In contrast to some cynicism around automation that abhors it for taking away jobs, it can actually accelerate human capabilities and re-invent the workplace. A perfect case in point is the time around which ATM machines were being introduced. People thought they would render all bank tellers jobless. But that never happened. Instead, banks had to worry less about the routine function of collecting and distributing cash, and get its tellers to move up the value chain and focus on thinking roles like investment advices and customer relations.
So, automation should actually be taken as an opportunity to develop new skills and competencies within an organisation. “Focusing on reskilling and technology education can help employees stay relevant. We should constantly explore to see what can be automated, only that will enable us to make room to acquire new skills and take up higher order tasks” says Rajesh Kumar R, Head of Automation at Mindtree,” says Rajesh Kumar R, Head of Automation at Mindtree.
According to a KPMG study, intelligent automation should be used to replace skills, not jobs. Intelligent automation drives growth and long-term value – it’s about addition, not subtraction. The right strategy will enhance and empower a company’s workforce by automating and more efficiently delivering essential processes, nurturing employee skills and generally extending and growing the company’s overall capabilities.
Automation is also driving collaboration among different stakeholders, he says. For example, the startup ecosystem brings in a lot of innovation but might lack the resources to scale up. So, the corporates and the government sector must work with them to co-create solutions and solve unique problems across various sectors.
“Automation is impacting mid-level managers because automation is now touching the so-called knowledge worker-related areas, once thought not automatable,” says Rajesh. With automation, a manger whose task was just to allocate work to his subordinates will no longer be relevant. S/he will have to build competencies beyond task allocation. This is the real value automation brings in.
At Mindtree, learning is driven by Yorbit, the company’s online enterprise learning platform that has yielded great results in just a year of its launch. Multiple knowledge sources are brought into this platform to enable directed self-learning complemented with project-driven assisted learning to put knowledge into practice.
In conclusion, it may be derived that automation indeed is an opportunity for an organization to evolve their talent strategy and be competitive. As suggested in a KPMG report, new workforce dynamics such as accessing skills on demand, alternative employment models, multigenerational collaboration, and integrating human and intelligent automation are reinventing the workplace.
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