Technology threatens to replace one-fifth of jobs

One in five jobs are at risk of being replaced by artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, a global survey of over 3,600 IT leaders by KPMG and Harvey Nash has uncovered.


Technology threatens to replace one-fifth of jobs

This is predicted to lead to a significant reorganisation of roles across business, although 69% of the respondents expect new jobs to compensate for those that are lost.

It was also found technology skill shortages are at their highest level since 2008, with big data and analytics, cyber security and AI expertise in shortest supply.

“Boards are asking their chief information officer (CIO) and technology team to prioritise automation of jobs,” said Albert Ellis, CEO of Harvey Nash. “How organisations adapt to automation will increasingly become a priority, and many are not at all ready.”

The research is said to have involved the largest technology leadership survey in the world, with the combined tech spend from the responding firms totalling over $250bn (£198bn).

It found that 63% of organisations now allow technology to be managed outside the IT department, with this creating significant advantages, but also increasing privacy and security risks.

The findings show that companies are twice as likely to have multiple security areas exposed when IT spend is managed away from CIOs, and are also more likely to suffer a major cyber attack.

However, businesses can also benefit from an improved time to market for new products when the whole IT team is formally involved in business-led decision making, while employees experiences also improve.

KPMG said there is a “huge opportunity” for firms to capitalise on business-led IT, but that just four in 10 companies are formally doing so.

It was also found that the number of organisations’ whose CIO sits on their board has dropped from 71% to 58% in just two years, although the role is still thought to be gaining in influence.

“There is no longer business strategy and technology strategy, it’s simply strategy with technology driving it,” said Steve Bates, global leader at KPMG International’s CIO Advisory Centre of Excellence.

“Organisations putting technology in the hands of value-creators and connecting the front, middle and back office are winning in the market. The future of IT is a customer-obsessed, well-governed, connected enterprise.”

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