Automation can save the job market, if put into the right hands. Digitally transformative technologies have become widely accepted by business leaders as a means of giving us a productivity boost akin to the industrial revolution. But as AI and automation technologies have been developed by the world’s most influential tech leaders, they risk becoming inaccessible to the average end user.

Covid-19 has forced business leaders to accept that automation will arrive earlier than expected. It is therefore timely, albeit in less-than-positive circumstances, to look at which type of companies will, and will not, thrive in the future.

Fitness classes are being conducted online, cafés and restaurants are stretching delivery services to their limits, and tech bosses expect that remote work will be a ‘permanent feature’ after the dust has settled. But how will countries that have been badly affected by COVID-19 recover properly without a solid digital foundation to build on?

COVID-19 is changing the world of business and industry, but will a new wave of automation be one of the changes we see?

Businesses will need to consider how they adapt to operating under the continued threat of coronavirus, and many will call on IT to provide support for remote access and to automate human-intensive business processes.

As businesses slowly start reopening their doors with the ongoing imperative of sticking to stringent social-distancing rules, more organisations are likely to be willing to embrace automation projects.

So will we work more independently in the future? Will enforced digitization be here to stay? The answers to these questions will depend upon two trends – automation and self-management. As these trends converge we also need to keep in mind the meaning and purpose of the workplace of the future.

In this final part of Silicon UK’s look at automation, we consider what the future holds for all enterprises. What should your business’s automation roadmap look like?

Ask anyone to explain the IoT, and (unless they work in telecoms) they will most likely use a smart home device as an example.