Until now, automation has gotten a bad rap. In 2013, Oxford professors Carl Frey and Michael Osborne analyzed 702 occupations and declared 69 million US jobs, or 47 percent of the workforce, would be lost. In 2017, CNBC reported that 65 percent of Americans believed other industries would suffer because of automation, but theirs would be unaffected.
Despite the doomsaying being flat-out wrong (automation will only eliminate 9 percent of US jobs in 2018 but also create 2 percent more in a new “automation economy”), the demand for automation has never been higher. Customers expect fast, personalized experiences through frequently-updated apps. They do business at all hours and are increasingly comfortable doing it with machines and bots. They trust their personal data will be reliably stored and secure automatically no matter where it travels.
We believe that customer demand will deliver an automation tipping point in 2018. While reticence over workforce impact will remain, the age of the customer requires dramatically speeding up the revolution.
In 2018, automation will go from being a political hot topic to having a genuine and measurable impact on our day-to-day lives.
Forrester’s 2018 automation predictions are available today, and we dig into the macro and microeconomic impact of automation in 2018 and the actions leaders need to take. In 2018, we predict that:
In 2018, automation will permanently change the ways businesses engage with customers. While workforces evolve to leverage it, customer-obsessed organizations must ensure it touches every customer interaction. Ignoring automation as it transforms 2018 needlessly throws away competitive advantage.
(This post originally appeared on the Forrester Research blog, which can be viewed here).
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