Living with a robot

New strategies, competency models, career paths, and workforce plans are needed to retool talent management as companies embrace robotic process automation in the digital age.   


Download the white paper

Intelligent automation is not so much a threat to the human workforce as it is the next evolutionary step toward ever smarter, productive, and innovative employees.
Cliff Justice, Principal and Lead for Cognitive Automation Initiatives, KPMG LLP

Intelligent automation and robotic labor are triggering an unprecedented, monumental change in the nature of work. Technologies of this “second machine age” will soon have significant impact on work activities. Many jobs will be replaced by automation, but others will be created because of it.

While many organizations are evaluating or implementing automation, few organizations are sufficiently retooling their talent strategies to keep up. As robotics moves beyond the early adoption phase, the pace of change will accelerate, leaving unprepared organizations behind. This fast-changing talent landscape requires companies to update their talent strategies to align to the business strategy, including the digital strategy. Since most talent strategies are rooted in a predigital human resources model, updated talent strategies that embrace intelligent automation and robotics will set the foundation for a successful talent ecosystem. 


Leading in a digital age

Modern talent management strategy is deliberate but agile enough to withstand rapidly evolving workplace disrupters. Learn below about talent changes required for success with intelligent automation and robotic labor.

Download the white paper

Living with a robot
Learn how intelligent automation is changing the talent ecosystem.


Impacts of intelligent automation on the workforce

Source: KPMG’s Clarity on Digital Labor, 2017


million workers

It is estimated that digital technologies will change the landscape of knowledge workers, with technology performing the equivalent of approximately 120 million employees by 2025. Reskilling will be key for both employees and employers.




The current knowledge worker economy is estimated to employ 240 million with a cost of $9 trillion. It is estimated that digital technologies will automate almost half of tasks by 2025—with the productivity of $5.5–6.4 trillion in equivalent labor.


Shifting to higher-value work such as strategy and analytics, from repetitive, manual tasks, will be essential for your company to remain relevant in the marketplace. These more strategic advisory roles can lead to higher job satisfaction and better retention. In less strategic roles, intelligent automation can help professionals work faster with much greater throughput and efficiency.


Questions to consider 

What will be your organization’s workforce structure 3, 5, and 10 years from now?


How engaged is your talent team in evaluating the impact of technology strategies?



How engaged is your tech team in contributing to talent planning?



How robust is your training capability to enable workers to embrace the digital age? 



Investing in a wholesale update to your talent program is a major undertaking, but one that can provide significant rewards and reduce the risks posed by intelligent automation and robotic labor. Postponing or avoiding these changes may put you far behind your competitors.  

KPMG can help you both navigate the unique characteristics of digital labor implementations and be prepared for the organizational and people impacts. Contact us today to get started.

HR Real Insights: Sign up to receive leading ideas for navigating the evolving workplace and managing talent.

Lisa Massman

Lisa Massman

Principal, Human Capital Advisory Leader, KPMG US

Felicia Lyon

Felicia Lyon

Principal, Human Capital Advisory, KPMG US

Brock Solano

Brock Solano

Managing Director, Human Capital Advisory, KPMG LLP


Related content