Technology has experienced great advances in recent years and its presence and importance in our daily lives is everywhere to be seen. In the 80s, the first desktop computers appeared, allowing data to be processed, and in the 90s, with the mushrooming of the Internet, digital technologies completely revolutionized company operations: they saved time and costs by taking over many of the routine tasks that people had previously performed.
But today, almost 30 years later, the relevance of technologies is not just limited to facilitating some jobs, it goes far beyond that, with consequences in all areas of our lives.
Technology and new jobs
In this new paradigm in which technology is the central axis of the productive process, the professional world has to redesign itself and adapt to new needs.
The dreaded substitution effect
In some cases, the fear of many has already begun: that machines will replace people, also known as the “substitution effect”. This is what you can see in an Amazon store located in Seattle, where there are no cashiers or clerks, and payment is made automatically when the customer leaves the premises.
New jobs thanks to technology
Parallel to this substitution, job opportunities will also arise that complement the efficiency of technology with the quality offered by a human team. As machines are perfected to develop abstract and complex tasks, empathy and social skills will become essential skills in the labor market.
Only companies with a strong digital structure will lead the future, especially in a stimulus-filled environment where efficiency will go from being a challenge to a necessity. Those companies that are able to offer an innovative and totally personalized product or service will stand out and do well.
Companies must adapt to new changes and respond to them. Technology is a tool, so we should ask ourselves what we can do with it in the future rather than what it will be able to do.
The impact of technology on the economy
The importance of technology and its impact on new jobs has direct consequences for the economy, where it is causing disruptive change: digitization has deluged companies, forcing them to adapt to digital environments.
But it’s not just companies that are changing, the economy is also taking a 180-degree turn, changing radically compared to even 10 or 20 years ago.
Companies that are based on new technologies and digital environments, such as Facebook, Amazon, or Apple — just to mention a few — now have in common the fact that they are precisely the ones that lead the world and the global economy. A direct consequence of this is that, if the Internet went out for a couple of days, these companies, whose daily activity in almost all countries happens over the Internet, would suffer multi-million-dollar losses dragging down the global economy and seriously impacting the Gross Domestic Product.
But the consequences minght not only be devastating in the case of an Internet failure — there are other situations that could lead to economic meltdown. For example, a hacking attack on a bank might cause customers to rush to move their deposits out, destroying its liquidity. This could have catastrophic consequences, even leading to an economic recession.
Recommendations for the future: technology and responsibility
For this reason, the evolution and the increasing importance of technology mean that companies in the sector have higher levels of responsibility than it might initially seem. And, although we all continue down this path and accept that digitization is the way of the future, it must perfect and develop its techniques to avoid possible catastrophes that have might have severe consequences for the economy.