Stop for a moment and look around.
The world is changing, and that’s a good thing. If you are not seeing it, you won’t be able to avoid it whether you like it or not. It is quite essential to develop a clear sense of what is happening around in the labor market and understand how these changes are affecting your Industry. Everything was planned, shaped for the benefit of economies and societies, and the implications of changes to work for individuals, for their livelihoods and for the youngest generations studying to enter the workforce down the line.
Are we alarmed that this change will have a negative impact on the workforce? The truth is that many in the marketplace are wondering if new technologies will replace the human employee. This isn’t the first industrial revolution that creates worries about technological unemployment. It’s commonly accepted (and also debated) that the introduction of new technologies has displaced skilled workers but created demand for jobs. Hence the idea that innovative technology at a large scale does not replace human work but enhances it by increasing productivity and thus output levels.
However, there are complex feedback loops between new technology, jobs, and skills. New technologies can drive business growth, job creation and demand for specialist skills but they can also displace entire roles when certain tasks become obsolete or automated.
At the same time, our belief is that these transformations, if managed wisely, will lead to a new age of good jobs, good work and improved quality of life for all.
First, let’s see how technology adoption can affect the Information and Communication industry according to The Future of Jobs Report 2018. A huge share of survey respondents from the industry indicated that, by 2022, their company was “likely” or “very likely” (on a 5-point scale) to have adopted new technology as part of its growth strategy.
Second, if we look at the barriers to adoption of new technologies, we can see the five biggest perceived barriers to the implementation of new technologies across the industry, as ranked by the share of survey respondents. The following graphic will show the obstacles that were selected by the survey respondents that were perceived as impediments to successful new technology adoption faced by their company.
Thirdly we have the expected impact of new technology adoption on the workforce. In the following graphic, you can see the percentages representing the share of survey respondents from the industry who expect their company to have adopted the stated measure(s) over the 2018–2022 period as part of their current growth strategy.
Adopting new technology comes packaged with promises but also with challenges. Yet, even if these technologies increase our productivity and improve our lives, their use will substitute some activities that are currently handled by people, a development that has sparked much public concern. At the same time, to leverage the benefits of new technology, workers will need to acquire skills enabling them to thrive in the workplace of the future and develop their ability to continuously learn and upskill throughout their lives.