As we enter 2019, the market situation feels a little grim, to say the least. As organizations adopt automation and AI, The fears of job losses due to technology are significant. With the world under the recession cloud, this coupled with technological advancements has only added to the fear of millions of job aspirants. As machines start to take over, the human labor of jobs seems to be losing its relevance.
But are we reading too much into this technology vs human fight? Is the pessimism about the job losses due to technology exaggerated? Maybe a wider perspective on this puts such fears to rest. The market for technologies such as robotic process automation is growing at 20 percent per year and is likely to reach US$5 billion by 2024. The value of automation lies not in the ability to replace employees with machines, but in collaborating the workforce and enabling human work to be redesigned in terms of problem-solving and the ability to create new knowledge. As machines replace humans in doing most of the routine work, jobs are evolving to require new combinations of human skills with technical capabilities. This creates the need for organizations to redesign jobs along with their business and work processes to keep up the pace.
The concerning factor
Though the use of artificial intelligence (AI)and robotics to automate and augment work is on the rise, prompting the redesign of jobs in a growing number of domains, the division of jobs from one end of the spectrum to the other can be alarming. There will be high value, complex, well-paid jobs on the one hand, and lower-wage, lower-skilled work across service sectors on the other.
The jury is still out with regard to technological advances and their impact to work. I strongly believe that organizations need to view these trends in the context of the social enterprise which forms an increasingly important connection between organizations and society. Highly skilled workers with technology will lead to work being done in new ways. The major challenge before organizations now is to execute this evolving trend in a manner that leads to great results for themselves, their employees and the economy as a whole.