Re: Vinod Khosla of Silicon Valley VC fame disagrees
"He thinks 80% of IT jobs can be "highly leveraged, maybe replaced" by "AI-type systems"
He is wrong."
It depends what those 80% of jobs are.
Ive worked in large organisations where a good chunk of the IT staff were there to do tasks that could be automated with bloody batch files never mind an AI !
Consider that the vast majority of support calls are "My mouse doesn't move", "My emails are not working" etc - these kinds of things can be automated through self service portals with a decision tree to build towards an appropriate response.
I am currently in the process of building a system which uses automation to automate the retrieval of data from around 20 different data sources (Websites, Applications etc), compare and compile this into a report and send it to the appropriate back end system for review by a human..
This task currently has around 100 people manually working full time to carry out. We expect that number to reduce to around 25. So I can completely see where he gets the 80% from.
Look at another example, a company I contracted for recently had a very protracted recruitment/leaver process basically HR and IT didnt communicate well. HR required line managers to fill in forms and have them authorised before they were sent to IT to be actioned, the task would then sit in a queue waiting for someone in IT to action it, similar happened with payroll, asset management etc.
So for a new starter you would fill in an HR form saying "Person x is starting on date y" this would go through an approval process and be passed to IT who would put it in a queue for hardware to be allocated user accounts etc to be set up etc.. often we would have people starting and their request would still be queued so they would be paid for a few days of "Shadowing" other staff.
We looked at this process and realised that there was little need for most of it to be done manually.
In order for the line manager to get to the start point described above they must have already been through authorisation for the spend on wages so we can cut that authorisation out...
The new employee WILL be starting so there is little need for IT to manually review the details as long as the managers input is validated we can trust it so lets automatically create/close user accounts/email accounts etc (depending on it being a leaver/starter process).. Lets put a record into the payroll system but flag it for review before it becomes active (We dont want to pay anyone the wrong amounts). Automate the process of checking stores for hardware and if we dont have it lets raise an order with the appropriate supplier to have the equipment here on the start date.
The process went from sending a form and hoping that it was actioned in time to filling in a form and within 10 minutes having confirmation that it had been actioned with a list of dates when you could expect equipment and other deliverable to be with you. It wasn't perfect and still needs some supervision but it freed up a considerable amount of HR & IT time because most of the tedious, repetitive and boring tasks were suddenly being done for them - no staff were made redundant in this case, they were just freed up to work on more important things.