Will A Robot Replace Me

There is a question that has become popular recently – Will my job be replaced with a digital solution? Simple answer – Yes, replaced. Will I still get or have a job? Simple answer – Yes, if you are a subject matter expert.

Let’s look at this scenario a little deeper.

Atleast a majority of the routine task oriented work and certain basic decision making type of work will soon be automated. Anything that a person might be processing using an enterprise platform can be automated.

This is a reality that has dawned upon most IT enabled services organisations and hence going ‘digital’ is the next phase of evolution. This is the right direction for the industry- but what happens to the ‘jobs’ and the existing talent? How does an organisation and its people evolve at the same pace, to keep moving forward but not lose its workforce?

Learning is evolving. Machine learning is part of this ‘digital’ solution. If we take the example of a typical business process management (BPM) organisation, clients are now seeking their expertise to not just do the same work offshore at lower costs – but to do it better, leaner, with more automated interventions and hence, cheaper. While this happens, the natural question people will have is, will I loose my job due to robotics? That answer is – you need not, as organisations will need subject matter experts who work on existing platforms and processes with ease on account of their experience. All ‘machine learning’, ‘automated solutions’ and similar ‘people replacing bots’ need DATA. That data is derived by people working on such systems with minimal errors. This data will show how people make decisions in challenging circumstances and changing scenarios and a machine will learn to do the same. So, it basically learns from a subject matter expert, a person.

ITES organisations must now evolve to a model which I call – ADE, ‘Accelerated Digital Evolution’ – of work. There are just four steps to the ADE process;

  1. Hire and train ‘super’ domain experts to process any new work on a platform ensuring they reach 100% quality in a short period of time.
  2. Apply machine learning tools once the team has reached 100% quality.
  3. Develop bots from the data gathered to ‘batch’ process tasks.
  4. Move out the subject matter experts to a new process, barring a few who would be converted to Quality Analysts to feed ongoing data on any bugs in the BOT’s or to help build data for any new scenarios.

So what happens if organisations apply ADE? Jobs are not lost, work was automated.

ADE can be applied onshore or offshore.

What’s needed?

Invest a little higher (salaries) in the right talent, train them to become domain experts.

Linked to this is Raven’s theory – if you look at an organisation as an organism, the rate of learning must atleast be equal to or greater than the rate of change in the external environment. This leads to evolution and that is crucial for organisations to survive and for people to remain employed.