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Technical support roles set to be automated out of existence

Technical support roles, and jobs around routine maintenance tasks will be the first to be cut in IT due to automation, according to a panel of experts.

Speaking on today’s Computing webinar ‘Automation without alienation – how to create an efficient and happy organisation’, Marcus Austin, analyst at Quocirca, said the axe would swing first for technical support.

“Technical support will be automated out first,” said Austin. “If you improve systems enough then those problems [which technical support exist to solve] won’t be there.”

However Austin added a more encouraging note, explaining that some roles will be reassigned within organisations rather than necessarily lost. “There’s always something else they can do in the business,” he stated.

Speaking at the same event, Donnie MacColl, director of EMEA technical services at HelpSystems, pointed to routing maintenance roles as the most under threat.

“Routine maintenance and backups, those doing something they’ve been doing for 25 years for instance – perhaps through choice – those roles may go first.”

He added that with more firms using the cloud for many tasks, including backups, those roles may go to outsourced cloud providers even before their jobs become automated.

“With more firms using the cloud – backups may not be the responsibility of your company any more.”

And Computing’s own research of medium to large organisations found accord with both speakers, with 54 per cent of respondents said routine maintenance and patching was top of the tasks most appropriate for automation, while 51 per cent cited backups.

The full web seminar will be available to view on demand shortly on Computing.

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