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Automation Era Essentials: Key Skills You Need to Succeed in the Digital Future

by Eggplant, on 2/11/20

According to Forbes,

Succeeding in the age of automation will be all about how we approach the cultural and technological shift required within IT.

One of the ways healthcare IT leaders are adapting to this shift is by adopting robotic process automation (RPA) to automate repetitive tasks, freeing up healthcare workers to focus on more complex and strategic work.

As automation becomes more prevalent across administrative, finance, and HR functions, it's essential to redefine roles and responsibilities for human workers. 

Watch the 2-minute explainer about what processes are suitable for RPA:

HubSpot Video

However, the evolution of human skills and expectations in an automated future is a complex issue. Despite technology naysayers' fears that automation will lead to job loss, those who work with RPA know that it's a misguided viewpoint. Nonetheless, many employees are still struggling to understand how they fit into an automated future.

The magnitude of this digital transformation may be alarming. According to recent research, 70% of IT professionals lack confidence in their skills for today's IT environments, with AI, machine and/or deep learning, and blockchain causing the most uncertainty. According to McKinsey, as many as 375 million workers might have to change occupations in the next decade to meet companies’ needs in the digital age. 

While it’s, of course, critical for employees to hone their abilities in these areas, I’d argue that there are some other equally important soft skills for professionals to cultivate, among them:  

Interpersonal Skills

The advent of automation in healthcare is causing a shift in the job landscape and promoting collaboration between traditionally isolated disciplines and departments. As this trend continues, there will be a growing need for IT professionals at every level to hone their interpersonal skills.

As technical expertise alone may not suffice in the emerging collaborative work environment, software QA and development engineers will need to cultivate their soft skills to communicate, collaborate and resolve conflicts effectively throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC). This will enable them to operate optimally in interdisciplinary teams and adapt to the changing demands of digital health.

Empathy and Emotional Intelligence

As interdisciplinary collaboration gains prominence in the modern workforce, employees are expected to exhibit greater empathy, emotional intelligence, and other social skills to facilitate productive teamwork. These competencies are also crucial in complementing the capabilities of automated systems.

As a result, there will be a surging demand for professionals who can effectively integrate these soft skills into their job functions. Employees who develop a well-rounded skillset that combines technical proficiency with exceptional social skills will be better positioned to thrive in the increasingly complex and interconnected environment.


As Accenture put it, working more closely with machines will “require employees to do different things and to do things differently.”

Success in this environment means that employees adopt a more versatile mindset and remain receptive to distinct approaches and experiences. They will need to learn new skills while transforming conventional practices with automation intelligence. Flexibility and adaptability will be critical attributes for resilience, as the pace of technological advancement continues to accelerate.

Appetite for learning

As automation matures, we can only anticipate a continuous evolution of human roles and responsibilities in the workforce.  

The love of lifelong learning is an essential skill in the automation age. It helps you remain relevant in an ever-changing job market and to ensure one's skill set is up to date with the latest technological developments.  It is imperative to cultivate a mindset that values continuous learning and adapts to new challenges and opportunities presented by automation.


I believe positions in the healthcare industry displaced by automation will ultimately be replaced by a wealth of new employment opportunities brought forth by emerging technologies, such as AI and machine learning. 

However, it is crucial to equip the healthcare workforce with the necessary skill sets to thrive in the digital health era. This entails providing training in both technical and non-technical areas, including the four often-overlooked soft skills mentioned above. By nurturing the development of these soft skills, you can enhance your employability in the ever-evolving job market. It is essential to recognize the importance of continuous education and training to prepare for the demands of the automation-driven economy and to ensure long-term professional success.

Topics:Healthcareintelligent automationmachine learningRPA

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