What Is a Digital Worker? A Comprehensive Guide

 

What Is a Digital Worker?

Picture a world in which every task, from the mundane to the complex, gets done faster, smarter, and more efficiently. This is reality today. The marriage of cutting-edge technology with savvy automation tools has ushered in an era of unprecedented productivity gains. 

The digital workforce market is expected to grow by 22.5% annually to reach $18.69 billion by 2030. With such substantial growth anticipated, businesses need to adopt workforce automation. 

Now is the time to explore the intelligent automation technologies that are relevant to your industry and operations. Identify areas in which a digital transformation can enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and optimize workflows within your organization. In this article, you'll learn how digital workers are revolutionizing business processes.

What Are Digital Workers in Business Automation?

A digital worker is a software bot or intelligent automation tool that functions as an additional employee. It has the digital skills needed to handle repetitive tasks using a mix of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and other intelligent automation technologies

Unlike human workers, bots don’t need breaks or rest. They're tireless, tech-savvy assistants who are adept at leveraging cutting-edge technology to streamline business processes. With a digital workforce, you can enhance your productivity by optimizing operational efficiency and accelerating task completion, fueling rapid business growth.

 

The Role of Digital Workers in Business Automation

Once you embark on a digital transformation of your workforce, it's easy to achieve your business objectives by automating critical tasks such as:

  • Data entry and management
  • Customer experience and support
  • Invoice processing
  • Report generation
  • Routine email communications
  • Compliance checks
  • System health checks
  • Security patching and updates
  • Backup and recovery

These are just a few use cases. There are many more ways to leverage workforce automation to enhance productivity. But all in all, it cultivates an environment in which innovation thrives. 

Digital workers liberate their human counterparts to focus on strategic thinking and creative problem-solving. A team that works alongside digital employees gets more done, faster and better. When you leverage this symbiotic collaboration between human ingenuity and digital efficiency, it paves the way for a more agile, competitive, and future-ready organization. It also improves the overall employee experience at your workplace. 

 

Core Functions and Features of Digital Workers

Bots boast an array of functionalities that aren't just limited to executing predefined tasks. These tools are continually learning to meet evolving business needs. In the following sections, we'll delve deeper into these distinct features, shedding light on the transformative change intelligent automation technologies can bring to your business.

Multichannel Interactions

Today, there are customer relationship management (CRM) tools that can automate email management and social media monitoring. These cognitive technologies utilize natural language processing (NLP) to handle inquiries, provide personalized responses, and manage interactions across multiple channels. 

Take, for instance, a digital worker that's set up to give automated responses to common inquiries through templates or workflows. Then, at the same time, it helps you manage social media mentions, comments, and direct messages across various platforms within a unified dashboard. 

Many businesses use AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants that, although primarily focused on chat interactions, can integrate with email systems and social media platforms. However, while these tools offer advanced functionalities, they may still require some level of human oversight to ensure they align with your business’s style and context.

Capture and Contextualize Data

You can train a bot to gather data from various sources, like spreadsheets, databases, customer interactions, or online platforms.

Once bots have gathered this data, they don't just leave it lying around. Rather, they organize and contextualize it, making it easily understandable. This feature can help you decipher trends, forecast patterns, and make informed decisions.

Let’s say you run an e-commerce store. A specialized digital worker can categorize customer feedback, purchase history, and browsing behavior. It then creates a comprehensive profile for each customer, understanding their preferences, buying patterns, and interactions with the brand. It might even track market trends, competitor activities, and industry insights to enrich the data pool.

Analyze and Decide

In addition to gathering and contextualizing data, bots can also make decisions based on the analysis. While they don't possess human-like decision-making abilities or emotions, they excel at executing tasks based on programmed instructions or predefined rules.

These tools use algorithms and data analysis techniques to interpret information, identify patterns, and draw conclusions. For instance, they might analyze sales data to identify best-selling products, forecast demand, or recognize customer behavior trends and advise you accordingly. 

Execute Actions

So what if you want to automate your entire business process, from collecting data to acting on it? With a digital workforce, this becomes possible through robotic process automation. A digital workforce's ability to efficiently execute preprogrammed actions is fundamental to its role in streamlining operations. 

What makes this capability noteworthy is the consistency and accuracy in handling repetitive tasks. By tirelessly executing predefined actions, digital workers free up your human workforce from mundane tasks, potentially boosting employee satisfaction. It also lets you focus only on the things that require human expertise. 

Key Benefits of Digital Workers in Business Automation

So far, it's evident that a digital workforce is invaluable to any tech-savvy business. The advantages of digital transformation efforts transcend merely improving efficiency; they extend to revolutionizing the very essence of how businesses compete. 

Through digital worker automation, you can gain a competitive edge in the following ways. 

Rapid Implementation

Digital assistants are designed to be swiftly deployed and integrated into existing systems. Deploying human workers may require extensive training and onboarding. However, bots are typically set up within a short time frame. 

Plus, a digital workforce is ready to work immediately after setup, which accelerates the implementation of automated processes. This rapid deployment enables you to achieve cost savings by reducing manual labor hours.

Superior Productivity

Unlike human workers, digital workers operate around the clock, without the need for breaks or rest. They can also adapt to changing workloads and scale their operations based on demand. Whether it's handling increased data volumes, managing higher transaction frequencies, or expanding task volumes, they provide scalability without significant workforce adjustments.

