FMnewsroom – trends and reports. Rapid advancements in AI promise to upend traditional business models and transform the future of work. AI is ushering in the age when human-machine partnerships deliver exponential business value.
A study by the global firm IBM confirms that in response to the AI phenomenon, some business leaders are rushing to reorganize and reskill, elevating new skills and specialities while deprioritizing those that have become obsolete. Others are focused on hiring, and stocking up on next-gen talent to address skills shortages. But these short-term tactics don’t address the bigger issue on the horizon: many of the jobs people are doing today won’t be needed tomorrow.
AI and intelligent automation are creating a new division of labour between human workers and machines. The World Economic Forum (WEF) predicts new technologies will disrupt 85 million jobs globally between 2020 and 2025—and create 97 million new job roles. IBM calls it the age of the augmented workforce—an era when human-machine partnerships boost productivity and deliver exponential business value.
The WEF predicts that 44% of workers’ skills will be disrupted between 2023 and 2028—up nine percentage points from its last five-year projection. Generative AI could push that figure even higher. The recent IBM Institute for Business Value (IBM IBV) survey found that 4 in 5 executives say generative AI will change employee roles and skills. While workers at all levels will feel the effects of generative AI, lower-level employees are expected to see the biggest shift.
Success is driven by a shift in perspective
No level is immune to the impact, however executives expect generative AI to impact junior employees most—and senior management least.
As AI continues to evolve, its effects will likely intensify for stakeholders across the board, including at the managerial and executive ranks. This will force executives to rethink job roles, skill sets, and how work gets done. What does that look like, and how should business leaders respond? To answer these questions, IBM researchers conducted extensive new studies involving 3,000 global C-suite leaders across 28 countries and 21,000 workers across 22 countries.
The studies confirmed that business success is often driven by a shift in perspective. Over the past three years, organizations that view the operating model as the ultimate driver of enterprise transformation have outperformed in profitability, revenue growth, innovation, and employee retention. Rather than simply bolting innovations onto an outdated model, these organizations are breaking the business down to its most essential elements.
Overall, this group outperforms their competition 44% more frequently than the group focused on skills, choosing to automate the same activities they’ve always done, rather than going back to the drawing board to find a better way forward.
While small changes may increase efficiency, automating and optimizing bad business processes won’t make them better. Instead of simply retrofitting automation to fit existing workflows and complete repetitive tasks, executives must strip operating models down to the studs to deliver real productivity gains and create a more engaging work environment.
3 priorities of the enterprise of tomorrow
Based on the research and experience in the field, IBM identified the key priorities in its Research Insights that can help elevate employees and gain a competitive edge:
- Transform traditional processes, job roles, and organizational structures to boost productivity and enable business and operating models that reflect the new nature of work.
- Build human-machine partnerships that enhance value creation, problem-solving, decision-making, and employee engagement.
- Invest in technology that lets people focus on less time-consuming, higher-value tasks and drives revenue growth.