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The future of work and the virtual workforce - 'software robots'

Last updated 25-August-2016


Physical, industrial robots, are now well established in manufacturing and warehouse operations.  More recently, there has been discussion about ‘software’ robots taking over 'white-collar' jobs.

There are a growing number of companies providing tooling to automate repetitive manual system processes.  Many are now selling their capabilities into Banks and Insurers - who have large back office operations and many repetitive processes that have historically been to difficult to optimise - and when done wrong have driven customer complaints.

The potential applicability of these capabilities does apply across most industry sectors, and also have potential for smaller SME businesses. 

Examples of companies providing and developing these capabilities include: 

A good summary can be found in this article.     

The videos below provide further insight and context to the opportunities and implications.


In this TEDx talk David Moss, CTO and Co-founder of Blue Prism Limited, gives his perspectives on how this can lead to improving customer service, increasing productivity and more importantly freeing staff up to play to their strengths improving job satisfaction, whilst transforming the way that enterprises and global service providers deliver value.

Prof Willcocks from LSE Department of Management, outlines the findings from current research on the future of work and then his perspectives on where this may lead.

In particular he notes that in industries such insurance, health care, telecoms and finance this technology has already begun to be deployed, and is indicating multiple benefits as work is reconfigured.

He advises that you should forget what you’ve read in the media - in relation to mass redundancies of white collored workers, and also that a virtual workforce does not lead to unsatisfied employees.

In the subsequent video recordings (below) Professor Willcocks explains why Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will not just save organisations money – but enable numerous other ‘attractive’ benefits.

Play Next Part 2 Video Play Part 3 Video Play Part 4 Video Play Part 5



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