If companies do not prepare employees to work with smart technologies, they will miss out on great opportunities of growth.
At the World Economic Forum that took place in Davos, a study indicates that unless CEOs take immediate action to transform their workforce and prepare their people to work with smart technologies, companies risk losing great opportunities of growth.
The report entitled Reworking the Revolution and published by Accenture announced that if businesses invest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and human-machine collaboration, they could increase revenues by up to 38% by 2022 and increase the level of employment in a 10%.
For the average company that is part of the S&P 500 index, which concentrates the most valuable companies in the market, this equates to revenues of $7,500 million dollars and an increase in profitability of up to $880 million.
Leaders and employees are optimistic about the potential impact of AI on business performance and work experiences. According to the study, 72% of the 1,200 senior executives surveyed affirm that intelligent technology will be critical for their organization to differentiate in the market, and 61% believe that the number of roles that require collaboration with AI will increase in the following three years.
On the other hand, 69% of the 14 thousand employees surveyed said that it is important to develop skills to work with intelligent machines.
Lack of alignment and AI adoption
Even so, the lack of alignment between the adoption of AI by employees and the effort of employers to train them puts this potential growth at risk. While 54% of business leaders say that human-machine collaboration is important for their strategic priorities, only 3% say that their organization plans to significantly increase their investments in training their employees in the next three years.
The research suggests that there is a strong base on which investments in this subject can be developed, 63% of the senior executives surveyed think that their company will generate net employment gains in the following three years through Artificial Intelligence. Meanwhile, 62% of employees believe that AI will have a positive impact on their work.
The report also shows how some pioneers are already taking advantage of human-machine collaboration not only to improve the efficiency of an organization but also to boost growth through service experiences for new clients.
For example, a clothing company takes advantage of the AI to help its stylists learn more about the preferences of customers and offer a unique and personalized service. In the same way, a brand of sports shoes reached a new level in the area of personalization and speed in the market, by aligning high-skill tailors and process engineers with intelligent robots to design and manufacture in local markets.
Finally, to help leaders shape the workforce of the future in the AI era, the study conducted by Accenture gives the following recommendations:
- Reimagine the work: It is necessary that when doing such an important restructuring, responsibilities are evaluated, not jobs; then assign these responsibilities to machines and people, balancing the need to automate processes and raise the capabilities of human talent. 46% of business leaders agree that job descriptions are already obsolete, and 29% say they have redesigned jobs extensively.
- Improve the ‘new habilitations’: It is necessary to measure the level of skills and willingness to learn about AI of the workforce. Using digital platforms, they can target different segments of the workforce and customize them to improve the adoption of new skills. Accenture developed a new ‘new skill’ frame of reference based on a skill level progression and using a variety of digital learning methods that maximize training investments at speed and scale.