Will Automation Affect Future Of Work?

by CXOtoday News Desk    Feb 17, 2015

automation

Years after losing the IT bellwether tag to TCS, Infosys is making efforts to regain it once again by making choicest of acqusitions. After acquiring Zurich-based Lodestone Holding AG, a leading global management consultancy, for $350 mn, Indian IT services major Infosys has planned its second biggest acquisition. This time, it is the Israeli firm Panaya Inc, an automation company for $200 mn.

This acquisition reflects Infosys’ execution of its renewed and new strategy to enhance the competitiveness and productivity of current service lines and workforce by leveraging automation, innovation and artificial intelligence.

Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka,  47, who became the first non-founder CEO, has been emphasising that the company needs to focus on  artificial intelligence (AI) and automation technologies to address multiple challenges of rising costs, inefficiency of client facing roles and delays in service delivery.

Panaya’s CloudQuality’s software as a service (SaaS) model is expected to help Infosys mitigate risk, reduce costs and shorten time to market for clients—the prime concerns of the company at this moment.

“With clear benefits on automation, Panaya will offer significant differentiated advantage to Infosys for its Testing Services which continues to be a manual process for many service providers,” Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst and Group CEO, Greyhound Research, told Firstpost. 

The future of work 

Panaya, which offers a flagship product called “The Panaya CloudQuality Suite”  which basically automates the quality testing tasks that were traditionally done by humans. 

It also signifies Sikka’s determination to invest in future technologies to improve workforce efficiency.  Sikka says: “The acquisition of Panaya is a key step in renewing and differentiating our service lines. This will help amplify the potential of our people, freeing us from the drudgery of many repetitive tasks, so we may focus more on the important, strategic challenges faced by our clients.”

Automation: Good or bad?

There are both positive and negatives sides to the impact of automation of work. A Pew Research finds that technology will liberate us from day-to-day drudgery, and redefines relationship with “work” in a more positive and socially beneficial way.

On the negative side, the research found that certain highly-skilled workers will succeed wildly, but far more may be displaced into lower paying service industry jobs or permanent unemployment.

It is believed that automation will certainly affect the future of workforce. “As automation will go up, every sector will be affected. It requires less number of people to do jobs. The need for recruitment might come down. Automation will change the way services are done and impact future employment,” Kris Gopalakrishnan, former CEO of Infosys, had told CXOToday.

Reskilling

However, right now there is a need for reskilling. Infosys COO Pravin Rao recently told PTI  that re-skilling will assist companies in growth, as technology would soon become redundant.   

He said, “It is not that there are tens and thousands of people (available) with experience in new technologies. The idea is to re-skill people. If technology changes and people don’t have those capabilities, you’ve to re-skill them and re-orient them.”