Cloud computing was the first major attack on IT teams. \u00a0It shattered our role as \u201cprocurement gatekeepers\u201d for every new technology purchase, forcing us to find new ways to add value to the business.\nNow, an even greater threat is coming. \u00a0Forrester predicts that by 2025, technologies like robots, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and automation will replace 7% (or 22.7 million) jobs in the US alone. \u00a0\nIt won\u2019t just be blue-collar jobs operating factory machinery, either. Any career with repetitive tasks is ripe for automation. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, many front-line IT jobs fit this description. As bots hit the front lines of IT, it will be increasingly hard to justify spend on large IT support headcount.\nThe good news? AI and automation will eliminate the most mundane tasks, freeing IT to think more strategically. The bad: They eliminate or reassign jobs. So, how can you make sure yours isn\u2019t one of them? How can you evolve your skills to stay relevant, upwardly mobile, and employed?\nFirst, don\u2019t resist automation \u2014 embrace it\nAI is already changing IT jobs. \u00a0Bots can answer common questions and point users to FAQs and knowledge base articles. They provision access to systems and handle more complex tasks like ordering new laptops. A recent survey on the future of teamwork, commissioned by Atlassian, revealed that nearly 87% of workers think that AI will change their job by 2020 \u2014 and 76% believe that at least \u201csome\u201d or \u201chalf\u201d of their job could be performed by a robot, algorithm, or AI device.\nSince change is inevitable, why not take an active role in making it successful? Work on developing skills that will be in high demand well into the future \u2014 like assessing a problem and figuring out the best way to use technology to solve it. Learn to bridge the gap between business and tech-speak, and translate ideas into reality. In short, don\u2019t worry about the job you will be leaving behind: focus on the opportunity that automation brings, and raise your skill level to be ready for it.\nBe visible, vocal, and valuable\nAccording to a recent McKinsey study, the job activities that are least likely to be automated are those that involve interacting with stakeholders, applying expertise, and managing others. But that doesn\u2019t necessarily mean you\u2019re out of a job if you don\u2019t manage a team.\nMake it your goal to become valuable to a wide variety of people across the business \u2014 and not just by resetting passwords. To get there, embed yourself within the different business teams you collaborate with. Live their lives and feel their pains. Buddy up with your marketing, sales, and HR peers, work closely with their teams, and build a reputation for delivering improvements and new ideas. \u00a0\nIT professionals must become indispensable. A front line support rep may soon be a commodity. A person that is intimately familiar with the company\u2019s processes, who has the trust and support of a wide variety of business constituents, and who can navigate and advise on a changing and complex technology landscape is irreplaceable.\nIf you do manage people, look for leadership training opportunities that evolve your skills from just tracking tasks and deadlines (automatable) to putting in the culture, and processes that can help your team be successful.\nLearn to bridge the human \/ machine divide\nIT teams aren\u2019t going away, but they may be a lot smaller than they are today. Low-interaction, lower-skill roles that handle data entry, ticket routing, and similar tasks will take the biggest hit, while talented people with diverse skill sets will become more valuable than ever.\nOne thing that won\u2019t go away: teamwork. Developers and operations experts will still collaborate to build highly complex \u00a0applications the market needs. Project managers who can consistently guide complex projects with many moving pieces (and stakeholders) to the finish line on time and on budget will still be highly prized.\nA common theme here? The best IT jobs will go to people who learn how to collaborate with both people and technology. Humans are still better at negotiating SLAs and project budgets, and most importantly brainstorming big ideas that change the face of business. Machines will take over repetitive administrative tasks, freeing up our time for what we\u2019re best at. \u00a0The new stars of IT will be the rare few who know how to speak both languages, bringing humans, technology, and AI together for stronger collaborations with even better business results.\nMake AI work for (not against) you\nThe next wave of automation is coming, and IT jobs will be in the crossfire. \u00a0But, yours doesn\u2019t have to be. Instead of fighting the inevitable, help usher in the era of intelligent systems instead. Build human relationships, immerse yourself in business pains and processes, and look for ways to automate the tasks that you probably already don\u2019t want to do. Pretty soon, you\u2019ll be a trusted technology advisor \u2014 and that\u2019s a job with a huge future.\nInterested in learning more about the latest IT trends? Check out this infographic.