The Future of the Workforce: AI Investment Can Boost Profits and Employment

February 1, 201811:08 am1011 views

In today’s age of digital disruption, artificial intelligence (AI) plays an integral role in the success of a business. In order to survive and thrive amidst the rapidly changing business landscape, it is imperative for every organisation to show willingness in embracing and leveraging digital transformation. A company’s success is increasingly defined by how they manage the collaboration between human workforce and automation, to generate a favorable mutualism symbiotic relationship.

The latest study by Accenture revealed that the investment in automation and robotics could boost company’s revenue and employment. According the survey findings, organisation could drive 38 percent revenue boost and lift employment levels by 10 percent over the next five years if they are fully committed in delevoping AI and investing in human-machine collaboration. That equates to an average of US$7.5 billion and 5000 jobs for an S&P500 company in that time.

AI will not only help company drive efficiencies and expand outputs. AI-powered machines will help elevate people’s capabilities too, as workers need to help intelligent robots to learn and improve. This condition will create new forms of growth and innovation.

Surveying more than 1,200 business leaders and 14,000 workers, the study noted that overall businesses are recognising that value creation lies at the intersection of humans and intelligent machines. More than 2 in 3 business leaders (61 percent) expect the share of roles requiring collaboration with Al to increase in the next three years. More than half respondents (54 percent) say that human-machine collaboration is important to achieving their strategic priorities, while the other 46 percent say that traditional job descriptions have become obsolete.

See: Professional Services Sector to Create 5,500 New Jobs by 2020

On the other hand, workers are sharing the same enthusiasm towards working in collaboration with AI. As much as 67 percent employees agreed that it will be important to learn new skills to work with AI in the next 3-5 years. Meanwhile, the other 45 percent said AI will help them do the job more efficiently and 34 percent said they are very confident in their skills to work with AI.

Unfortunately, worker’s willingness to collaborate with intelligent machines is often underestimated by the employers. Only 3 percent executives say they intend to increase investment in training and reskilling programs significantly in the next three years, found Accenture.

In its Reworking the Revolution report, Accenture also urges business leaders to consider several steps to create a future workforce in which humans and intelligent machines work together to improve productivity, innovation and growth. First, companies need to reimagine work. It means that they need to allocate work to machines and people, while balancing the need for automation and augmentation. Businesses must create new job roles and map skills to these new roles, too.

Second, it is crucial for businesses to pivot the workforce to new business models. They are required to orientate teams to support new customer experiences while recognising the business case. AI should be organised for agility that will create flexible processes and foster a new leadership DNA.

Third, business leaders need to scale up new skilling for their employees. They should prioritize skills for development as well as target ‘new skilling’ by using modern digital technology such as VR, AR and Al to accelerate the speed and scale of effective training.

Read also: 1 in 2 CIOs Concerned Educators Unable to Meet Demand for Future IT Skillsets

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