Is AI a Tech Job Destroyer or Answer to the Growing Skills Gap?

At Peritus, we are frequently asked if our focus is job elimination through AI-based automation or augmenting human capabilities. The answer is yes to both but our belief is the bigger opportunity is up-skilling people to do expert level work without lengthy re-training or waiting for schools to generate a dramatically larger talent pipeline.

The general skills gap issue is well articulated in this Center for Education and Workforce (CEW) report citing a potential that 5 million positions could go unfilled by 2020 costing the economy about $160 billion a year. Within the tech industry, this means 1.2 job openings for every candidate and up to 1.5 for more specialized roles like data science and security. The result is growing attention to expert training and “hybrid jobs” where existing skilled tech workers add new role to their responsibilities.

As with any new automation technology, the jobs for repeatable and static tasks are highest potential for elimination. In customer service for technology, this trend will accelerate because the expected customer experience for rapid resolution to ever more complex issues is increasing. However, the pace of technology change and complexity creates a dynamic situation in which efficient continuous learning of existing staff is essential without extensive time off for training.

In our careers as product executives, we’ve seen time again the over-reliance on the “smoke jumpers”  or “SWAT teams” that are called upon during new product introductions or customer crises. These people with unique knowledge, cognitive ability, and work ethic seem to be able to perform magic.  We  believe there is massive opportunity to harness the magic of these technology experts combined with continuous learning machine learning models to close the growing skills gap for customer service. We were also excited to find a similar vision articulated as a  Coaching Network by the good folks at Emergence Capital!

What’s in a name?

Peritus is latin for “expert”, capturing our new company’s approach of using AI to automate expert knowledge for customer service of infrastructure.

Peritus is Latin for “expert”, capturing our new company’s approach of using AI to automate expert knowledge for customer service of infrastructure. We founded the company based on three observations:

  1. The complexity of enterprise infrastructure is outpacing the availability and cognitive ability of human experts. This will only get worse.

  2. IT operations and service tools, including the latest AI-enabled approaches,  are necessary but not sufficient to enable autonomous infrastructure. The providers of infrastructure products and services need to take dramatic steps towards automating expert customer service or cede their future to a public cloud.

  3. Customer service of infrastructure is transforming from a cost center to a strategic revenue driver. The SaaS industry has clearly shown how obsessive focus on customer experience leads to accelerating recurring revenue and increased company valuations… the rest of the technology industry must follow.

Peritus has assembled a small but amazing team of infrastructure, big data, and AI experts to address these challenges. As career infrastructure engineers & product builders, this is a personal passion for all of us!

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Best Regards,

Robin and Santhosh, Co-founders of