16th October 2018

The Opportunities and Threats of Job Automation in IT Support and Wider Industries

The industrial revolution led to an increase in unemployment during the turn of the eighteenth century. Now with the increasing levels of automation in the workplace, the robot revolution could be rapidly coming towards us!

There are ways that you can position yourself to take advantage of automation but you must be adaptable to the new industries. The results of a recent Oxford study showed that out of 700 occupations 12 were said to have a ‘99% risk of automation’.

Industries Vulnerable to Automation

Broadly Speaking professions that follow a more repetitive nature will be the ones most at risk of becoming redundant. Positions which involve high levels of data entry have already been affected by automation as more of the heavy lifting has been taken over by computer programmes.

In industries such as law and accountancy, the more routine research and time-consuming tasks will likely be replaced by computers. This will threaten the job prospects of paralegals and general assistants. Wider secretarial jobs will also become more vulnerable to automation as robots are able to take on more complex tasks in different fields.

Automation in Relation to IT Support

Virtualisation through the advent of cloud computing has affected the role of IT support in businesses who must find new ways of adding value to businesses. Similar to the vulnerabilities of paralegals the repetitive nature of many entry-level IT positions makes them susceptible to automation. However, the programmes that take on these repetitive tasks may spawn additional IT support roles.

Some of the best advice for to IT specialists is to embrace the change through finding new ways to support and use the automation strategically. Additionally building interpersonal relationships with those in other departments will enable IT support workers to better empathise with the needs of other workers; allowing for more user-friendly solutions to be adopted within the business.

The Benefits of Automation

Whilst many fear the threats of automation there are benefits to us all; the use of algorithms and machine learning in many professions will eliminate the repetitive tasks allowing more time for strategic activities which add more value to a business.

In the service sector and particularly in online environments social automation has reduced costs. Programmes like chatbots have led to quicker resolutions in customer queries. This has freed up time for human workers who can spend their time on activities that add more value to the business.

How to Stay Ahead of the Curve

There are still many question marks over automation and how it will affect industries; from expected government policy to the rate of adoption. Additionally, it is unclear whether the benefits of automation will outweigh the risks of higher unemployment. However if as an employee you can position yourself to take advantage of future automation you will likely benefit from the increased use of artificial intelligence in the workplace.

To ensure your company stays ahead of developments in the field a robust IT strategy is crucial and the experts and Netitude can walk you through the process.

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