With IT spending projected to
total $4.5 trillion in 2022, it’s clear that cutting-edge technology is on every IT executive’s wish list this year. However, while investing in emerging technology is essential, businesses can’t beat the competition by simply increasing tech spending. IT leaders must create foolproof strategies that consider what these new technologies will do and how they will upskill workers to use them.
Additionally, inflation will severely impact IT budgets as vendors adjust prices for the current market. Consequently, CIOs must be selective when choosing digital solutions.
So which technologies will win in 2022 and beyond? Those that empower businesses to capitalize on existing technology infrastructure. Artificial intelligence (AI) solutions and a hybrid intelligence (HI) approach can bridge skills gaps in a workforce and help workers fundamentally change how they work and interact with technology.
The skills gap is wider than ever
IT skills gaps continue to threaten industry resilience. According to Salesforce, nearly
75 percent of employees feel ill-equipped to learn the digital skills necessary for the future of work. Yet despite these concerns, only 28 percent are involved in digital skills learning and training programs.
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This gap is concerning, but there is an opportunity to address this issue, grow employee skill sets, and make day-to-day tasks more meaningful and productive.
CIOs now face a dual challenge: They need to upskill their workforces while meeting increased demand for innovation and keep the organization competitive by implementing advanced technologies into key business functions while dealing with aging and cumbersome legacy systems.
These challenges are closely related, and CIOs should consider them together. Start by asking: What will the reimagined workforce look like when they have access to the full potential of
AI and IoT? Hybrid intelligence and the reimagined workforce
AI is evolving, as is its pivotal role in reshaping the technology workforce as we know it. As technology advances, so do the expectations of employees’ skill sets. To remain competitive, employees must focus on driving strategic changes in the enterprise rather than busy work.
There is great potential in combining AI with human intelligence to create a hybrid approach that can dramatically increase the accuracy and efficiency of decisions across the enterprise.
Luckily, there is great potential in combining AI with human intelligence to create a hybrid approach that can dramatically increase the accuracy and efficiency of decisions across the enterprise.
By introducing AI to the workforce, IT leaders can provide a new partner to assist workers in ways that were not previously possible. For example, AI unlocks new types of insights that a human with linear optimization would not be able to create. Therefore, AI steps in as a digital mentor and prompts workers to adopt new processes and ways of thinking.
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In addition, AI can empower executives by creating autonomy for decision-making to solve complex problems through analytics and optimization. AI also frees up workers’ and managers’ time, enabling them to focus on the higher-value, strategic tasks that C-level executives expect from their teams.
Finally, AI requires training and interaction with human workers to become increasingly efficient. Therefore, in a hybrid intelligence environment, workers do not only use AI tools but also participate in training them.
Building hybrid intelligence
Many people misunderstand AI as a technology that will replace jobs – but instead, AI will transform existing roles in incredible ways. As a result, leaders will need to develop new roles for those who work with AI, such as teachers, collaborators, and innovators.
Workers interacting with AI will not do so in a silo; these teams will be cross-functional and empowered to think quickly, innovate better, and work together to achieve various goals. These roles reflect the business advantages of AI: It enables leaders and employees to collaborate more effectively, transforming and reshaping work as we know it.
One of the most critical skills employees will need to develop is teaching AI if it is to reach its full potential as an equal partner in the hybrid intelligence environment. The teaching process can be simple and will not always require workers to develop special skills. But managing complex use cases and creating opportunities to enhance productivity will require employees to upskill considerably.
For example, leaders must recognize the importance of repeatedly performing, verifying, and documenting actions to improve AI tools. In this way, AI can become even more helpful by creating more accurate diagnostic results and predictive insights necessary for business functionality.
As human experts and AI become increasingly active in the hybrid intelligence environment, the scope and nature of the work AI can perform will become more diverse and advanced. IT hiring, in turn, will become more tied to more sophisticated, knowledge-based work.
But first, leaders must equip teams with the right mindset to help AI reach its full potential. Only then will AI be capable of creating opportunities for more dynamic roles that will rapidly transform organizations and help them to stay relevant and resilient for years to come.
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