Automation is firmly established in the workplace, and many businesses have benefited greatly from this rapidly evolving technology. Tedious, repetitive tasks—such as data entry and scheduling—that once ate up valuable hours in an employee’s day can now be streamlined with the right automation processes.
Now that the business world has seen the power of automation, the question has become, “What’s next?” The members of Forbes Technology Council are constantly looking out for new tech trends, and they believe the next jobs to be impacted by automation might not be the ones people expect.
1. Reminders, Notifications And Reporting
I think as workflow technology expands, any kind of oversight-related job will be delegated to the bots. No human will be taking the time to manually build reports, see who they’re missing data from and send those employees a reminder email/plea for a status update. The tech is already around, but I think it still has a long way to go to reach human-level logic and function. – Christy Johnson, AchieveIt
2. Healthcare Tasks
Healthcare will be a big beneficiary of automation. As more of our population ages, doctors and nurses will gladly receive a helping hand to alleviate an already overburdened medical system. AI will help radiologists spot abnormalities more accurately, surgeons perform operations more efficiently and everyone to receive the healthcare they need via telehealth and wearable devices. – Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC
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3. App Development
In the next five years, everyone will become a developer thanks to low-code/no-code technology. It allows users to build apps and processes in a visual integrated development environment with drag and drop features. Hand-coding isn’t likely to become obsolete in five years, but we are moving towards a far future where little to no coding is involved in development. – Katherine Kostereva, Creatio (formerly bpm’online)
Translation will increasingly be automated during the next decade. Translation software is already able to provide equal or better translation than most humans, in a shorter time. As technology advances, businesses will turn to translation tech when they need to unravel a foreign language. – Robert Weissgraeber, AX Semantics
Automation is changing how maintenance professionals perform their work with more data-driven insights. For example, we’re currently seeing a shift from reactive maintenance to proactive models. Technology is not going to replace workers. Instead, new technologies in the digital workforce will empower workers to be twice as productive and receive recognition for their hard work. – Ryan Chan, UpKeep Maintenance Management
Technology that enables self-check-in and direct contact with a facility host already exists. It is just a matter of time before it is rolled out more widely in office buildings around the world. Digital kiosks, video chat and identity verification systems will do away with the need for a person to staff a reception desk, and guests will actually enjoy a more personalized experience as a result. – Ron Cogburn, Exela Technologies
7. Entry-Level Sales
Advancements in natural language processing, coupled with machine learning’s ability to improve outcomes as more data becomes available, create a perfect opportunity for sales automation. Simple, repetitive tasks will go first, followed by lead prospecting, qualification and engagement (e.g., appointment scheduling). This puts entry-level sales jobs—especially sales development reps—at risk. – Sergey Medved, ClearSlide
8. Customer Service
Customer service and support are already partially automated, with many businesses taking advantage of chatbots to answer customer queries. And these chatbots don’t sound like robots anymore—they’re becoming more “life-like” every day. So I think in five to 10 years, customer service will be fully automated. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
It may take a little longer than 10 years, but construction will be completely automated. Construction sites are significantly safer compared to the past, but still not safe enough. To make them safe, humans are completely going to be replaced with machines. We’ll just make a virtual model of the building, feed it to the construction bots and they’ll build it. No more construction casualties. – Vikram Joshi, pulsd
Writing is a fundamental form of human expression. So the idea that AI will automate the jobs of writers may seem far-fetched, but it’s already happening. We have invested heavily in AI content creation to help us generate more objective, accurate and compliant financial-services/product-review content. There are endless applications for this content-automation technology. – Miron Lulic, SuperMoney
11. Jobs With Predictable And Repeated Processes
In five to 10 years, jobs with predictable and repeated processes will be automated. For example, customer service will be replaced with bots, and taxis and ride-hailing/ridesharing companies, such as Uber and Lyft, will be replaced with self-driving cars. – Angie Franks, Central Logic
12. Telemarketing And Manual IT
The media has shown us that call centers and simple, manual IT tasks will soon be automated. What’s not obvious are the more advanced tasks that are already being automated (and will continue to be) with computer vision, like automated street cleaning, security monitoring and grocery store stocking, in which robots scan aisles looking for empty shelves. – Robert Friday, Mist
13. Software Management
Many tasks these days are “ops” tasks, such as DevOps, marketing ops and sales ops. Many of those tasks involve daily manual tasks. In the future software will replace the daily manual “ops” tasks, leaving only the strategic thinking to humans. – Uri Nativ, Torii
14. Rules-Based, Repetitive Tasks
Millions of jobs aren’t disappearing; they’re transforming. Jobs with a high amount of rules-based and repetitive tasks are most likely to change. Let’s take human resources—employees in that sector will spend much less time filing records and paperwork due to automation and can instead use their skills, creativity and human intuition to drive employee development, training and satisfaction. – Chetan Dube, IPsoft Inc.