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Can robots make a workplace more human?

4 min read

Imagine working with digitalization without coding and programming. Quite possible if you ask Fredrik Spets. As a Digital Transformation Director at Saab, he has worked with the automation of business processes, creating innovative apps and training robots to manage manual tasks – without spending a single day writing algorithms.

"Many people think that you need a brain for math or a passion for coding to work in the tech industry, but technology is also about people, and how they can make use of it," Fredrik explains.

And it was his interest in the human side of technology that eventually led him to his current position at Saab. After finishing a bachelor’s degree in Systems Science, Fredrik has now been active in the field of automation for twelve years.

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Fredrik Spets
“Digital transformation is all about people.” Fredrik Spets, Digital Transformation Director.

During his career, he has worked with automating business processes at several different companies and authorities, both in Sweden and abroad. And after twelve years in the industry, Fredrik knows that integrating digital technologies is more about people than the technology itself.

"It’s necessary to have a deep understanding of human behaviour to be able to create great solutions and engaging experiences," says Fredrik.

Changing behaviour, digit by digit

With the focus area to drive the digital transformation internally at Saab, Fredrik has been a part of the company both as a consultant and as an employee. Together with his passion for technology and his interest in how to change and develop different working routines, he has been involved in several projects during his time at Saab. For example, he has automated the onboarding process for new employees and trained robots to become digital colleagues.

"It’s inspiring to see that even small technological solutions can change and improve the way people work and help them in their daily work tasks. And it is also motivating for our employees to feel that they are a part of a modern company," says Fredrik.

Being a Digital Transformation Director at Saab means having a curiosity about the possibilities of technology and helping other people to understand the benefits of automating their business processes. It’s also important to understand the user’s perspective to deliver meaningful tools with a great user experience. It’s all about communication and making difficult things sound simple.

“Even the most beautiful technical solution has no use, if the user doesn’t understand it.”

The fear of facing a digital dystopia

In all his projects, Fredrik is driven by helping employees to facilitate their day-to-day tasks through digitalization and automation. But the thought of robots in the workplace can seem quite daunting to many people.

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"A digital transformation can create uncertainty, and sometimes even a fear that robots will take over our jobs, but that’s not the whole truth."

Despite robot efficiency, human skills still matter. And as Fredrik explains, automating working processes is not about replacing people with robots but removing monotonous and administrative tasks so that the employees can work more efficiently.

"Employees that can focus on the important parts of their job and spend more time on what they do best, will also have more fun at their workplace."

Will we work side by side with robots?

With technology as a part of our everyday life, digital development will lead to a big change in our working lives and business processes. Manual tasks will be removed and replaced by technology, and at our future workplaces, we will be working side-by-side with robots. And that is a change that Fredrik is proud to take part in at Saab.

"It’s motivating to be involved in driving digitalization forward and see how our employees and managers are positively affected by the solutions we develop."

To be a part of a company that is home to different people and experiences is also something Fredrik appreciates about being an employee at Saab. And in his varied working environment with challenging tasks, he finds his biggest inspiration in his colleagues.

"It’s amazing to see what my colleagues manage to develop, such as building a digital twin of Gripen or connecting sensors to an AI model. That inspires me every day."

3 questions

The best thing about Saab: That everyone is pushing towards the same goal to make Saab as successful as possible.

The most challenging: The balance between the opportunities available in new technologies and the high focus on safety and risk we have internally at Saab.

The most inspiring: To be involved in driving a business change and see how it simplifies and improves our employee’s everyday life.