The anatomy of a successful business in the future is one that can utilize different aspects of emerging automation technology and integrate them with human interaction. Already, companies like Amazon and the auto industry are investing in robotics and expanded software applications to deliver increased efficiency while lowering overall costs. These systems will continue to grow and evolve as time goes on and technology advances.
The Evolution of Existing Information Technology Systems
The largest and fastest evolving sector is the expansion of existing IT systems. This technology is already implemented and available to businesses on a global scale. The ease of expansion will become second-nature and cost-effective. Instead of completely replacing software, companies are building their infrastructure so that it can mirror their own growth and is easily automated and upgradeable. Already, minimal human interaction is required for many of these IT systems to operate. However, at least for the foreseeable future, a person or team will be required for certain aspects such as security and maintenance. The next few years will see the reduction of human involvement and an increase in cost-effectiveness.
The Delivery Drone
The most exciting future advancement in automation has got to be Amazon’s audacious plan to use drones to deliver items to their customers. The "Octocopter", Amazon CEO Jeff Bezo’s brainchild, will be deployed from a distribution center, called a Fulfillment Center by Amazon, carrying a yellow bucket holding a customer’s item. Using GPS and advanced algorithms, the little drone will navigate by itself to the customer’s home, drop off the package and then fly back to the warehouse. This concept isn’t decades away like you might expect. Bezo’s has said that he hopes to implement the Octocopter drones within the next three to four years. And it looks like he might be right. Already, Amazon has been testing the process on a limited basis.
Industries Set to Evolve Further
Stock traders on Wall Street have been using automation since the mid-1980s and will continue to advance the algorithms and software well into the future. In 1987, Steve Petterfy created the first automated trading program and made $25 million that year alone. Recently, however, the advances have been even more influential. Today, automated trading bots account for over three-quarters of the volume of equity trades within the country. And this is just the beginning. Most experts believe that we’re at the start of an exponential growth in automated trading systems that will continue for decades to come.
The continued evolution of computer processing power, website automation and Internet connection speeds utilized by many of these automated systems is beginning to threaten mid-level jobs. The threat isn’t expected to damage the economy or job growth in the near future. However, many economists fear what this expanded use of automation will do to the mid-range worker in the decades past 2020. Unless there is some sort of balancing element or vast new industries, many people could be pushed out of a job by an automated system of some kind or another.