14 Nov Will your job exist in 2025?
As artificial intelligence (AI) starts to dominate the new technology landscape, and commentators are heralding the ‘fourth industrial revolution’, it’s an increasingly valid question: Will your current role still be around seven years from now? Well, you might want to make sure you’re sitting down before you read on… Because there’s a strong possibility that the answer is no.
At the recent Oracle OpenWorld event in San Francisco, the software giant’s CEO, Mark Hurd, stated confidently that 60% of the IT jobs that will exist in 2025 haven’t been invented yet – the key driver of this being the rise of AI. Given the fact that his predictions are usually pretty accurate (as he was keen to keep reminding his audience), we need to sit up and take notice of this.
Equally, however, we need to take a closer look at the careful framing of the statement. He didn’t claim that fewer jobs in IT will exist – although many may argue that might be the case. He was, I believe, making the point that technology roles are going to develop dramatically in the near future, but not necessarily diminish in number (just as engineering roles didn’t disappear when Ford invented the production line a century ago – they just changed). Meanwhile, of course, there is a general consensus that almost all roles, in almost every business function, will also be greatly disrupted in one way or another.
So, what is likely to change – and what can you do about it? I think there are two important factors to consider here.
The first is that it is almost impossible, unless you are a visionary in the Jobs/Page/Brin/Bezos mould, to predict what those new roles are going to be or what they may look like. Who, a decade ago, could have foreseen the proliferation of app developers, digital data scientists or chatbot engineers? And who could have envisaged the rise in flexible working and the gig economy? What is likely, however, is that those new jobs will be increasingly higher value, more rewarding (for both the individual and the organisation) and more flexible as we leave the mundane, repetitive tasks to machines.
The second factor is that the rate of change is accelerating faster than ever before, will be fuelled even further by the machine learning aspect of AI, and will become increasingly challenging for humans to keep up with.
Put those two things together and it becomes clear that successful individuals, departments and organisations will need to demonstrate extreme flexibility, agility and foresight in order to cope with transformation at pace. Failure to do so will lead rapidly to obsolescence.
What’s more, as individuals, we will need to dial up our “human” qualities, such as creativity and empathy, to ensure we are delivering the enhanced value that AI – so far – cannot. And, finally, we will all require a large dose of extra resilience to keep up with the constant demands for change that will frequently be thrust upon us.
Some may feel daunted by what lies ahead. I believe, however, that there has never been a more exciting time to work in IT – or, indeed, any kind of business. Thanks to the rise of AI, we have the opportunity to help both our organisations and society at large solve some of our biggest challenges. So what are you waiting for?
If you want to be part of this revolution and gain a clearer understanding of how your business can embrace large-scale transformation to become fit for the near future, we at e-Resolve can help. Drop us a line or visit our website for more details.