Watch Video

Is technology going to replace your job?

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017


The world is changing for individuals and businesses. Technology has been fantastic for us on many fronts, such as email (apart from the spam), online banking and shopping to name but a few.

When I speak to clients I speak to them as an accountant and also a business owner. That makes me well placed to share the same fears on how technology is going to impact us in the future. Can smart machines really take away our jobs?

The answer is yes they can take away some of our jobs such as the more manual repetitive ones (take Amazon’s warehouse system for an example) but for most service based workers who perviously felt untouchable from this threat, it WILL take away PART of our roles.

I have been reading a fantastic book called Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines’ and it has taught me to EMBRACE these changes. There are parts of our jobs already augmented by technology and this is only going to increase. Even doctors are seeing their roles changing as there are extremely sophisticated machines available now that can analyse cancerous patterns far more efficiently and accurately than the very best doctors.

The book recalls an infamous story about John Henry who once beat a new powerful drill that threatened his job to only die shorty afterwards. The result of this latest revolution will mean that we cannot compete with smart machines so need to use them to improve our jobs to offer more value to our clients and customers.

This should actually make our working lives more enjoyable as we can work on more interesting tasks. The key is to focus on the HUMAN aspects of our work. The forward thinking business are doing this already.

This is goes totally against the direction the world has been moving with email, banking, insurance and even accountancy. However there are already examples that buck the trend in other industries.  Who thought vinyl would make a comeback, competing against the mighty streaming giants available on our phones.

Perhaps there is life left in the local High Street after all…

Stephen Edwards

Cheltenham Tax Accountants

01252 528412