Machine Capital works with Human Capital for better results.

We talk to C-suite executives all the time, both formally and informally. In one of our formal studies – the Future Workforce Survey – we learned that three-quarters (74%) of them plan to use artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks to a large or very large extent in the next three years. Half of CxO’s believe that automation is necessary to achieve their strategic objectives. 

The sticking point? They don’t think their people are ready for it. On average, they believe only one in four (26%have what it takes to work with AI. 

Ironically, the employees themselves don’t see eye-to-eye on this point. More than three people in five (68%) – two-and-a-half times the number cited by CxOs – say they are more than ready. They believe AI and intelligent automation will have a positive impact on their work and will create new opportunities for them. 

If you think that AI will lead to cost reduction, you are probably right. But we find that leading FS organisations are looking beyond efficiency. In fact, two-thirds of FS CxO’s believe intelligent technologies will lead to net job gains in the next three years. 

Once again, it’s easy to focus on the technology and lose sight of the people. Of course Operations and IT are central to implementing these technologies, but HR has a huge role in defining how technology supports an adaptive workforce. 

Here are some key questions HR can ask as they prepare for intelligent automation. 

  • How can technology harness our talent strategy? 
  • What role can AI play in re-skilling? 
  • How can processes be re-designed to help our organisation get the most from AI, or as some people are calling it, “machine capital”? 
  • What needs to be done to prevent AI from fragmenting the organisation and cultureOr to put it another way, how can we use AI to integrate different parts of the busines, and strengthen our company’s culture?
  • Morgan Stanley has seen great results from the collaboration between its financial advisors and AI. I’m sure you, like me, have had phone calls out of the blue from financial advisors trying to sell insurance that you don’t want, or already have. 

This happens a lot less now, with Morgan Stanley’s solution. The firm has implemented an AI system that considers each client’s unique and changing financial situation, and then proactively recommends a range of personalized options. 

This means the advisors can contact clients at the right time, with more relevant advice than before. 

This frees advisors up to build deeper relationships with their clients – all thanks to a level of insight into the clients’ circumstances that would have been difficult, if not impossible, without the intelligent agents. 

This points the way for HR to think critically about how automation and machine capital can support the creative and human roles that only people can play. 

If you’re interested in how disruption will affect the people in your organisation, I recommend you download our Future of Work report. It makes for fascinating reading. 

Learn more about how to manage disruption by downloading the summary of our Strategy Director’s book The Wise Pivot. Or, contact me to discuss how Accenture’s international research can help you understand and prepare for the coming disruption.