Preparing for a workforce of bots and bosses

Guidelines for managing people as IA transforms business processes.

By Christopher Bacey

Technology and automation are changing the way companies work, but here are some guidelines for management the “people” aspects of the organization.

As more organizations seek to digitally transform their business processes, cognitive capabilities are rapidly creating a new class of intelligent automation (IA). A new a report from KPMG LLP, “Rise of the Humans 2,” shares lessons learned from early adopters of IA and provides advice on how business leaders and human resources executives can manage the “people and organizational” implications on their businesses.

A 2017 Forrester report, “The Future of Jobs, 2027: Working side-by-side with robots,” predicted that “Automation will change every job category by at least 25 percent.” To help organizations deal with the potential impact of how jobs will be transformed as a result, KPMG has developed some practical advice on how businesses can:

  • Capitalize on new economic opportunities, while safeguarding the well-being of employees and other stakeholders
  • Capture the cost savings and other bottom-line benefits of automation, while releasing the potential of human capital to carry out more valuable activities
  • Proactively manage and engage with their people as they transition to the “workforce of the future"
  • Anticipate the impact of automation on the customer experience and use this knowledge to gain competitive advantage

Today’s companies are placing significant demands on the human resources function to evaluate and act on the continuous impact of developments such as IA and others on their workforces, including proactively identifying the required skillsets required as technology augments jobs, and instituting retraining programs for workers as a result.

The full Rise of the Humans 2 report can be accessed.

Today’s advances in robotics, machine learning and other digital technology have the potential to help create a more intelligent enterprise and accelerate organizational performance – but key to realizing such benefits is the need to have an accepting and agile workforce strategy.
Claudia Saran, KPMG U.S. People & Change leader.

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