According to the 2019 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey published jointly between KPMG International and Harvey Nash, new investments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation are set to drive huge changes as organizations worldwide focus on utilizing these technologies to improve efficiencies in their respective businesses.
While this has led CIOs around the world to predict that up to one in five jobs will be replaced by AI/automation within five years, more than two-thirds (69%) of CIOs believe that new jobs will appear to compensate and enable employees to perform higher-level roles, leading to a significant reorganization of roles across the business.
Datuk Johan Idris, Managing Partner of KPMG in Malaysia, notes that this is boosted by the fact that organizations are prioritizing improving their business efficiencies through automation.
“Over the past year we have seen an increase in technology investment worldwide and it is only a matter of time until robots and other cognitive technologies became a staple in the workplace. To realize the full potential of these technologies, organizations must think beyond technological investments and instead focus on broad-ranging transformation strategies. It is more critical than ever for business leaders to take the initiative to upskill their workforce while also focusing on attracting and retaining new talents, thus ensuring they are future-ready.” he added.
This can also be seen here in Malaysia, with the Malaysian government making efforts to push the nation towards Industry 4.0. During the tabling of Budget 2019, a RM3 billion Industry Digitalization Transformation Fund and a Readiness Assessment Program were announced to accelerate the nation’s adoption of new technology including robotics, big data and artificial intelligence.
However, due to the increased focus on technology investments, KPMG’s report also reveals technology leaders are struggling to find the right talent with skills shortages being at their highest since 2008. The survey identified big data/analytics (44%), cyber security (39%) and AI (39%) as the three scarcest skill areas, which could act as a bottleneck to growth for organizations who are seeking to transform their businesses.
“Rapid growth across the technology sector means predicted job vacancies are mounting, as is concern over whether there will be enough qualified professionals to occupy them,” says Alvin Gan, KPMG’s Head of IT-Enabled Transformation practice in Malaysia. “As of 2019, only 16% of organizations have implemented AI in the automation of some of their processes, but we may see that number rising as these technologies become more accessible. Business leaders must learn to make the most of both kinds of labor as we anticipate a future of collaborations between human and AI/ automation. This emphasizes the need for business leaders to ensure that their workforce maintains a relevant skillset.”
About the Survey
In its 21st year, the 2019 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey is the largest IT leadership survey in the world in terms of number of respondents. The survey of 3,645 CIOs and technology leaders was conducted between 13 December 2018 and 4 April 2019, across 108 countries.
For more information about the survey and to request a full copy of the results, please visit www.hnkpmgciosurvey.com.