Burkhard Boeckem
Forbes Councils Member
Forbes Technology Council
COUNCIL POST| Membership (Fee-Based)

Three Ways Autonomous Technology Can (And Will) Transform Your Business

When thinking of autonomous technology, most minds immediately conjure an image of self-driving cars in bustling cities, imagining how travel can become more enjoyable and safer for us all. However, autonomous technology’s reach is far wider than this notion and extends far beyond the ideal of safer roads. It has the power to not only transform our driving experience, but it also plays a crucial role in how we conduct and thrive in business.


Whether you are part of a multinational corporation or a growing SME, being open to and embracing technological innovation will undoubtedly be critical to your success. Yet, historically, not all technologies or innovations have been within reach and were, rather, limited to those with specialized skill sets and sizable budgets. Thankfully, over the past 10 years, we’ve witnessed advances in technology become more accessible to a broader set of users and industries — from mining and construction to media and entertainment. Furthermore, at the center of this shift is an organization’s best ally and perhaps most powerful asset: data.

In the present context, in which data generation seems to outrun our ability to mindfully process and use it, autonomous technology in the form of advanced sensors and processing software allows us to put this data to work and deliver both real-time and long-term benefits to businesses and organizations all over the world. With this in mind, here are three specific ways in which autonomous technology can and will transform your business in the coming years:

1. Boosting Efficiency

Regardless of your industry type or size, efficiency will always be at the top of your business priorities list. Optimizing daily operations is where technology comes into play and can assume a key role. Deploying sensors to digitally capture and replicate a physical environment leads to unique intelligence about where processes can be smarter and more efficient. This detailed and highly accurate digital twin of your surroundings allows you to create a simulated world in which you’re able to factor real-time changes in circumstances, such as the need to socially distance. It allows you to understand how to improve your current reality and visualize untapped potential — from experimenting with a factory floor layout or the design of a construction site to determining where clothes rails can be positioned in a retail store to improving the flow of customers and limiting direct contact with each other.

2. Improving Safety

Autonomous technology is increasingly at the service of protecting employees and customers from harm. Edge-powered devices, machinery and software not only bring your business’s computing power closer, but they also enable an autonomous connected ecosystem that can have a significant impact on safety. While many of us have grown accustomed to working remotely over the past year, the day-to-day of key workers and industries such as mining and manufacturing have remained unfazed. By deploying technology that allows you to share data, work collaboratively and keep entire teams on the same page, safety risks can be identified, assessed and addressed in a timely manner.

3. Aiding Sustainability

While technology should be at the center of most business operations, it should for the most part work autonomously in the background to allow businesses to focus on what’s important and be more sustainable in their entire approach — helping, in turn, to protect our cities and improve our environment. In this context, there are many emerging technologies that will have an impact on business, with artificial intelligence being one of those with the most promise as it enables us to do things we never thought possible. A future where commerce, technological progress and sustainability coexist is achievable, and businesses have the power to maintain and grow revenue while benefiting their city, country and the planet. When businesses do better, the planet does, too. 

For those considering adopting autonomous technology within their business, here are some steps to follow: Before deploying, define what is most important to your teams in the short and long term — from accurate real-time measurement data to in-depth situational awareness. Next, analyze what solutions can best improve daily operations across your entire organization — technology should be a tool that’s accessible and empowers all, not a select few. Communicate to teams not only the daily and immediate benefits of this technology but also the long-term potential to innovate and come up with new and creative ideas when freed up from automated tasks. And finally, continue to reevaluate operations and push your own perception of what’s possible, expanding the boundaries of your business and ultimately taking it to the next level.

In essence, autonomous technology will not only steer your business in the right direction, but it will also put you directly in the driver’s seat and on the path towards a promising future.

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