Paper: When Harry Met R2D2: Connecting Humans and Machines in the Flow of Work

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When Harry Met R2D2: Connecting Humans and Machines in the Flow of Work

This chapter was originally published in BPM Everywhere

Larry Hawes, Dow Brook Advisory Services, USA

Nearly every day in the technology press we are reminded that sensors, robots and software are taking jobs from low-skilled workers. However, the reality is that not all work can be automated and that machines will augment humans' capabilities as the Internet of Everything grows. As a result, how humans and machines will collaborate to get work done becomes a critical issue.

BPM and, especially, Case Management solutions are already beginning to connect humans and machines in the flow of work. Many current enterprise social technologies integrate event-related data generated by sensors and software systems, posting it as notifications in activity streams seen by relevant individuals. Increasingly, people can share that data, communicate and collaborate to gather additional information needed to make decisions and craft responses, and take action – all from within the activity stream.

This chapter provides current examples of humans and machines working together, and imagines some additional ways that the two might collaborate using social-enabled BPM and Case Management principles and technologies. The requirement for social interoperability standards is also discussed.

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