The most common type of Artificial Intelligence (AI) today is process automation, often referred to as Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Many IT guys (and, if you will, gals) fear that process automation will make their jobs disappear.
The truth is, if all you aspire to be is an “IT guy”, the digital personification of a worker bee drone – you likely should be worried.
You might be thinking, “Wait, did I just read what I thought I did? I should be worried?,” expecting a warm reassurance that all will be well.
Yes. The sort of IT professional that writes, tests and administers process automation will be safe. The person who finds strategic ways to apply RPA to streamlining business processes, creating strategic business efficiencies and value-add to their employers will have the best odds at sustaining their career over the long haul.
The career paths of technology professionals have reached another fork in the road. For the sake of simplification, let’s call them:
IT Pros: Men and women with strong technical aptitude to learn how to manage RPA, and the attitude to see it as a competitive career advantage, instead of a career threat.
IT Joes: IT folks with technical inclinations, who lack the motivation to elevate their skills and knowledge to include emerging technologies like RPA.
IT pros will always be required to step in, troubleshoot and remediate issues when RPA fails or errors out. The required skillsets of IT professionals must evolve as technology evolves. IT Joes who don’t stay current become IT dinosaurs, and become extinct.
Recent conversations with IT Application Owners or Managers revealed:
Consider the deluge of news articles showcasing the importance of data security after a headline-grabbing security breach. When companies as large and established as Equifax – typically perceived to be impenetrable data fortresses – are hacked due to a lack of Windows security updates, it’s evident that monthly server patching isn’t being completed.
IT professionals who automate repetitive tasks with RPA should in fact feel more confident, secure and protected in their positions. They aren’t going to lose their jobs due to reputational loss.
Wouldn’t you question hiring someone that worked in an organization where private information was compromised during a security breach? Personally, I would be challenged to feel smart, empowered and confident in my skills if my corporate data on our customers, employees and other stakeholders was compromised. I couldn’t shake that I could have prevented the breach, and instead my team chose to prioritize other less-critical demands.
That said, sometimes in our careers, as in life, the most important lessons are also the cruelest.
Are you an IT Pro, determined to “boldly go” forward in your career by embracing process automation? Or will you suffer the same fate as the Tyrannosaurus Rex, who couldn’t have “embraced” RPA, because of those short arms?
Want to learn more about the benefits of automating manual tasks like server patching, application updates and security fixes?
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