Ii) Impact Of Digitalisation On Jobs

Digitalisation = turning analogue information into a computer-readable format. Linked with digitalisation was computerisation. This made measuring digital measuring and storage devices more efficient and enabled mathematical analysis of data to uncover its hidden value. Digitalisation supercharged "datafication"

"...the digital revolution is destroying jobs faster than it is creating......productivity of the world's largest economy is swiftly rising, while the number of jobs is stagnating......usually when the economy rapidly grows, unemployment should decline......the cost of factory automation related to human labour has already dropped to nearly half of what they were in the 1990......the more structured the task, the more easily it can be performed by a machine......many companies are investing less and less in personnel, they are spending more on information technology......since a burgeoning number of computer applications are being transferred to the cloud, fewer skilled IT workers are needed on the ground...."

Thomas Schulz, 2013

The mantra of the digital age is "ship fast, ship early", ie don't wait for it to be perfect & bug free.

"...get something out: it might not be the best version. We try to strip back to what it is we are trying to achieve, what is the minimal set of features for that product to be viable in the market. Then we write it and we get it out the door. Because once you got it out the door, you got data. You've got a whole bunch of believers you can pull to change that product; it might be pricing levers, it might be visual, might be change how its users use the site. Once you have the data you can change things......every single industry is now waking up to the discovery is now dominated by a software business. If you are not turning your business into a software company you are going to be dead..."
Matt Barrie (CEO, freelancer.com) as quoted by Paul Smith, 2014a

Some examples

- robotics on car assembly lines

- self service check-outs replacing cashiers

- self check-in kiosks replacing airline employees

- algorithms replacing financial traders

- online travel sites replacing travel agents

- call centre staff replaced by telephone robots

- paralegals by computer programs

- tax advisers by cost-effective software

NB Not only are individuals or groups of employees now replaceable in certain sectors but entire occupational areas are disappearing

On the other hand, digitalisations is providing opportunities for millions that would not be there otherwise


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