A Dell survey finds strong belief that humans and machines will work as integrated teams within five years. ERP systems, especially inventory, will be top automation target.
By 2030, a major portion of ERP-related work may be handled by machines. These systems will increase in capability as the amount of data grows and as AI advances. Human-machine interactions will play a major role in business, and well before then.
The importance of human-machine interactions to business was ranked very high by the respondents participating in research by Dell Technologies and the Institute for the Future. The report is based on a survey of nearly 4,000 business leaders. More than eight in 10 (82%) overwhelmingly agreed that they “expect humans and machines will work as integrated teams within their organization inside of five years.”
Further out, by 2030, smart machines will play an important role in ERP. Three of the top four functions that will be offloaded to machines, this survey found, are ERP-related: inventory management, financial administration — invoicing, purchasing orders, etc. — and, in fourth place, logistics. Troubleshooting was number three.
But overall, there is a lot of uncertainty about the technological future.
When asked if “automated systems will free up our time,” the response was split down the middle, with half agreeing and the other half disagreeing.
The answers also indicate questions about capabilities. For instance, respondents were asked whether “technology will connect the right person to the right task, at the right time.” Only 41% agreed, and the remainder disagreed. Respondents were evenly divided around this statement: “Not sure what the next 10-15 years will look like for our industry, let alone our employees.”
In an interview, Danny Cobb, Dell Technologies corporate fellow and vice president of global technology strategy, discussed human-machine interactions and other survey findings.
Cobb sees a wide range of qualitative and quantitative processes and technologies — AI, context and pattern recognition, voice and image recognition — gaining enterprise use. His responses were excerpted and edited.