Balancing between Automation & Human Intervention is Key to Foster Effective Innovation

Balancing between Automation & Human Intervention is Key to Foster Effective Innovation

A BITS Pilani alumnus, Venkat has also completed his Master’s in Computer Engineering from the University of California (Santa Cruz). In his career spanning over 27 years, he has had successful stints with companies such as Duet Technologies, ZSP Corp, and Broadcom, prior to joining Synaptics in 2020. Additionally, he has also part of the founding team of a semiconductor solutions company named posedge in 2002.

In a recent exclusive interaction with Siliconindia, Venkat Kodavati, Sr. VP & GM -Wireless Products Division, Synaptics shared his thoughts on the current automation scenario and various other related aspects. Below are the excerpts from the exclusive interview  

Share your thoughts on the current industrial automation landscape in India.

As per a Modor Intelligence report, The India Industrial Automation Market size is expected to grow from $13.25 billion in 2023 to $25.80 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 14.26 percent during the forecast period. Currently, the Indian industrial automation sector is tremendously growing and undergoing a colossal transformation. With the government working towards creating a conducive ecosystem for manufacturing and exporting electronics goods like TVs, closed-circuit TVs, and air conditioners, many opportunities have risen for India’s design as well as manufacturing sectors. In addition, businesses are embracing automation solutions such as AI, IoT and robotics to improve their efficiency, productivity and overall quality. For example, we can see that in recent times, connected devices and vision- and audio-enabled sensors – many of them operating on the Edge (without the performance and security drawbacks of processing in the cloud) - enhance worker safety, track equipment performance, and enable real-time data analysis for proactive decision-making, thus resulting in improved efficiency and productivity.

What is the role of AI and IoT technologies in enabling businesses to optimize their process efficiencies?

Organizations can leverage the power of AI and IoT to optimize their process efficiencies in several ways. With every change comes an opportunity for innovation, such as the appropriate application of AI at the Edge, where organizations must find the right balance of functionality, power consumption, performance, cost, time-to-market, privacy, and ease of use to ensure an exceptional user experience. By implementing AI-driven analytics, businesses can gain valuable insights from large volumes of data generated by IoT devices. This enables them to identify patterns and trends leading to more informed decision-making, thereby improving the user experience and the insights that can be obtained.

How can organizations ensure the successful integration of automation techniques into their existing processes?

In our interconnected world, the proliferation of devices and technologies has created a growing demand for efficient, secure, and scalable connectivity. From our homes to our cars, offices and public spaces, the need for seamless integration of automation technologies, smart devices and they data they produce has become paramount. Meeting these demands is crucial for businesses to enable a reliable and productivity-oriented experience. Deploying IoT solutions enhances operational efficiency, reduces costs, enables data-driven decision-making, improves safety and security measures, enhances customer experiences, promotes sustainability, and optimizes resource utilization.

Before integrating automation techniques into their processes, businesses must conduct a thorough analysis of existing processes to identify areas that can benefit from automation. This is because not all processes are suitable for automation, and it is essential to understand which tasks can be streamlined effectively. Also, the organization must evaluate the existing skillset of employees and determine if additional training or hiring is necessary to implement and manage automation technologies. Ensuring that employees have the necessary skills to work with connected automated systems is crucial for a smooth transition. Another major step that would highly benefit a company is to conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine the financial viability of automation implementation. Lastly, and most importantly, the company must do a detailed analysis of various security and privacy implications that might arise due to automation and connectivity, and accordingly develop robust security measures to protect sensitive data and ensure compliance with relevant regulations. This way, businesses can make informed decisions and effectively integrate automation techniques into their processes, maximizing the benefits and minimizing potential risks.

Do you think human intervention is still necessary in today’s hyper-automated business landscape?

Despite reducing human intervention being the main point of automation, even in today’s hyper-automated business landscape, human intervention remains indispensable. While automation streamlines processes, humans provide critical decision-making, creativity, and innovation. Since we humans possess contextual understanding, emotional intelligence, and the ability to navigate ambiguity, complex problem-solving, personalized customer experiences, adaptability, and ethical considerations are some key areas that necessitate human involvement. Striking a balance between automation and human intervention enables companies to harness the full potential of them both, thus fostering innovation, resilience and success in a rapidly evolving business environment.

According to you, what does the future hold for automation technologies in India?

At Synaptics, we understand the immense potential of connected AI-powered IoT solutions across different aspects of our lives and focus on designing exceptional experiences for users. Our goal is to innovate and enhance user experiences, whether they are on the go or working in an office. The automation industry is poised for significant evolution in the near future, and technologies such as AI, ML, WiFi, Bluetooth, and the IoT will no doubt be the key drivers that will take automation to new heights. Going forward, prioritizing seamless functionality is going to be a major factor for a most of the businesses. Also, intelligent automation systems will become more sophisticated, capable of handling complex tasks and adapting to dynamic environments. The industry will also address challenges such as cybersecurity, ethics, and the impact of automation on the workforce, thus fostering responsible and inclusive automation solutions.