Layoffs, layoffs, and more layoffs. We have all seen the headlines about monumental workforce shifts, kickstarted by health, economic, and geopolitical crises, leading to an impending recession. But if you look closer, these trends have been further ignited by the promise of advanced AI and automation as an alternative to human driven business tasks, and improved worker productivity which both reduce labor costs and increase revenue.
Leading technology firms like Google, Apple, IBM, Oracle, Salesforce, and others are reacting to Microsoft’s incorporation of OpenAI’s ChatGPT and they are working to catch up to the change this technology brings to business operations and the future of work. Microsoft made a huge bet on their AI investment, hoping it would be the next dominant function of computing in the near future. Their quick rollout of ChatGPT was a shocking surprise to the entire market, which has paid off with great dividends.
All other tech firms are searching for their answer to this innovative technology framework, realizing they will either catch up or potentially be out of business. Microsoft just might be in the driver’s seat. Not only do they have a working model of this new AI technology, but they have also begun moving their organization and operations from a people driven model to an AI driven model. This gives Microsoft a massive advantage in developing and delivering innovations at a much faster rate and a much lower cost.
With the full adoption of AI, all other industries will have to follow or work in the dark ages. In addition, Microsoft’s end of support of older versions of Windows server will necessitate further change to more advanced versions of digital technology. Businesses will be required to completely move to the cloud to stay in the game. If your competition adopts the new AI technology and you do not, your business could be in jeopardy.
But we all should have seen some version of this coming. Certain businesses worldwide have been adopting digital technologies to increase productivity and reduce labor and operational costs for years. As reported in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Future of Jobs Report – May 2023, in the next five years, 83 million jobs are projected to be lost and 69 million are projected to be created with technology adoption being a key driver, changing the way we work, define job content, and necessary skill sets.
Of the 803 global companies surveyed, across 27 industries and 45 economies, over 85% identified an increase adoption of new and frontier technologies and broadening digital access as a major factor leading to transformation. Nearly 75% of companies surveyed stated they would adopt Artificial Intelligence, leading to fewer jobs in task-driven clerical, secretarial, and record-keeping roles.
If you connect the dots between feedback from the Future of Jobs Report and recent layoff announcements, there are clear indicators that AI and Automation play a significant role in changes in the workforce:
– Microsoft announced on January 18th their plans to lay off 10,000 employees by the end of the 3rd quarter in anticipation of a recession. The announcement came at the same time as it announced a $10 Billion investment in OpenAI the creator of ChatGPT.
– Amazon announced on March 20th it was cutting 9,000 more jobs after releasing 18,000 roles in January. Amazon plans to spend more on large language models (LLM) and generative AI and less on core fulfillment and transportation.
– Accenture is cutting 19,000 roles according to a SEC filing on March 23rd, reporting that cuts are intended to “… streamline our operations and transform our non-billable corporate functions to reduce costs.”
But this is just half the story. Business transformation also requires growth in application and platform adoption and usage. Eighty-Six percent of companies surveyed in the Future of Jobs Report expect to incorporate new digital platforms and apps in the next 5 years. In the 2023 Connectivity and Benchmark report by Mulesoft and Deloitte, the average number of applications used by businesses today is already over 1,060 of which only 29% are integrated and 80% of organizations cited integration challenges hindering their digital transformation strategies. The biggest challenges are an inability to integrate siloed apps and data, lack of experience and skill sets among existing IT, legacy infrastructure and systems, and challenges migrating legacy code or applications.
Then there are security issues. Digital strategies have ignited an expansion of data assets and a rise in security, compliance, and privacy risks. Business leaders are already bracing for even greater challenges anticipating that bad actors will be as interested in new AI and automation models as they are. Cybersecurity researchers report that cybercriminals are using ChatGPT to quickly build hacking tools and malware.
Darrel Bass, President of Bass International Software, an ISV, and IP Co-Sell Microsoft Partner shared, “The promise of AI and new digital strategies is tremendous. If Digital Transformation is conducted with care and planning, the upside can be almost unlimited. The key to success lies in integration strategies that break down the barriers between existing siloed systems, so information is easily accessed, related, shared, and secured regardless of the environment from which it resides.
“For decades, businesses have operated with siloed systems that have created multiple challenges, and exorbitant IT costs. Legacy on-premises systems are as familiar to cybercriminals as they are with your own IT professionals, making your business an easy target for hacking. And there is no consistency in how networks are created. A lack of best practices leaves business leadership hostage to their IT personnel. Not surprisingly, IT personnel are one of the biggest roadblocks to adopting modern technology, recognizing it may make them obsolete.
“The world of IT within today’s business must change. Outdated legacy on-premises systems must be replaced with cloud technology. And, new skill sets in Cloud Computing, AI, IoT, Automation and other advanced technologies are tools required to be competitive.
“These and other challenges are why we went down the path over 25 years ago to create OneVuex Unified Systems. OneVuex is an AI Driven Digital Knowledge Network and Productivity Content Center that intelligently integrates Microsoft and other vendor applications, platforms (on-premises to cloud), and cloud infrastructure services displaying combined results through a single familiar interface. OneVuex empowers businesses to incorporate customized digital strategies to help workers easily access, find, relate, and share content and data related to the same subject in just one or two clicks. OneVuex easily integrates AI, Automation, and other advanced technologies into your operations, eliminating unproductive and time-consuming searches and repetitive processes, improving operations, increasing worker productivity by at least 40% and closing the skills gap, and greatly reducing IT maintenance and expenses.
“And, OneVuex has significant advantages when it comes to security. OneVuex’s Code Integration Technology integrates Microsoft AI and Microsoft Security solutions like Microsoft 365 Defender, Microsoft Azure Sentinel, Microsoft Defender for Cloud, CoPilot, and Azure Security with Zero Trust architecture. OneVuex has the unique capability to extend Microsoft security to non-Microsoft solutions, protecting all connected solutions, devices, and people.
In partnership with Microsoft, we jointly collaborate with your team to create a digital transformation plan that best suits your needs, and we provide IT and Support Services as part of the package. OneVuex provides innovation that modernizes your business, empowers, and prepares employees for the new digital world, and greatly reduces the IT complexities and expense.”
Carolyn Bass, VP Marketing
Article appeared in Benzinga – May 9, 2023: OneVuex Unified Systems Delivers AI Innovation Built on Microsoft Technology