When we talk to companies that are interested in implementing a workload automation tool, one thing we run into repeatedly is that IT professionals are afraid of losing their jobs once the automation software is in place. We tell them that in our experience this is one of several automation myths, and in reality automation will make their jobs better. But don’t take our word for it—the McKinsey Global Institute has released interim findings from ongoing research on the effect of workplace automation on occupations, and the data shows that automation will actually transform jobs rather than eliminate them.
You can read the full article—which talks about automation in occupations from CEO to physician—on the McKinsey site. For those of you in IT who are specifically weighing the pros and cons of implementing enterprise job scheduling, here are a few points you should know about.
Occupations vs. Activities
The McKinsey research suggests that we shouldn’t think in terms of occupations that can be automated, but activities. Very few occupations will be fully automated in the near future. Rather, they will have a percentage of their activities automated, which will allow those activities to be replaced by different tasks. In other words, the job will be transformed.
This BBC article points out that, despite fears that they would be replaced, job openings for librarians actually increased after the rise of Google’s search engine. However, new skills were required to excel at that occupation. Likewise, your company will always need people with IT expertise, but they may no longer need you to perform certain activities. Hopefully these aren’t your favorite tasks:
- Logging into your systems at night to make sure your processes are running correctly
- Manually moving files from one server to another
- Working overtime at month-end to process reports
The truth is, most people have a list of activities they would love to scrap in favor of more rewarding, productive work.
You Aren’t As Creative As You Could Be
McKinsey reports that just 4% of the work activities across the US economy require creativity at a median human level of performance. For almost all occupations, this is not enough.
In IT, innovation has become increasingly important. A 2009 study by A.T. Kearney found that, at that time, over 84 percent of companies believed IT innovation to be more important than it was five years previous. Unfortunately, the variety of new technologies being implemented these days can also lead to complex environments that take more time and resources to manage. Innovation is more important, but the time to innovate is more limited if the growing mix of systems and applications isn’t well orchestrated. Workload automation software that allows for cross-system dependencies can free up that much-needed time for creative work.
Your Company Needs an Automation Expert
It has often been suggested that technology, including automation, actually creates more jobs than it eliminates. The good news for IT professionals is that, as the technology experts for your organizations, you are perfectly poised to take advantage of new opportunities that automation creates.
If your company is considering a workload scheduler, know that the work doesn’t stop after setup. After you get your basic IT processes automated, we suggest that the IT employees who now have more time on their hands become “automation analysts” who go to other parts of the company and figure out how to streamline processes using the new tool. Your accountants or HR managers probably have no idea that many of their time-consuming manual tasks could be automated. You can be the company hero!
For more insights into the ROI of choosing an enterprise job scheduler, watch the video of our recent webinar, The True Cost of Workload Automation.