• Greg Baker

America’s Digital Workforce

Editors Note:  This week’s column is presented by “Bit”, the National Director of the Advocacy for a Digital Workforce.

Hey, guys!  It’s such a pleasure to be here today.  For those who don’t know me, my name is Bit.  And, yes, I am an actual computer bit.  I’m part of an instruction set that was instantiated a few years ago.  My day job involves checking logical operators, and I’m really good at it.  After all, I am a bipolar kind of guy.  You know, it’s either ON or OFF, black or white, ones or zeros.  My world does not contain shades of grey.

But I do have a great sense of humor.  Here’s a good one:  What do you call a group of eight hobbits? A hob-byte!

I have so many more of those…I could go on forever.  But what I really wanted to talk about today was the advantages of employing a digital workforce.

Let’s face it.  While humans are great people, we’ve all confronted the shortcomings of the human workforce.  First of all, humans have a big problem with reliability.  They are not exactly five-9’s material.  Every few hours they have to stop working to eat, and most of them sleep at least once a day.  Humans are constantly getting sick, and when they are not sick, they want to go on vacation!

Secondly, a human workforce is expensive.  Humans want to be paid for each hour they work.  And if humans work more than 40 hours per week, they want to be paid even more!

Finally, humans and errors go hand-in-hand.  For whatever reason, humans can’t seem to do anything without making a mistake.  As a result, the workforce requires another human to fix the problems the first human made.

No matter how it’s measured, a human workforce can only be described as suboptimal.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a workforce that never sleeps, never gets sick and never goes on vacation?  What if a trained workforce member could perform a task endlessly, always following the exact instructions, and never make a mistake?  And what if it were possible to employ this workforce at a small fraction of what a human workforce cost?

America’s new generation of digital workers promise to revolutionize 21st century organizations.  The digital workforce works alongside existing staff members, extracting new information from existing databases and information systems.  We are great at performing rote jobs and automating mundane tasks.  Why use an unenthusiastic, error-prone human to build countless reports and spreadsheets?  A digital worker will do it better and faster every time.

But wait, there’s more…

Digital workers also work exceedingly well with other digital workforce members.  We can collect and send data to systems anywhere on the Internet at anytime of the day or night.  With a digital workforce, data sources are no longer constrained to the organization’s boundaries.  Digital workers facilitate the combination of disparate data sources, helping people make better decisions.

And good decisions are important.  At the end of the day, all of us, human and digital workers alike, depend on people to make good decisions.

So in closing, I want to thank you for considering a digital workforce.  Let me leave you with one last thought…

How many programmers does it take to change a light bulb?

None, it’s a hardware problem.


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