Like practically every industry on the planet, the advertising and media industries aren’t immune from threats that machines will soon replace swathes of workers in this great digital disruptive world.
For a long time there has been talk that programmatic trading would decimate media agency staff numbers and there’s even been talk of late that some of the big mar-tech firms were working on a computer algorithm that could eventually replace creatives!
Despite concerns about the arrival of a robot army that will send us all to Centrelink, a new report has found that Australians are actually pretty cool with the idea of more machines, bots and computers in the workplace.
The Accenture study called Harnessing Revolution: Creating The Future Workplace (download a copy here) was based on the opinions of 10,500 people around the globe. According to the Australian respondents, 78 per cent said they expected parts of their jobs to be automated in the coming five years. And far from fear it, 77 per cent said that the automation would bring more opportunities rather than challenges.
Overall, some 84 per cent of Australians had a highly optimistic outlook when asked about the effects of digital innovation and AI in their workplace.
The report noted that digital automation can cull jobs in the short-term but ultimately – if workers are prepared to re-train – the benefits outweigh the negatives. It said organisations must do three chief things to adapt – accelerate the re-skilling of staff, redesign work to unlock human potential, and strengthen an organisation’s talent pipeline.
In better news, the report said that it was mundane, repetitive roles that tended to be replaced with technology, however, there’d always be a need for humans when it came to things like senior leadership, critical thinking, complex analysis, creative thinking and any role that required a lot of emotional intelligence.
The report called this change “The Fourth Revolution” and noted: “Leaders need to leverage every advantage at their disposal—including one which risks being overlooked as companies focus on technology investment: ensuring people are relevant and adaptable to rise to the challenge of this new revolution.
“If this sounds like an HR issue—don’t be fooled. Creating the future workforce—now—is the responsibility of the very highest levels of an organisation because of the complexity and the urgency of the challenge and opportunity. Navigating the path towards the workforce of the future will require leaders to ask tough questions. How do we: Attract and develop the new talent we need? Scale and accelerate the pace of change? Make sure the people with us now don’t get left behind? Secure the right amount and type of investment in our people to prepare them?”