“Will Automation Take Away Jobs?”

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JAGSOM chronicles in its 5th episode talked on the topic “Will automation take away jobs?”. Our panel consisted of Mr. Amit Sood, Senior Director, Sales, Automation Anywhere along with Prof. Soumya Choudhary, Associate Professor and area chair- Finance at JAGSOM. The webinar was hosted by a student at our institute, Miss. Kritika Goel.

The show was kicked by our guest Mr. Sood with his viewpoint on the topic where he stated that automation is a very wide topic where people generally relate it to IoT and robots. In current world automation is not only about typical robots but is now more focused on Robotic Process Automation commonly referred as RPA in the industry for software automation. Talking about how the overall job scenario will be affected he stated that there will be short term job losses. Another point that was reflected during the discussion was that if we go back in time and see when computers were introduced and later when ERP or cloud computing came into play, there was a lot of automation of manual tasks. Even in the past these processes were a part of automation and did in fact had some job losses or change in roles. Now in the current landscape the technology has become even more sophisticated than before. In essence certain skills and products became obsolete as new technology came into to play giving rise to certain new roles as well as some roles becoming redundant.

New jobs that came into play due to the technological advances are like developers and project managers with a completely different set of responsibility. These managers are now working on a completely different set of activities and requires a specific set of specialized skills. Pointing out the high-level executives of the company on the CXO level the discussion also shed a light how these individuals are now focused on how to automate processes.

How the students or new professionals will be affected due to these changes, the panelists came to a consensus that ff you have the new age skills market will pay you as has been the trend in the past with advent of innovative solution to address the ever-changing pains of the stakeholders.  Even with the technological advances one thing that will be there is the relationship with the customer and one of the most critical roles is business development role in RPA. If the client trusts your solution and if it will help them, you still must focus on developing the business relationship with them.

One should make sure that you are enjoying what you are doing and apart from this, are you able to deliver what the customer is expecting from you. Empathizing with the customer to understand what the customer expects from you is still essential. You have to ask the question; how does your offering is able to cater the pain points of the customer? For instance, automation is becoming simpler day by day and not just coding it, automation is shifting more toward ease of dragging and dropping the blocks of the processes you want to be automated. Processes like onboarding are getting simpler and more efficient by reducing the employee touch points when joining a new company.

Design thinking and entrepreneurship are complementary to each other and are now linked with automation. The functional thing is still where your core skills come in play and one should have a growth mindset about what functional area you want to excel in. For a student to approach a task from the perspective of a veteran the design thinking mindset would help them imagine the solution better. Design thinking can be viewed as a tool and components like customer journey map would help imagine the building blocks better which will enable the individual to create better solution.

Ending the discussion, it was concluded that MBAs should have an appreciation of all the upcoming technologies and will make you more aware to apply tools in your domain, maybe not on the first day but for sure down the line.

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