Rebuild and Empower Your Workforce with Digital Labor

3 min read

As business bounces back, growing companies are running into the Great Resignation and struggling to hire employees quickly enough — especially skilled knowledge workers.

But if the Great Resignation is really the Great Upgrade, then the best way to attract and keep employees is to offer a job that makes better use of their skills. Digital labor makes that possible by picking up the grunt work for your employees.

Partnering with digital labor through an AI-powered platform frees your employees from unpleasant, low-value tasks so they can do the job they came to do. Instead of replacing employees, it puts them in charge. And instead of inflating costs, it puts your budget to better use. Here’s how it works.

Augmenting the human element with a digital employee

Automation tools are no longer just for data scientists. Workers can now adopt advanced automations across an enterprise. The future of this work is with a digital employee — software-based labor that works alongside human employees.

People now seek jobs driven by their values, but labor shortages continue to stretch workers thin, resulting in too much time spent on low-value tasks like scheduling, navigating systems and organizing data spreadsheets. A digital employee can provide this support and take care of menial, repetitive, programmable tasks across marketing, sales, finance and HR.

This time gained allows people to focus more on high-value responsibilities like customer service relationships, complex brainstorming and strategic collaborations.

How does a hybrid workforce interact?

When leaders give human workers access to AI-powered automation, they can start assigning tasks and workflows to a digital employee.

This new AI-powered team member would be able to execute backend tasks, search and analyze, listen for events and notify human workers of their occurrence. This is the support a digital employee brings.

A digital employee shares the same criteria as a human worker in that it has the following:


  • A persona: A defined role and level of authority within an organization.
  • Credentials: The security to get into specific systems to perform tasks.
  • Skills: The components that allow it to automate activities and do work.

Skills are the building blocks needed to meet a request and the most important piece of this digitization puzzle. Skills express the logic of a task to a digital worker, which can then sequence them to execute a process successfully.

AI technology provides the brainpower behind sequencing skills and creating and interacting with a digital employee.

What is the relationship between AI and a digital employee?

Artificial intelligence (AI) ensures a task is executed as ordered by enabling the digital employee to detect the right skills with confidence.

Digital employees leverage artificial intelligence capabilities like natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) to interact and communicate, sequence skills on the fly and put those skills into context by maintaining a working memory of past interactions.

Knowledge workers can then command, train and delegate work to digital employees. These delegations can range from automating and speeding up simple tasks to help with more complex decision-making. This is all put into motion through an AI-powered automation platform.

Maximizing productivity with IBM Watson Orchestrate

IBM Watson® Orchestrate, a 2022 CES Innovation Award Honoree, provides a platform for workers to leverage automation as self-service by putting breakthrough AI technology into the hands of the business professionals that need it. 

Centering a human-machine partnership in your digital strategy is not only a smart response to today’s business challenges, it will set up your business for future gains and continued competitive advantage.

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