Digital transformation exploiting big data increases productivity and reduces transaction/processing costs. What to do with redundant people? They need retraining, direction and advice so as to get the right skills for new jobs/roles.
Yet there appears to be a vacuum- neither government, education or enterprises taking a lead as to how people will be reskilled. Traditionally this is the role of government.
Governments everywhere are distracted by other issues; post BREXIT Britain, post Obama US, Europe with elections and in fear of populist opinion and rebellious voters.
The speed of the necessary change is the issue. If the US and Europe have not found still not found alternatives employment for many in former manufacturing and coal-mining jobs how will they cope with the hollowing out of skilled professions like healthcare, accounting and legal?
Where will all the taxi, truck, coach and train drivers go as autonomous vehicles prove more reliable and cost-effective?
Whilst new jobs will evolve there could be a worrying short-term gap and if the number of unemployed does increase exponentially then consumer spending will suffer. Consumer spending is a major driver of economies and all our economies are based on growth so a short term stutter can have a major negative impact on everyone.
In the longer term workforce demographics work the opposite way. As the birth rate declines the size if the working population declines whilst the proportion of non-working people rises. AI, robotic process automation, machine learning will mean that fewer people can support a growing number of retired and elderly dependents.
Human ingenuity and digital transformation will enable the developing world grow and enjoy the products and services the developed world take for granted. This extra global demand can create more jobs but these may may be in the resurgent east rather than complacent west.
Digital transformation needs government, educational, cultural and structural transformation to anticipate the fall out from the technology transformation so many of us are promoting and dependent on
Technology companies are now so vast with huge revenues and the ability to challenge governments, that they need to embrace the responsibility that comes with such power, ensuring they furnish enterprises and businesses with tools that protect the human rather than place workers out to pasture in a field rapidly shrinking with resources to support a growing population. That’s not to say digital transformation should be shunned, as it is arguably the only way to save inefficient organisations like the NHS and to ensure governments can work effectively in the Internet age and a world where more people need to be governed.