The ability of a digital workforce to swiftly process data, manage workflows, and accurately perform routine tasks contributes to improved operational efficiency.

Low Cost and Easy Access

Leveraging intelligent automation technologies often translates to lower operational costs. According to Gartner, robotic process automation can spare finance teams approximately 25,000 hours that would otherwise be spent rectifying errors made by humans. This translates into substantial cost savings, estimated at around $878,000.

It's also easier to track the return on investment in a digital workforce. Software bots typically involve scalable subscription models or pay-as-you-go services. Such models allow you to adjust your usage based on your needs. As a result, you're better positioned to eliminate large up-front investments.

A digital workforce operates in a virtual environment, eliminating the need for dedicated physical infrastructure. This allows you to reduce the associated overhead costs, such as office space, utilities, or equipment maintenance.

Ease of Operation

On another note, since many digital workforce solutions are cloud-based, they’re easy to access from anywhere with an internet connection. You can, therefore, manage and monitor important work remotely.

These solutions are also often designed with a user-friendly control panel. Apart from an intuitive user interface, digital employees make it easy to set up tasks, workflows, and automation rules without requiring technical expertise. Some have ready-to-use resources such as prebuilt templates so that you don’t have to start from scratch.

Compliance and Security Adherence

When dealing with data, you can’t afford to ignore compliance with security standards. That’s why digital employees are designed to prioritize data security by implementing robust encryption, access-control, and data-handling protocols. Also, the presence of logs and audit trails provides a traceable record of all executed actions, so it's easy to monitor your compliance with industry regulations. 

HIPAA

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) aims to ensure the portability of health insurance coverage and the protection of patient privacy and confidentiality. It establishes security standards for handling electronic health information, enhancing the integrity and confidentiality of healthcare data. 

Digital workers can be customized to comply with HIPAA regulations, ensuring the secure handling of sensitive healthcare data. Consider a scenario in which a healthcare organization utilizes a digital worker, such as an automated system for managing patient records. You can configure it to encrypt data, control access, and strictly adhere to patient privacy rules. 

By setting specific parameters, these digital assistants protect patient information, maintain detailed records, and limit access to authorized personnel, aiding healthcare organizations in HIPAA compliance.

AICPA SOC

Association of International Certified Professional Accountants System and Organization Controls (AICPA SOC) reports are part of a framework that's designed to assess system- and entity-level controls at organizations. The aim is to ensure an organization meets specific criteria regarding security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. 

To align with AICPA SOC standards, digital workers follow strict data-handling practices. They maintain thorough audit logs, use encryption, and enforce stringent access controls. 

By working within these guidelines, digital workers contribute to securing financial data and other sensitive information while supporting organizations in maintaining SOC compliance.

PCI Security Standards Council

The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) is a global forum that was established by major credit card companies such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. Its primary objective is to develop and maintain security standards for the payment card industry.

It's possible to configure bots and employ them to assist organizations in complying with PCI SSC standards, particularly the PCI Data Security Standard (DSS). Digital workers can assist by implementing secure payment-processing procedures and encrypting cardholder data. They facilitate safe transactions, restrict access to cardholder data, and maintain comprehensive records, supporting organizations in meeting PCI security standards.

Typical Automation Tasks That Can Be Done by Digital Workers

When it comes to the capabilities of digital workers, there’s a treasure trove of tasks they can automate. For instance: 

  • Double data entry: Bots streamline this process by automatically inputting information into multiple systems or databases simultaneously. You can rely on them to ensure consistency across various platforms without the need for manual duplication, saving valuable time and effort.
  • Rule-based decision-making: These savvy assistants use predefined rules and algorithms to make decisions. By following established guidelines, they navigate through workflows, categorize information, and route tasks based on specific criteria. This ensures standardized decision-making without human intervention.
  • Preparation of reports: Gone are the days of laboriously compiling reports. With a digital worker, you can efficiently gather, organize, and generate reports by pulling data from multiple sources. Digital workers assemble information into structured reports, saving you the hassle of manual compilation while ensuring accuracy and timeliness.
  • Information validation and auditing: You can trust digital employees to validate data and conduct audits with unmatched precision. They can easily scan through vast data sets, cross-check information for accuracy, identify discrepancies, and flag irregularities. Their keen eyes ensure data integrity and compliance with predefined criteria or regulations.
  • 24/7 information monitoring: A human employee can’t work around the clock, but a digital employee will continuously monitor systems and data flow. They keep a vigilant watch over processes, detecting anomalies and triggering alerts whenever deviations occur. With their constant surveillance, potential issues are identified and addressed promptly.
  • Systems administration: Digital workers efficiently handle routine administrative tasks within your systems. From user management and access control to configuration updates and system maintenance, they execute these administrative duties swiftly and accurately, optimizing system performance.

 

If you’re looking for a way to accelerate your operations through process automation, this is the right time. By strategically deploying digital workers, you can optimize your workflows, swiftly automate repetitive tasks, and ensure 24/7 operations. 

BP3 Global's approach involves tailoring precise digital worker solutions, strategically identifying automation opportunities, and designing streamlined workflows. 

Our expertise lies in leveraging digital workers to expedite tasks and reduce turnaround times for clients, ensuring a rapid and efficient way to accomplish business objectives. Get started today.