Assignment: Frey and Osborn Examined

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Assignment: Frey and Osborn Examined

Assignment: Frey and Osborn Examined

In another example, sales and delivery people at a snack company have portable devices that not only keep track of inventory but also help them in the selling function. Prior to the information system, the salespeople used manual processes to keep track of inventory in their trucks. When visiting customers, it was possible only to tell them what was missing from their shelves and to replenish any stock they wanted. With IT, the salespeople have become more like marketing and sales consultants, helping the customers with models and data of previous sales, floor layouts, and replenishment as well as forecasting demand based on analysis of the data histories stored in the IS. The salespeople need to do more than be persuasive. They now must also do data analysis and floor plan design in addition to using the computer. Thus, the skills needed by the salespeople as well as the workflow, have greatly changed with the introduction of IT.

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One of the biggest changes in workflow has been in the area of data entry. In the past, the workflow included capturing the data, keying it into the system, rekeying it to check its accuracy, and then processing it. The workflow has now changed to capture the data directly when it is entered by the user in a variety of ways such as from the Web, with a GPS signal, or by reading the RFID code. A program may check its accuracy when it is captured and then process it. Companies are moving way from entering sales data at all; customers enter it for them when they place an order. As data entry tasks are eliminated, the steps in the workflow are drastically reduced, and the process is much faster.

14 Shoshana Zuboff, In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power (New York: Basic Books, 1988), 211.

c04.indd 79 11/26/2015 7:16:44 PM
80 Digital Systems and the Design of Work

A study by Frey and Osborn examined 702 occupations and noted that 47% of total U.S. employment is at high risk of being automated in the next few years. Least likely to be automated are those jobs with nonroutine tasks involving complex perception and manipulation as well as creative and social intelligence.15 Even knowledge employees, who once felt safe in their jobs because of the high degree of analysis and diagnosis they performed, are at risk of automation as analytics and cognitive intelligence systems become increasingly more accurate in their predictions and diagnoses.

The Internet enables changes in many types of work. For example, within minutes, financial analysts can down- load an annual report from a corporate Web site to their smartphones and check what others have said about the company’s growth prospects on social networks. Librarians can check the holdings of other libraries online and request that particular volumes be routed to their own clients or download the articles from a growing number of databases. Marketing professionals can pretest the reactions of consumers to potential products in virtual worlds. Technical support agents diagnose and resolve problems on remote client computers using the Internet. The cost and time required to access information has plummeted, increasing personal productivity and giving employees new tools. It is hard to imagine a job today that doesn’t have a significant information systems component.

You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

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