In the official developer documentation on search topics, Google has, for a few days now, been explicitly stating that article authors can be identified in structured data using the author.url property.
In the past, Google has tried many approaches to making content authors machine-readable but both the Google+ channel and the Rel author tag were discontinued after lack of success.
Will the structured data approach bring the breakthrough? Probably not, but Google already has a good foundation with its own entity graph of things, people and more. The new information will add to that.
Should website operators include this information now? Google has been communicating the relevance of EAT (Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness) for years. Authors with specialist knowledge are an important part of this. Labeling them in a machine-readable way should not be a major effort – but it doesn’t solve any major problems.