Wednesday, 03 July 2019 11:49

Digitalisation, automation a key to job market ‘concerns’: report

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Digitalisation, automation a key to job market ‘concerns’: report Image David Castillo Dominici, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Digitalisation and automation are fundamentally changing the way people work and workforces that blend technology and talent could be the answer to Australia’s job market concerns, according to a new report.

The Verint Systems report — CX State of Play in Australia — carried out in partnership with Opinium Research, found that the uptake of technology in the workforce is on the rise, with 66% of Australian workers willing to try new technology to be more effective.

Verint says the report comes at a time when the Australian job market continues to face pressure “with a softening economy replacing the current underemployment situation with spare capacity into one that sees rising unemployment”.

It cites data recently released by ANZ Job Ad Series showing the number of job advertisements had plunged by 8.4% in May, indicating continued weaker employment growth ahead.

According to Verint’s vice-president, Australia and New Zealand, Michael Stelzer, an immediate opportunity for Australia’s struggling economy lies in the hybrid workforce which is a mix of the right-fit technology and talent, which in turn will create economic value through new jobs.

“Our research explores the fundamental shifts taking place in technological change in workplaces. This is accompanied by toughening economic conditions such as underemployment and talent shortages which in turn is creating urgency for businesses to protect their lifeline – their customers," he said.

“Business leaders must think differently about how they service their customers, and what technologies and talent is required to deliver products and services more effectively in the new world.

“Those who prioritise customer experience and invest in a workforce that has the right mix of processes, people and technologies (AI, chatbots, self-service) that service their customers accordingly will truly succeed. The hybrid workforce will see new skills and jobs created to work in with, and around new technologies and this will drive future job growth.”

Stelzer said the report also found there was a more positive outlook among workers when it came to automation freeing up people to do more interesting and fulfilling work.

Of the survey respondents, 53% agreed that technology is making work more flexible, and 60% said technology provides more information, knowledge and support to work more effectively.

“Businesses who engage in dialogue with their people about the use of technology now while ensuring their employees feel valued for their contributions will ultimately succeed,” Stelzer said.

“Progressive businesses will start redefining their workforce requirements and in doing so create new, value-add roles that will benefit the future state of Australia’s economy.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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