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Industrial automation is one of the most exiting areas in the current technology landscape with a market size estimated to be worth $202.42 billion by 2030. While this trend comes with the promise of a safer, better, and more fulfilling work environment for employees, several naysayers fear that it will have a negative impact on the job market. However, as Adi Gaskell, Director of Innovation, VTC Group demonstrates, much of these fears are misplaced.
The theory of automation negatively affecting jobs has also been challenged by the findings of a market analysis report by Deloitte. According to the report, industrial automation helped in creating 3.5 million jobs while taking away 800,000 in the period from 2001-2015. Similarly, closer inspection of the McKinsey paper showed that only 5% of current jobs are likely to experience complete automation whereas the technology will on the whole simplify operations, saving 45% of an employee’s time. Depending on how well an employee uses that saved time, industrial automation systems will allow the workforce to upgrade their skills and enjoy a better work-life balance.
Automation as Augmentation
As a matter of fact, some experts believe that automation augmentation is more likely to take the centre stage, thanks to the prospect of utilizing smart humans along with smart machines for better output. One such expert is Tom Davenport, author and Distinguished Professor of IT and Management, a research fellow at the MIT Center for Digital Business, and a Senior Advisor to Deloitte Analytics, who suggests that the demand for people capable of working with smart machines will only be on the rise as more and more organizations start building automation systems.
In a recent research by staffing firm Adecco involving 1,000 business leaders, it was seen that the major section of the industry leaders is optimistic about the potential of industrial automation. Most of the respondents feel that industrial automation systems will make work more enjoyable for employees.
In its official statement related to this research, Adecco stated, “Far from the widespread fear that automation will make employees redundant, our research shows that the workplace of the future could create opportunities for more flexible and fulfilling work. Many organisations and employees are buying into the idea of flexible working, but struggling to implement the reality. Our research suggests that robots could be a significant part of the solution.”
Amid speculations about automation threatening to take away jobs, there are several credible market reports and research papers that seem to suggest otherwise. While the actual impact of these technologies on the job market is for the future to unveil, the current picture seems optimistic for the digital workforce.