The number of companies worldwide deploying automation at scale has doubled since last year (2018), however, more than half have not looked in to the fact if their staff will need to be retrained to work alongside it.
This comes from research conducted by Deloitte, the audit, tax, consulting and enterprise risk business on robotic and intelligent automation. It found that 60 per cent of organisations have not yet looked in to whether automation will require their employees to retrain.
Since 2018, the amount of businesses that have implemented automation has risen from four to eight per cent. These eight per cent of businesses said they have deployed over 50 automations in their businesses, such as robotics, machine learning and natural language processing.
The research also found that 44 per cent of companies have not looked in to whether automation will change the roles and tasks their workers do and the way they do them. As well as, 34 per cent of executives main reason for not scaling automation is lack of skills and 59 per cent of those piloting automation believe they lack the workforce capacity.
As automation is predicted to grow over the next three years, executives within companies expect it to increase workforce capacity by 27 per cent. Previous research from Deloitte has found that the UK is unlikely to see a decline in employment, but rather create new roles.
Executives seem to be more positive than negative towards automation as just under a third (32 per cent) say their workforce is supportive of the technology whilst 12 per cent said the opposite.
David Wright, a partner at Deloitte, said:
Automation has been top of the business agenda for many years, promising to boost productivity, cut costs and redefine the role of the worker. It is exciting to see that the technology is finally being embraced in a sizeable way, but there is now an urgent need for leaders to address the impact it will have on the workforce. A lot more thought needs to be given to the integration of humans and machines and the new roles that will be created.
It’s often anticipated that the rise of automation will result in a swathe of job cuts, but our research shows the opposite. While new roles will be created to work in tandem with machines, there will be a greater demand for more strategic and creative thinking which only humans can bring. Automation will amplify the workforce’s intelligence, not mute it. Humans are creative, strategic, tactical and inventive. Robots are better suited to tasks that humans find difficult and dislike.
This research was based on the responses from 523 executives from large companies in 26 different countries with a combined annual turnover of $2.7 trillion.