Automation and Speed
The advancement of technology has always lead to a corresponding increase in the pace of work, and the recent developments in computing power and communication infrastructure has sped up the pace even more. The advent of computers automates many processes, compiling in a fraction of a second what otherwise took hours or even days. The following instances, which most people now take for granted, illustrate how technology is changing jobs:
- Emails and instant messages make communicating with people around the world hassle free and seamless.
- The Internet provides precise and relevant information at one's fingertips. Information which otherwise required a visit to the library and eyeballing through different books or manual indexes is now a click away.
- Applications perform complex calculations and provide ready-made graphs and analytics on the input of base values, which otherwise required a separate department of employees.
Packages such as ERP, PERT and others, allow integration of work processes or scheduling tasks in a much better and fail-safe way than was otherwise possible.
Technology automates rule-based repetitive work, and as such makes most clerical work redundant. For instance, word processors make the job of stenographers obsolete. Earlier, many offices had a pool of stenographers and typists, but with the advent of computers, such positions have become obsolete. Accounting software makes accounting easy, and work becomes faster and easier compared to the earlier practice of manually reconciling ledgers and vouchers, typing trial balances, correcting them by hand, and re-typing it; a process which could take weeks. Net banking, automated check-in counters, vending machines and other machines eliminate the need for people to man counters.
The human element is still dominant in some back office processing works, but as technology continues to develop, even these positions would become redundant. A case in point is medical transcription. As speech recognition software is still in a rudimentary stage, medical transcription work remains viable. The advancement of technology however, makes such jobs obsolete, with only a few quality checkers required. Similarly, the advancements of robotics would automate simple physical tasks such as janitorial work, waiting on tables, and other service work, which now remains trivial for humans, but extremely difficult to program.