Recently, we conducted a poll on Twitter to know if automation is taking away jobs in IT industry or not? 43% of respondents said automation is taking away jobs whereas 35% said otherwise. 22% were not sure about the outcome of automation. Contrary to the popular belief, automation is likely to create more jobs than it will take away. There is no denying to the fact that automation will take away jobs which comprise repetitive/mundane tasks, but at the same time, it will create jobs which will require higher expertise, especially in the IT industry.
Have a look at his insights from the session.
Question: Is automation really eating jobs or creating new ones?
Atul Jadhav: Looking at history, Technology & Automation has always created new jobs by taking up repetitive/mundane work with predictable expected results. I believe human brains are more effective when used to deal with problems with making those predictions more accurate. This leads to the creation of Job types which are more evolved yet challenging. E.g. Delivery by Drone may take up delivery jobs however this automation itself opens up a humongous amount of specialised jobs with expertise. This, in turn, create jobs like GIS experts, Geospatial Data Analyst/Scientist, algorithmist, control centre operators, security experts, teaching and so on.
Question: Can you give examples of jobs that were taken away by automation in the past?
Atul Jadhav: There are plenty such examples around us. In manufacturing factories, Robots has replaced workers reducing human dependencies while significant increase in productivity. Unless very complex transaction, bank teller job is automated, cashiers are being replaced by an automated check-out machine, Telephone Operators, Travel Agent, Typist, Film projectionists, packing labour, stockroom/warehouse managers to pilots & farmers.
Question: In the present scenario, which jobs are at risk due to automation?
Atul Jadhav: research says, by 2021, 4 out of 10 jobs will be lost to automation. Jobs in low skills or highly transactional and can harness on AI & ML for analytics & decision making are at great risk. Taxi & Truck Drivers, Daimler, Tesla & Google already on it, Nursing & Healthcare, Insurance Underwriters, Geographers, Nuclear Technicians, Financial Advisors, News Reporters, Loan officers, Accountants & Auditors. I would more put it like 4 out of 10 jobs will have next level evolution, a different set of OKRs to serve much more evolved customer demand and business model.
Question: Recently, which IT jobs have been created by automation?
Atul Jadhav: Technology is evolving faster than ever, IBM Watson, Google’s Deep Neural Network and several other AI & ML platforms require humans with skills to extend the platform to various use cases, system integrators, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) implementers for workflow optimisation, Skills like DevOps are high in demand due to sheer value they bring on board to further automate the Developer’s Operation via Continuous Integration & Continuous Development and effective use of infrastructure resources which reduce down Go To Market time for new product or services along with high efficiency and optimised cost.
Question: In your opinion, which industries would experience the maximum impact of automation?
Atul Jadhav: Businesses today are striving for enhanced last mile customer experience. They are building products & services which will help them to achieve the same in an effective way and in lesser time. At the same time, businesses today are collecting a lot of data about behaviour, productivity, issues irrespective of nature of the business being B2B or B2C.
Imagine our car goes and refuel itself from the nearest gas station while we sit in our office focusing on work or spending time with family without worrying much about gas level or spending that extra 10 mins at gas station required for refuel to the level where our car is connected with service station 24/7, when there is a time car goes and get the servicing done from fully automated service station which already knows the vitals about my car along with exact issues. And this day is not so far. So almost all industries are going to leverage the power of AI, ML & Automation. To name a few Healthcare, Farming, Manufacturing, Transportation, Customer Service, finance & Defence.
Question: How is automation creating opportunities for IT professionals in Non-IT sectors?
Atul Jadhav: Answer is simple, to build these smart systems we require skilled IT professionals who are not only great for developing solutions based on intelligent platforms but who are also great on re-skilling themselves. As Non-IT sectors are heavily driven by IT and dependency of Non-IT businesses on IT will increase day by day, the importance of IT guys in the non-IT sector will be more than ever to maintain the existing system, to cater new business cases, to alter existing business cases while ensuring the data security. The government rules and regulations will evolve based on various learnings as an outcome of an automation which opens up altogether new doors of career for IT professionals in Non-IT sectors.
Question: Which Non-IT job roles would evolve with the assistance of Chatbots, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning?
Atul Jadhav: Product Designers, Data Scientist, Digital Marketing, Actuary, offline auditors & validators, e-tailors, health care professionals, legal advisors. Almost every job in existence today will have next level evolution. Automation and Technologies like AI, ML will bring facts, research applicable to a situation or an individual seeking solution, thus doing relevant cross-sale / up-sale of products & services, Chatbots delivers this to end user in constructive and interactive manner. In many cases, final decisions still have to be made by humans.
Question: As an individual, what should a professional do to cope-up with the changes happening in one’s job due to automation?
Atul Jadhav: During my graduation 20 years back, finding out people to seek new knowledge was tremendously difficult. Not because there were no knowledgeable people around, but access to such resources was extremely difficult. However, technology has changed everything. Today not knowing something is an individual choice. There are ample resources available on the touch of a screen, free and paid, in the form of video, text, guides which can be leveraged by an individual to re-skill his/her skills. When I see programmers as young as 7 years hosting keynotes on IBM Watson and actively contributing to AI & ML, it boosts my confidence as an Individual & professional. Professionals need to start being more curious about what they are doing, why they are doing, how it is impacting the businesses they are working for. What’s all happening around the world to bring next level disruption in their job role and chart the course of skill acquisition plan well in advance to be future ready? It is not very different when we do financial investment to expect a certain amount of returns in future. Here it’s investment of self and it has to be a continuous process.
Question: In the next 5 years, which job roles will reap the maximum benefit of automation?
Atul Jadhav: Roles having more cognitively demanding jobs will be valued more than ever. Just to put it in perspective traditional tailors are almost been replaced by ATMs, reduce the running capital for bank and tailors started more focusing on customer relationship, selling products which are relevant to retail/corporate banking customer, more time been spent to understand intricacies of business which are been served by banks and provide a designer solution to cater business need. All these results into increase in customer satisfaction, increase in sales for both banks & their customers, so increase in a number of branches and increase in the number of tailors jobs. Same applies for any job role which is considered to be under threat due to automation (Construction, Healthcare, Emergency Services etc..).improvement in tools & automation, increases the importance of human expertise, creativity & judgments.
Having said this, let’s not ignore the fast pace evolution going on in AI and ML and cognitive capabilities been built around them making them more and more self-conscious. Sooner or later there will be time where no human is required to do 40% to 50% jobs which exist today but that may not essentially mean 50% population will be without jobs.
Question: What all can management do to keep their existing workforce and make them more efficient while embracing automation?
Atul Jadhav: If this is a challenge for jobs, then it is definitely a challenge for businesses who are producing these jobs. Management has to invest on fostering the culture of multi-skill acquisition by their employees. Investment should be done proactively to introduce these disrupting technologies into the work environment, provide training to employees to boost their confidence on these technologies.
As a business @Webonise is helping a lot of our clients implementing Robotic Process Automation #RPA, #IoT solutions. This demands for the workforce which has or is ready to acquire skills required to develop, implement & maintain these solutions. Thus creating jobs opportunities for employees of @Webonise but for the businesses we are building solutions for. It’s experimental time for everyone and only time will tell if this is Automation vs Human or Automation & Humans. Being a person of pragmatic nature, I believe it will be more of collaborative nature if we take competition in right spirit.
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