I need to be blunt: the current wave of automation will profoundly impact jobs. I don’t understand why this is a surprise to people.
Let’s suppose Bob needs to dig a very big hole in the ground. Bob could employ 15 people with shovels for 2 weeks; or he could hire a JCB for an afternoon.
Bob’s choice is easy – a JCB is faster, cheaper, easier to manage and delivers a higher quality outcome.
The ‘macro’ impact of the JCB over time is that the economy needs fewer shovellers; but it now needs more engineers to service and operate the complex machines. Technology changes jobs, and it always has.
Why is today any different? Why is the media surprised and shocked when we see it happening? According to McKinsey, 30% of tasks in 60% of jobs can be automated using existing technology.
Instead of JCBs, it’s platforms like Automation Anywhere and the Microsoft Power Platform that are doing the heavy lifting of repetitive rules-based tasks.
We don’t appreciate fundamental change when it’s this close up. It will take 3-5 years until we will look back at the low value tasks that stole our time, with the sense of “remember how we used to…?”
The least you need to do is be aware; there are two great books to check out, linked to in the document below.
What’s your automation strategy to change your job?