a lot to be said about where it’s headed. In the bigger picture, there are the implications of jobs being replaced, concerns about over-reliance on technology, and questions about what happens in a world where not everybody needs to be working 40-hour weeks.
For the sake of this blog post, however, we’re going to keep it simple. We’ll cover some of the ways you can use automation as a tool in your everyday life. We’ll explore how automation can have a noticeable impact on your future routine, and how you can start automating right now.
As a phenomenon, automation is nothing new. We humans have been making things easier for ourselves since we came up with the concept of tools. But as we continue to rely more heavily on digital technology as a means of productivity and communication, we see digital automation move to the forefront of the public consciousness.
Keep in mind that automation isn’t a magic road to increased productivity. Like any new technology, it requires an upfront investment of time, energy, and possibly money. A bad system of automation has the potential to do more harm than good, so it’s important to ensure you’re using the right type for the right situation. Once you’ve implemented your automation and have it running smoothly, the long-term benefits are exponential.
Here are a few types of automation you can use to simplify both your work and personal routines:
There are a slew of apps on the market that work on the concept of, “if This, then That.” Basically, you can use your smartphone to automate a series of actions based on a particular trigger or circumstance. For example, if you’re tagged in a photo on Facebook, you can configure an app to automatically download that picture to a cloud-based file folder. If it’s supposed to rain on a given day, you can have the app send you a reminder text in the morning.
The opportunities are endless, and it’s only getting more advanced as larger number of products and services become automation-compatible. To try this type of automation out for yourself, you can download an app like IFTTT or Workflows to get started.
The same concept of task automation applies to the workplace, and it has the potential to save a massive amount of time and energy. Many of the mundane tasks that take a lot of time (and only a little bit of brainpower) can be completely automated in a matter of minutes.
Let’s consider the sales implications of automation. Say an interested customer fills out a form on your website to learn more about your product. Not only can you ensure they receive an immediate and well thought out response, but you can also automate a series of events that unfold based on their digital behavior. They interacted with the email? Great, give them a call. They didn’t follow up with you? Automate a limited time offer to be sent out a week later as a gentle reminder.
Remember, this type of automation isn’t a substitute for human interaction. It’s a tool that allows humans to interact more efficiently and on a much larger scale. There are a bunch of different services that offer this type of automation. If you’d like to learn more about them, give us a call. We’re happy to talk through the options with you.
The automation fun doesn’t stop at work. All sorts of companies are riding the automation train to the future of household electronics. Philips has released smart lights that can be automated to turn on, change colors, and adjust brightness based on factors like the weather and your daily schedule. Smart thermostats can be controlled from anywhere via smartphone. Smart outlets can automate power supply to any electronic that plugs in. The list goes on.
The Automated Future
All of these products and services are intended to improve the lives of users. By eliminating the time and energy it takes to complete the hundreds of mini-tasks we’ve grown used to completing each day, we’re freeing ourselves up to do things we’ve only ever dreamed of doing. To some, it may seem excessive. But there’s no doubt that it’s the next frontier in human innovation. Our hunger for discovery and improvement always has us working towards the next big thing. Happy automating!