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Since almost the first PC, business has been pressured to automate and adapt to digital transformation. At one time there was a distinction between computerization and automation. That line has all but disappeared with machine learning and AI. Today, the digital frontier is in cloud computing and the internet-of-things platform.

Bersin stresses that jobs must be created to be more human-centered.

Digitization or digital transformation is changing the world of business. We are discovering that computers and robots rather than replacing humans are making the workplace more human. Disruption and disruptive technologies are the order of the day.

Many companies are embracing the future possibilities. But some have failed to see the future and modernize, they are stuck in a rut that is no longer relevant. In a sense, the future has passed them by without their even being aware of it.  Some, companies are stymied and left in the lurch while they try to catch up by using new technology.

“Our digital business research with MIT showed that 70% of the CEOs believe their core business model is under attack, and 90% of them believe they do not yet have the right leadership team or technical skills to adapt,” wrote Josh Bersin in a Forbes article. Bersin is a global research analyst, public speaker, and writer who founded Bersin by Deloitte. He is also an influencer and expert in corporate human resources and talent management technology.

According to Bersin, the concept of BYOD, cloud computing or software-as-a-service (SaaS), voice-over-IP (VoIP), as well as using mobile devices to communicate with one another has had a profound impact on the way business is conducted. These technologies have made transactions go faster.

Digital Transformation and the Nature of Work

Picture of digital devices and the cloud

In this environment, where blue-collar work has been replaced by robots, humans are forced to use other value propositions. They should be able to use technology to work smarter, better, and faster. They should also have skills which cannot be replicated by robots. Augmenting the workforce’s skills with technology is the easiest thing to do. Putting an added value proposition into the mix is more complex.

Bersin stresses that jobs must be created to be more human-centered. At some point, it will be much easier and faster to have a robot do the work of barista. In the meantime, it still requires human interaction with the customer to drive those sales. It is a trade-off, speed of the transaction vs. the human touch.

Over time, technology will evolve to the point where the integration of human intention and technology will be almost seamless. In that rapidly approaching future, people will require the skills to work with automation, databases, and robots in order to be productive and useful. It is a future that holds bright promise, but it also requires intelligent preparation and the development of human capital alongside disruptive technology.