Fahim Moledina, owner of OptiSyn Consulting, has years of experience in the consulting industry and has worked with a variety of clients and budgets to make things happen. He believes in innovation and that companies should actively embrace the advancement of technology that is rapidly changing today and tomorrow. He notes that to resist the opportunities technology is facilitating is to fall behind. Fahim says business is for the bold – and never more so than today.
Q: You’ve been in business consulting for years, how would you describe the technology coming down the pike and how it will impact business?
Fahim Moledina: The shift is seismic. The rapid acceleration of technology is coming at speeds we have never seen before and will introduce new concepts as well as revolutionize the way that people work. There is a theory that advancements will continue to build upon each other, opening up completely new opportunities.
Q: Are you talking about artificial intelligence (AI)?
Fahim Moledina: That and robotic process automation (RPA), just to name a few. RPA will make things more streamlined and remove mundane tasks from the desks of employees. This improves business metrics, increases accuracy and bolsters productivity. RPA proponents say that it will greatly improve employee satisfaction in the workplace and companies should be excited because it will make each employee’s skill set better able to shine; they won’t be weighed down by “TPS Reports,” just to throw in an Office Space reference.
The future is one in which AI and RPA work hand-in-hand and unlock incredible opportunities. RPA advancements mean that AI can now be placed inside robots, so robots can do natural language processing, character and image recognition, so that they can actually understand documents and carry on conversations. What is happening is a technological revolution – it is fascinating, and it is coming at us more quickly than we realize.
Q: What do you say to the people who are afraid of these changes; who are becoming leery of technology?
Fahim Moledina: History is riddled with examples of when people were afraid of technology: the printing press and refrigeration are a few that come to mind. Acceptance of the things that are beyond our control can be empowering in life and in business. Change is always scary when it happens, but embracing it more quickly than competitors gives you a competitive advantage.
Q: So for the companies that do decide to bring AI, RPA or any other innovation into the fold, how can they make their employees more comfortable with the concept?
Fahim Moledina: I’m always a proponent of education. I think if employees understand that the AI and RPA and things of that nature are there to support their work and not to replace them, then that will go a long way in building a collaborative environment around the new technology. Also, companies should actively look into retraining employees for more highly skilled positions. If you have an employee and you know they are capable and have done a good job and realize that technology will be a threat to their current role within the company, wouldn’t it be a wise move to keep them on and train them properly? It seems to me that is an easy way to create a win-win situation, and is something particularly worth considering in light of the rampant employee shortage.
Q: However some jobs will be lost, right?
Fahim Moledina: Experts are predicting that while there may be some shrinking of unskilled labor positions, more job positions will open up. There is a huge potential for worker retraining, where employees can leave lower paid, unskilled jobs and find their way to high paying tech jobs. Alberta is attempting to facilitate worker retraining with government programs. It will be a process and the pinch could be felt for years as companies and employees settle into the latest technology and developments. It is important for employers and employees to be cognizant of the opportunities ahead. If you see a problem, pivot and find the solution.