Automation and AI are coming for IT jobs.
Cloud computing was the first important attack on Information technology teams. It destroyed our role as “procurement gatekeepers” for every new technology purchase, making us find new methods to add value to the business.
Now, an even greater threat is coming. Studies prognosticate that by 2025, technologies like robots, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and automation will replace around 7% (or 22.7 million) jobs in the United States alone.
It won’t just be basic jobs operating factory machinery, either. Any job with repetitive tasks is ready for automation. Sound familiar? Sadly, many front-line Information technology jobs meet this specification. As bots are being included in the front lines of IT, it will be progressively hard to justify spend on large IT support headcount.
But not everything is bad; artificial intelligence and automation will reduce the most mundane tasks, helping Information technology workers to think more strategically. The bad: They eliminate or reassign jobs. So, how can you make sure your current job isn’t one of them? How can you develop your skills to stay relevant, upwardly mobile, and employed?.
First, don’t resist automation — embrace it.
AI is already transforming IT jobs. Bots can solve common problems and point users to Frequently Asked Questions and knowledgebase articles. They give access to systems and manage more complicated tasks, like ordering new laptops. A further study on the future of teamwork showed that almost 88% of workers think that artificial intelligence will change their job this year, and 76% believe that at least “some” or “half” of their job could be completed by a robot, algorithm, or AI device.
Considering that it is inevitable to stop this change, why not take an active role in making it successful? Work on acquiring and developing skills that will be in high demand well into the future — like evaluating a problem and figuring out the best way to use technology to solve it.
Learn to convert ideas into reality. In other words, don’t worry about the job you will be leaving behind: focus on the chance that automation brings, and raise your skill level to be prepared for it.
Be visible, vocal, and valuable.
Make it your goal to become essential and valuable to a extensive variety of people across the company — and not just by resetting passwords. To get there, embed yourself within the various business teams you team up with. Buddy up with your marketing, sales, and HR peers, work closely with their teams and build a reputation for delivering improvements and new ideas.
Learn to bridge the human/machine divide
IT teams aren’t going away, but they might be much smaller than they are today. Low-interaction, lower-skill roles that handle simple tasks like data entry, ticket routing, and similar tasks will take the biggest hit. At the same time, talented people with diverse skill sets will become more valuable than ever.
Developers and operations specialists will still collaborate to create highly complex applications the market demands. Project managers who can regularly guide sophisticated projects with many moving stakeholders to the end line on time and on a budget will still be extremely valued.
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