The future of employment: What will digitalization bring?


Living in the era of innovation, we are constantly witnessing the extent to which digitalization is disrupting the business landscape and the future of employment. Digitalization has created numerous opportunities since technological innovations are facilitating the creation of new products, procedures, and techniques that improve business efficiency. Such advancements have, on the other side, spurred debates about the threats that emerge along with new ways of employment. The proponents of digitalization argue that the new technologies will boost productivity which in long run will create new job opportunities, whereas the tech opponents advocate about the destruction and disappearance of jobs caused by them.

The impact of digitalization on employment

The debate about the effects of digitalization and automation on employment has for a long time been followed with dynamism and skepticism. The emergence of new technologies and their adoption by the market are prone to trigger a need for skill transformation for performing certain tasks. For these skills, workers have to either be trained or substituted by other, more ‘digital-savvy’ workers. However, this discussion has not emerged recently. If we travel back in time, we see that during the industrial revolution, when steam engines and electricity were invented, many jobs were shaken up and the demand for labor had contracted, but it wasn’t until a period of time when the market demand increased.

The real question now is whether digitalization will have the same effect. According to the 2019 OECD Employment outlook, technology can have numerous benefits. Starting from the creation of new job opportunities, improving work-life balance, automating dangerous tasks that endanger the health and safety of employees and up to boosting productivity, technology is basically the future of work. However, the key determinant is skill transformation. The report indicates that 6 out of 10 adults lack basic IT skill, stressing the need for ICT training.

Following up on that, technology does not cut jobs, on the contrary, it makes us more productive. Eventually, it enables us to do more with less and this is something companies take advantage of. Every business seeks to increase revenues, thus, by simply making more with less, does not mean that businesses will settle for the cost-savings of having fewer workers in order to get the same profits. Rather, they will be more interested to hire more workers and increase the profits even more.

Digitalization and technological progress are already having a substantial effect on the future of employment and business landscape. Yet, the debate about its consequences on employment creation or destruction is to be continued. The debate is not to be resolved anytime soon as there will always be opponents and proponents of this trend. But this does not mean that we should just sit and wait for what will happen. Both enterprises and employees need to follow this trend and adapt accordingly, as this is where our future is going and we have a lot of learning to do. ECIKS is a specialized company that offers digitalization services to its worldwide clients and helps them exploit the power of the digital revolution.

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