People with business problem ownership and insight can now contribute more directly to the solution, making themselves more valuable – and probably solving the problem better than someone else who's trying to read the tea leaves of a specification, but doesn't know the context.
Even so, at the same time, people whose purely technical skills were once the foundation of a well-paid job may find themselves becoming as quaintly anachronistic as the village letter-writer.
This reminds me of articles I was reading forty years ago about the shift, on aircraft flight decks, from pure autopilots to "flight directors" – which indicate to the pilot the optimal maneuvers to follow a specified course, but leave it to the pilot to match those indications with appropriate input to the controls. When something unexpected happens, the pilot using a flight director is already "in the loop" and needs much less time to grasp the situation. To zoom out and look at a somewhat bigger picture of aviation excellence, Burlington Northern Air Freight used to have a slogan that said "People, not planes, deliver."
What's the connection between flying an airplane and following a co-worker on Chatter? First, it's getting easier to make things fully automatic. Second, it's smart to automate what can be automated, and it's a critical priority to shift the people thereby freed from tedious tasks into more productive pursuits. But third and most important, it's essential to recognize which situations are still handled best by wetware – and to use the cloud's resources to connect more brains, not fewer brains, to those problems.