Automation can play a massive role in the Australia of tomorrow. Source: Shutterstock

Automation can play a massive role in the Australia of tomorrow. Source: Shutterstock

McKinsey sees great potential for automation technologies in Australia

ORGANIZATIONS in Australia are keen on employing emerging technologies in a meaningful way to improve the customer experience they provide and boost margins.

Business leaders in the country are preparing to make the investments needed in order to transform digitally and scale digital solutions across the organization.

According to McKinsey, their best bet is to invest in automation and artificial intelligence (AI) in order to transform the country’s economy and reach scale in the decades ahead.

Their new report Australia’s automation opportunity: Reigniting productivity and inclusive income growth points out that automation technologies allow companies to create better customer outcomes and help regulators better support citizens and new business ventures.

“We estimate that between 25 and 46 percent of current work activities in Australia could be automated by 2030, helping to drive a renaissance in productivity, income and economic growth.”

“If seized, this opportunity could add AUD1.1 trillion (US$780 million) to AUD4 trillion (US$2.83 trillion) to the economy over the next 15 years, providing every Australian with AUD4,000 (US$2,800) to AUD15,000 (US$10,600) in additional income per year by 2030.”

Although, McKinsey’s consultants did mention that achieving these benefits depends on ensuring displaced workers can get new jobs.

Should Australia worry about displaced jobs?

“Automation technologies will disrupt workforces across the economy.”

According to McKinsey’s estimates, 3.5 million to 6.5 million full-time equivalent positions could be affected by automation and AI-powered solutions.

In order to compensate for that, the company’s consultants forecast that 1.8 million to 5.0 million workers need to change their professions.

“At a mid-point pace of adoption, disruption by industry could range from 16 percent of jobs in the education sector up to 33 percent of jobs in transport.”

Fortunately, it seems as though the economy will adjust, and new jobs will flow from the higher productivity that automation generates, as well as other trends including rising consumer incomes, greater health spending on aging and infrastructure investment.

“While some jobs will be lost, and others created, all jobs will change. As automation technologies take over more routine, predictable and physical activities, the mix of skills required in all jobs will shift, and there may be more opportunities for women with children, older workers and people with a disability.”

According to the think tank, people at work will spend over 60 percent more time using technological skills and over 40 percent more time using social and emotional skills.

It also seems that demand will increase for workers in unpredictable and interactive roles such as nursing, caregivers, and salespeople, but will also fall for workers doing more automatable activities such as radiologists, mechanics, legal research assistants and those in accounts processing.

At the end of the day, the message is simple: Automation presents a huge opportunity for businesses and the Australian economy.

Although organizations and regulators might be concerned about the loss of jobs, the reality is, people will find new jobs and gain more from automation as a result of benefits that accrue to the economy in the global marketplace.