During the Great Recession of 2008, companies looked to slash costs in every area possible. Organizational headcount bore the brunt of this cost cutting, with over 7.9 million jobs lost, many to never return.
A recent three-part AP report analyzed employment data from 20 countries, and several industries, and found that technology is replacing workers in both established companies as well as small businesses. The report found that the most vulnerable workers were those that followed well-defined procedures that were executed on a repeated basis. Jobs such as factory and warehouse workers, paralegals, payroll administrators, office assistants, and retail salespeople are but a few of the repetitive jobs that developers can write code for.
While eliminating repetitive middle-class jobs through software automation seems to be inevitable, a dire future also lies in wait for many upper middle-class jobs requiring higher cognitive skills. An increasing commoditization of their skillset will occur through cloud-based technologies. This commoditization will start on the ‘outer bands’ of employee functions, and slowly work its way to the core of the company’s most skilled employees. In the first of this two-part series, I’ll examine how certain highly skilled jobs in sales, marketing, and...