Its long been the fear of workers that their jobs will be replaced by robots. And it didn’t require the age of the internet and artificial intelligence for these concerns to arise. As the ancients used mathematics, record keeping, and accounting, it quickly became the standard practice to measure and compare performance. This led to innovation and greater efficiencies. This cycle rolled on and on in the shifts forward of human labor, skill, and workforce ability.
The general consensus is, that as computers, robots, and technologies reduce the demands on human resources – we (humans) will pick up, move forward, and head up the stairs of more specialized work. We will leave the robots to do the stuff we don’t want to do.
You’d be hard-pressed to identify an industry, sector, or job today that hasn’t felt the seismic shift of technology in its workforce. Consider all of the humanless services that we take for granted that were once managed by multiple skilled workers. Think about the simple text message.
Communication between two people, business associates, lovers, and warring nations once relied on writing in longhand on a piece of paper and handing off the message to a courier who delivered it, sometimes with great peril, to the intended party.
Now, there are still pens and paper and couriers – but not a fragment close to the demands of the past. At one time entire segments of the industry were adjacent to services connected to correspondence.
Fast forward to today. Gone are couriers, the pony express, handwriting, and penmanship. Gone are teachers who instructed writing as a stylistic necessity. Gone are the industries that supported the horses that supported the couriers. You can appreciate where this is going.
It’s easy to challenge these assumptions. After all, aren’t there still horses? Aren’t there still pens and paper and teachers inclined to pass on the craft of penmanship and the art of communication? Thre are, but where these were once anchors of industry, they are now just slivers, fragments, and shadows.
Moving forward, the by-foot and on-horse couriers were replaced by mail trucks. Shift again, beyond U.S. delivery. Today government postal services have largely been replaced by private delivery. Pause and consider our times and the shifted role of communication.
Where reading and writing were once relegated to the educated – we now live in a world where even the illiterate have means of simple, speed of light messaging and correspondence with each other through emojis and facetime.
Consider the jobs and industries that evolved to make real-time mobile correspondence a reality – from iPhones to software to mobile communication networks to customer service groups and power companies. New industries sprung up and matured to provide rich communication to the planet.
Old jobs [disappeared]. Workers [were] displaced. Skillsets [shifted]. But new jobs and work segments were formed and the cycle continues. History shows us we have evolved to handle change.
Computers won’t replace you, you will replace you. Your work [has] changed. You have met the demand? Your business may have found a new tool or service to replace the work you do, but you changed too and replaced your old self with something new too.
Consider accounting and the accelerating technologies around this industry. From bookkeeping to forecasting to regulation and compliance – the tools and systems involved have shifted your industry to new places. Yet, to meet the needs of oversight and management in this necessary space, new services and expertise have evolved to meet that need. Where there were graphed ledgers and meticulous accountants there are now skilled accountants and Accounting IT Services that link and manage the shifted demands of the day.
Technology will not replace people, it will elevate collaboration and oversight and will see the creation of new jobs, segments, and industries to meet the paradox of change.