Artificial intelligence, automation, and robotics have transitioned from being a hot topic to a reality in the business world. AI drives business value, but success requires more than just switching processes from manual to automated. In our previous blog on How to Prepare for the Future of Work, we talk about identifying trends and preparing your workforce and business to more easily adapt to change. Successfully integrating AI within your business requires an end-to-end solution that follows a holistic approach and invests in the right type of robotics. Forrester Research defines a company’s competency at automation and AI implementation as robotics quotient or “RQ.” Organizations with a higher RQ are more ready to successfully integrate this type of innovation within their company. In this article, we discuss how to assess your company’s readiness for AI and robotics through RQ.
What is RQ?
Robotics quotient or RQ is a measurement that analyzes a company’s readiness to successfully implement AI, automation, and robotics. This assessment is based on three main areas: people, leadership, and organizational structures. Trust is another important area that influences the other three main areas. Although the type of AI being implemented and how it fits your business is important, the human contribution to how new technology is deployed and implemented is critical to the success of the transformation. Preparing both your workforce and the organizational structure of your business for change directly affects the success of said change. How ready your company is to implement AI is not as simple as being “ready” or “not ready.” RQ measures readiness on a scale that also identifies gaps or areas that need to be prioritized before successful integration can take place. Each RQ category has specific success factors that can be used to assess your company’s readiness for AI and robotics.
Organizations must embrace learning and development as a priority. While general skills do matter, the ability to apply precise technologies to specific business processes is key for employees. Automation expertise is often best learned in the context of a business process. So, businesses that invest in more learning and development will do better when applying automation. Training employees is essential, and new technology means creating new roles and learning new skill sets. Jobs will change, and there should be a focus on thinking differently about roles and tasks.
Both CEOs and CIOs need to master the algorithmic processes that are tied to data. The leaders of a company play an integral role in a successful AI transformation. Algorithms connected to data should be deeply integrated into business processes, and in turn, workers should be prepared to succeed in these systems. Automation should not be seen as an add-on but instead as an opportunity to reengineer business processes. These duties should be part of the CEO’s responsibilities to ensure success.
Automation will reach every part of an organization, and it is important for the company to develop a strategy for attracting, training, and keeping employees with a high RQ value. As new roles are added during the transformation, HR can help design job descriptions and career paths. Career progression is critical to keep employees ambitious and willing to continuously adapt. As stated earlier, investments in learning and development are important for both the success of the employees and the business overall.
Trust impacts the people, leadership, and organizational structure. Trusting your technology means choosing the right technology and being aware of its effects. Employees should be given clear directions on how to respond to machine assessments. It is a helpful exercise to analyze how other businesses have deployed a specific technology to gain valuable insights before trying it yourself.
Once you have analyzed whether or not your company is ready to implement AI, there are tips for a successful digital transformation to make the process easier. Workplace philosophies that include everyone at all levels of the organization in the change taking place create smoother transitions. Digital transformations are always a big undertaking for any business, but that does not mean that they have to be difficult. To discuss custom solutions for your business, get in touch with one of our innovation consultants here.