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Automation Will Impact Digital Laggard, Says Study


Automation will define the future of work. By 2030, automation will cut jobs by 29% while contributing as little as 13% to job creation, according to Forrester’s Future of Work report. Automation will disproportionately impact digital laggards because non-digital workers will be unable to up-skill at the rapid pace of change, noted the report.

With the rise of automation and intelligent technologies such as robots, AI, machine learning, and others, the pragmatic search for margin is introducing a speed of change and uncertainty not seen since the Industrial Revolution, said the study.

In such a scenario, firms, economies, governments, and societies will be challenged and transformed. Despite apocalyptic predictions, the full implications of automation are still unknown. Change will come in waves, waves that include currently unrealized technologies.

Companies already have a portfolio of intelligent technologies used for automation, though right now the use cases are fragmented and small. Eventually automation will stretch further into new use cases, risks and rewards, according to the report.

The study clearly shows that automation has impacted employment more than layoffs, which makes choosing what technologies to deploy all the more important. Employees are hesitant about automation, but 80% of those who employ it report higher productivity and creativity.

Finding where automated technologies best support employees depends on the tool. For example, decision automation is used on digital intelligent platforms and for image or video analysis. Human/machine automation is for robots chatbots and intelligent assistants interacting with customers or employees.

Again process automation includes robotic process automation (RPA) and low-code development platforms. And finally, technology infrastructure automation is found in serverless infrastructure management and automated security. The study said, individually rolling out uses cases in layers allows for some breathing room and adjustment period for employees to adapt.

A steady stream of disruptive technologies means a negative impact on jobs, according to Forrester. Also firms are in a difficult position, agreed the research report. It recommends that if companies act too slow in implementing digital technologies they risk falling behind. Hence they need to act ‘too quickly’ which, in the initial days may generate unnecessary complexity and confusion. However, in the long run, help them gain competitive edge.

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