Automation to Destroy 200,000 Banking Jobs

A recent Article states that automation will result in the biggest reduction in headcount across the U.S. banking industry in its history, with an estimated 200,000 job cuts over the next decade – this according to Wells Fargo & Co.

Automation is likely to usher in the Next Generation of Productivity – I say that realizing full well that we keep saying that – and yet expected productivity is not realized. But as automation increasingly replaces knowledge workers, we enter a new era of productivity potential. Emerging exponential technologies will converge in a way that automates that which we never believed possible (e.g., knowledge work, driving cars, etc.). As described in my productivity post, as technology like Blockchain, AI, and robotics mature, the realization of completely decentralized and autonomous organizations becomes viable. It is possible for the rules that drive business to be executed without a central authority, leveraging autonomous agents to enable fully automated business entities.

Movement on a continuum between our current centralized, controlled structures and decentralized autonomous structures moves the productivity needle. No one can predict how far we move on that continuum – Automated Society Spectrumbut it is safe to assume movement will occur – witness the first Unmanned Factory in China or the job cuts described in the banking article above. These are examples of movement in this direction – as chatbots with an A.I. engine answer our questions, unbeknownst to us.

I like to say that we cannot predict the future – we can only rehearse it. Much can happen to alter the path of automation. Many still believe that we cannot automate knowledge work – we can only alter it – 200,000 banking professionals might soon disagree.

Banking on Disruption: TCS and the Clayton Christensen Institute

TCS and the Clayton Christensen Institute have collaborated to produce a series of articles and whitepapers that explore the future of industries through the lens of a set of fundamental theories developed by Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen (Mr. Christensen is a TCS Board member). The theories offer a form of what-if analysis that leaders can leverage to better understand the cause and effect between actions and results. These theories include Disruption Theory, the Theory of Jobs to Be Done, and Modularity Theory. In this case, the author focuses on the disruptive potential of innovation, and this first piece in the series tackles Disruption in the Banking Industry.

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