Automation, AI will see machines entering workforce to collaborate with humans: OpenText

Automation and artificial intelligence will dramatically transform information platforms and thus the modern workplace in most enterprises, leading to what Toronto-based enterprise information specialist OpenText is tipping as an unprecedented phenomenal period in history where machines will be helping humans be more productive in their jobs.

Speaking at the firm’s recent Enterprise World Asia event in Singapore, CEO and CTO Mark Barrenechea said the trend – driven mainly by rapidly increasing advances in automation and AI – already prompted him to scrutinise most existing and proposed business processes. “I encourage my team to question every doc, every rec, right? [For] every requisition: ‘Do we really need it?  Can we use automation? Can we use AI?’” he explained.

“I have today 700 hundred open positions in OpenText globally, but we have to challenge: ‘Can that position be automated? Is it the highest value? How do I get the best talent in the marketplace,”? Barrenechea continued. “I don’t think it’s machines versus humans. It’s machines helping humans; it’s machines and humans.”

However, Barrenechea did emphasise that machines would continue to put pressure on the workforce – in particular around machine learning. “They certainly take less maintenance than human beings and probably [score better on] endurance as well.”

“But on the human side, [we can expect challenges around] 5G, augmented reality, wage pressures, et cetera,” he said, adding “so machines are definitely coming into the workforce.”

Touching specifically on certain key roles to watch out for in the workforce of the future, Barrenechea said OpenText has started focusing on a new set of skills. “We see four new roles really emerging today,” he said.

“We’re paying attention to what we call the digital nomad, right? Your employees, are they all in one place or are they all mobile? Do you all work from one place or is your whole team virtual?” he said. “The market is moving to our teams not being all in one place, but rather [being] highly nomadic, highly mobile.” 

Secondly, OpenText is flagging the developer as a new job. “It is the developer who is building software, building algorithms,” Barrenechea said, naming also the trending roles of data scientist and data officer.

“We’re paying attention to, what we call, the New Workforce and these new skills of the digital nomad, developer, data scientist, and the data officer,” he said.


Richard van der Draay was in Singapore as a guest of OpenText


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