By Pat McNamara
If you read our last blog, “The Rise of Smart Machines,” you should be pretty familiar with what Smart Machines are and how we can expect to see a growth in their across all industries over the next decade. But what do Smart Machines mean for employment, and the CIO’s responsible for managing these changes? Quite a bit, actually. From changing business landscapes, to effects on staffing and employment, there is a lot to consider when it comes to this new wave of so-called “smart” technology.
What do Smart Machines mean for human jobs?
The advancement of smart machines will mean major changes in employment and the professional landscape in the next ten years. While humans won’t be completely replaced by machines anytime in the near future, many jobs will start to become redundant, while others will need to adjust and adapt to the addition of machines to the workplace. According to a 2013 Gartner survey, 60% of CEO’s believe “the emergence of smart machines capable of absorbing millions of middle-class jobs within 15 years is a ‘futurist fantasy’.” However, Gartner suspects those CEO’s may be underestimating the effects of machines on the job market. As Gartner continues, “low-cost and easy-to-train robots and purpose-built automated machines…could significantly devalue and/or displace millions of humans in the workforce.” Those most likely to be effective by job loss will be individuals whose functions revolve solely around physical labor and discovery, such as factory workers, call center workers and research assistants. Still, Gartner’s Stephen Prentice offers some reassurance, ”the deployment of new technology has eliminated millions of jobs over the course of history. At the same time, entirely new industries have been developed by those technologies, almost always creating millions of new jobs.” While machines may be able to conduct research and labor faster and more efficiently than their human counterparts, humans will still be necessary to analyze the data machines discover, interpreting and applying that data in a practical sense.
This leaves CIO’s with a major responsibility – how do you balance the necessity of utilizing technological advances with the negative impact of job losses? According to Gartner’s VP and Fellow Tom Austin, CIO’s should handle this transition responsibly by planning ahead and being smart about the implementation of smart machines. This means taking a strong leadership role, and determining the best starting point for their individual company. As of now, smart machines are primarily available to assist with decision making. This means it is important to know what types of decisions need to be made for your company & industry so that smart machines can be applied effectively without unnecessary usage.
Weathering the Changes
Do you think a Smart Machine could ever replace you in your job? Atlantic Associates, Inc. are IT staffing experts who can assist you in weathering the changing tides of the job market no matter what new challenges may arise. Let us know your thoughts about smart machines by leaving a comment below or tweeting at us!