AI-Powered Automation for Driving Business Performance

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5 min read
fairly difficult
Building value with automation – how CIOs can start delivering improved productivity quickly
Will AI and automation "replace" jobs? Some of the more hyperbolic headlines would have you believe that millions of jobs are being superseded by AI and machines. McKinsey cites studies that suggest that between 75 million and 375 million people around the world will need to change occupational categories and acquire new skills by 2030, because the bulk of what they're doing now will be taken over by automation.

Of course, what is often unsaid is that those jobs will liberate staff of the mundane work, and allow them to focus on higher value, more rewarding tasks. There is clearly a massive opportunity to delegate menial tasks and elevate ingenious efforts. It is not so much that these jobs are being made redundant as it is that they are being redefined – for the better of both employee and employer. "Every role is going to be changed by technology and augmented - not necessarily replaced but made better," Brenda Harvey, IBM General Manager, Asia-Pacific, said.

This is a leadership challenge that CIOs and other executives need to manage. The investment in AI and automation is critical, but the change management program needs to be there too to allay any fears about job redundancy. Equally, it is important that, across the organization, automation returns value back to the organization quickly to "prove" its worth.

Leading the change management charge

The first task is ensuring that all lines of business and executives are aligned with the automation vision. Automation can benefit each line of business in specific ways, Harvey said, which means the internal "pitch" to stakeholders needs to be specific to their challenges.

"Using HR as an example: with IBM we have a number of HR customers that are leveraging data and insights through an automated hiring process that's giving them ideal candidates that then they can get to quicker," Harvey said. "It's not necessarily replacing their staff, but it's allowing them to work better to work smarter to actually handle…
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