When you think of AI and machine learning, what’s the first thought that comes to mind? For some, it’s sheer terror. Oh no! The robots are coming! My job is in jeopardy! In fact, there is even a website that looks at different jobs and ascertains the level of risk that particular position has of a robotic takeover. For example, if we search for “customer service representatives”, we see the following:
In the image above, you can see that customer service reps are at 55% risk of robots stealing their jobs. The data is further expanded by how many people are currently employed in this role as well as their median annual wage. You can visit this website, enter your own role, and feel anxious at the thought of your losing your job...to a robot!
But, is this really the case? There’s no denying that robots, AI and other innovative technologies have entered our workplace and are here to stay. But just how worried about them should we be?
We’re going to explore the idea of AI, machine learning and other new technologies currently creeping into IT helpdesk workplaces to provide you with some helpful tips for how to better prepare and even benefit from them.
Use Technology to Augment Your Own Skills
One of the reasons IT helpdesk techs are hesitant to implement AI technologies within their workplace is because, as we said above, they are worried robots will take their jobs. However, this is not the case, especially when used correctly. The thing about AI is that it’s most effective when you use it to augment your own skills.
Think about it like this: You are a HR manager, and you have a number of different tasks to complete in the average day. Some of those tasks are very mundane and don’t require a lot of brain function, but still take up a lot of your time. Other tasks actually do require you to spend some time thinking and problem solving. Imagine a situation, where you could offset the mundane tasks to a robot, thus gaining more time to focus on the important tasks that help your business grow? In this situation, what you’re doing is using technology to augment your own skillset. You’re not handing your entire job over to an AI computer, but giving the computer specific tasks that will give you the freedom to focus on what you do best. Back to our HR example; An AI computer program can very easily scan resumes and pick out crucial elements related to a job description. But where you, as an IT Helpdesk manager is best placed is actually conducting in person interviews to make sure you’re hiring the right people with the right cultural fit for your team. So instead of looking at hundreds or resumes, you now have the creative freedom to focus on the work that will truly make a difference to your organization.
AI Will Help You Understand Your Workforce Better
When we think about how teams work, we often picture a hierarchal system where there are directors, managers, associates and executives. Traditionally, for an executive to come up with an idea and to allow for that idea to come into fruition, they have to sell that idea to a number of different people higher up than them. As you can imagine, this is time-consuming and often results in ideas falling off the radar and never seeing the light of day. When a business uses AI for this task, the computer can accurately put together a group of like minded people to work on specific tasks based on their skillset and their availability. This way, you can create cross-functional, self-forming teams that are able to achieve more than they would by simply working on their own projects. If you want to foster innovation within your company, you need to give every single person in your team the freedom and tools to come up with new ideas - and not just to those deemed to be ‘decision makers’.
In a recent study, 1 in 4 employees stated that their job satisfaction would improve if they had a virtual assistant. The increased chatter about AI gives you an opportunity to better understand your workforce and what they actually need to do their jobs better.
AI Will Create New Roles
There’s no denying that although artificial intelligence will do away with some people’s jobs, what it will also do is create a plethora of new roles. If you want your business to be ready for AI in the near future, you need to make sure that you have the right people within your organization who are able to handle the new roles that AI will create. The truth of the matter is, if we’re using robots to augment our own skillset, then for every job a robot takes, a new role will be created in its place to serve the opportunities created by the AI technology.
In the image above, you’ll see the top key industries that will be affected by AI in the coming years. When you think about your own job, you probably have a number of different tasks. Yes, some of these might be vulnerable to automation, but that doesn’t mean every task is. Where AI tech lags currently is in the ability of complex-problem solving, or in interactions that require empathy or common sense. AI also depends on access to as much data as possible. In areas where there is little data, human intervention will still be needed to make decisions.
AI is really good at reading and analyzing data, but where it falls short, and where humans will always win, is in the ability to work with and manage people. The jobs of the future will involve companies and employees increasing their knowledge and proficiency in order to handle new challenges. It’s the job of a future thinking organization to help their employees, learn, unlearn and then relearn the necessary skills needed to take the company forward in an ever more complex and competitive world, with the help of AI.
Use AI to Transform How You Acquire Top Talent
You’ll see over the past five years that searches for the phrase “AI talent” has increased quite dramatically.
What this tells us is that more people are starting to consider the benefits of using artificial intelligence within their businesses in order to hire top talent. You’ll know as well as anyone that getting the right person, in the right role at the right time is pivotal to your organization’s success. But hiring the right people is a big challenge for most businesses. With the advancement of AI and other forward-thinking technologies, you can make sure you’re attracting the right sort of people to your business. AI can help you predict what skills you’ll need today and in the future and help you hire accordingly. In the next five years, you’ll need workers who are proficient in sought after skills like data analyzing and DevOps. AI can help you hire effectively now.
Without the use of AI, you simply don’t have access to the amount of data needed to predict what skills your business needs today, tomorrow and in the future. So as well as saving time by automating high-volume tasks, you can improve the quality of your hiring processes by standardizing the job matching. Using data, you can effectively see what happens to candidates after they get hired for specific roles, how long it takes for them to develop their skills and promote to a new role, or worst case scenario, how long it takes for them to leave. Not only do you want to hire top talent, but you want to keep them too. If you have access to data that tells you why a particular team member left, you can prepare yourselves for this situation in the future and most importantly, prevent it from happening.
The best way to get ready for AI and other innovative technologies within your workforce is to make sure that you understand the best use-cases for them. What you want to avoid is simply implementing new technologies within your organization for the sake of it. Each technology you adopt will require significant training for all those involved, plus people who understand the tech well to upkeep it. But if you have a genuine need for these new AI technologies then the time is now to start implementing them in your business.