We all have been through a situation of our lifetime in the form of Covid-19 Pandemic, in these turbulent times we have witnessed unprecedented transformation across our personal & professional lives. Considering how things have transpired in the last 14 months, there will be considerable change in the way we operate and run our businesses also the way future of work would look like.
The world of work is changing. Artificial intelligence, automation, and robotics will make this shift as significant as the mechanization in prior generations of agriculture and manufacturing. While some jobs will be lost, and many others created, but almost all will change.
We all know that much work today takes place in digital rather than physical space. We use technology to interact with business processes, collect and analyse data, and draft reports; to communicate, to collaborate, and bring teams together from geographies.
The workplace will go through huge transformation in next 10 to 15 years, the adoption of automation and AI technologies will transform the workplace as people increasingly interact with intelligent digital workforce. These technologies, and that human-machine interaction, will bring numerous benefits in the form of higher productivity, improved corporate performance, and better ROI, but this will also change the skills required of human workers.
There will be a shift in demand toward higher cognitive skills, such as creativity, critical thinking, decision making, and complex information processing, will grow through this decade. However, work activities that require only basic cognitive skills, such as basic literacy and date entry, will decline as automation advances. The decline will be seen across all sectors as machines increasingly take over straightforward data-input tasks.
Workforce skill shifts across major sectors.
Banking, Financial Services and Insurance
Financial services have been at the forefront of digital adoption, and the banking and insurance sector is likely to see significantly shifting demand for skills. The financial-services sector contains a range of potential uses for Automation and AI, especially in forecasting risk and personalizing the marketing of products to customers. Emphasis will be on building multiple contact-less channels to Onboard and Support customers. The need for a workforce that uses only basic cognitive skills, such as data input and processing, basic literacy, and basic calculations, will likely decline, while the number of technology experts and other professionals will grow, as will the number of occupations that require customer interaction and management. This increase will drive strong growth in the demand for social and emotional skills.
Oil & Gas, Energy and Mining
Automation and AI are enabling companies to tap into new reserves as well as increase extraction and production efficiency. Highly predictable manual work and administrative jobs that involve data manipulation, such as meter reading, data entry, invoice processing and reconciling will be susceptible to being displaced, while demand for technological jobs will be evident specially around supply chain optimisation. The demand for physical and manual skills along with basic cognitive skills are expected to decrease, while demand for higher cognitive, social and emotional, and technological skills should grow.
Health Care and Pharma
Automation and AI will change the interaction among patients and healthcare professionals. The demand for care providers, such as nurses, will continue to see growth, while the demand for office-support staff will see decreases because of automation of tasks related to record keeping and administration.
Demand for advanced IT skills, basic digital skills, entrepreneurship, and adaptability will see the largest double-digit cumulative growth. However, demand for skills such as inspecting and monitoring patient vitals and medical equipment will stagnate, despite the overall growth in healthcare, as machines take over more routine tasks.
Pharma industry will see a huge transformation in collecting research data, processing, and analysing them will mostly get automated. The real differentiator this industry will strive for is in forecasting stocks (raw materials), optimizing production and supply chain transformation which require human-machine collaboration.
The next wave of automation and AI in manufacturing will disrupt production functions in factories through better analytics and increased human-machine collaboration. It will also have an impact on product development and on marketing and sales.
The overall need for physical and manual skills in the sector is decreasing at more than twice the rate of that for the whole economy. The need for basic cognitive skills is also declining as office support functions are automated. The number of professionals such as sales representatives, engineers, managers, and executives are expected to grow. This will lead to growth in the need for social and emotional skills, especially advanced communication and negotiation, leadership, management, and adaptability. The need for technological skills, both advanced IT skills and basic digital skills, will increase as more technology professionals are required. Demand for higher cognitive skills will grow, driven by the need for greater creativity and complex information processing.
Smart automation and AI will continue to reshape the revenue and margins of retailers as self-checkout machines replace cashiers, robots restock shelves, machine learning improves prediction of customer demand, and sensors help inventory management.
The share of predictable manual jobs, such as driving, packing, and shelf stocking, will substantially decline. Jobs that remain will tend to be concentrated in customer service, management, and technology deployment and maintenance. Demand for all physical and manual skills and for basic data input and processing will decline, while growth will be strong in demand for interpersonal skills, creativity, and empathy. Advanced IT skills and programming alongside complex information processing skills will also see a surge in demand.
To harness the new technologies to their full effect, companies will need to retool their corporate structures and their approaches to work. That change will require redesigned business processes and a new focus on the talent they have—and the talent they need.
A well-trained workforce equipped with the skills required to adopt automation and AI technologies will ensure that our economies enjoy strengthened productivity growth and that the talents of all workers are harnessed. Businesses will be on the front lines of the workplace as it changes. This will require them to both retool their business processes and re-evaluate their talent strategies and workforce needs, carefully considering which individuals are needed, which can be redeployed to other jobs, and where new talent may be required.
Today technologies are being stretched to their limits many conventional businesses are hitting the wall, so enterprises must quickly adopt to new digital business operations where the CIO’s must start expanding beyond IT infrastructure and application management to take a lead in driving operational efficiencies in business in the form of setting up own Centre of Excellence (CoE) to execute important digital transformation projects. By doing this, CIO’s can fuse technology and business goals and increase effectiveness in the business process.
Individuals, too, will need to be prepared for a rapidly evolving future of work. Acquiring new skills that are in demand and resetting intuition about the world of work will be critical for their own well-being. There will be demand for human labour, but workers everywhere will need to rethink traditional mindset of where they work, how they work, and what talents and capabilities they bring to that work.