27.04.2017 | MICHAEL SCHRØDER
The fourth industrial revolution is just around the corner, and whether we like it or not, it will have a radical impact on society as a whole, on companies and on individuals in the coming years.
As the name “The fourth industrial revolution” - or IR4.0 - indicates, industrial revolutions in the shape of manufacturing automation is not a new phenomenon. However, in the three previous revolutions, people most likely had no idea of the scope of the impending automation.
This is what McKinsey consultants and Aarhus BSS researchers have now joined forces to study, and today, their take on an economic “weather forecast” for the Danish labour market is being published at a meeting at Innovation Fund Denmark under the heading: “Are we ready for the labour market of the future?”.
“Our analyses show that the automation will happen, and that we as a society, company and employer must deal with it whether we want to or not. It may not happen tomorrow, but it will happen,”
Philipp Schröder - Professor, Department of Economics and Business Economics at Aarhus BSS. As the Director of the Tuborg Research Center for Globalisation and Firms, he participated in the analyses together with the consultants from McKinsey & Company.
The analyses show the following:
“When the tectonic plates of the labour market shift, it will impact society as a whole, it will impact companies, and it will impact the individual person to a greater or lesser extent. Some tasks will disappear, and new tasks will emerge in the wake of the digitisation. Society must adapt to this within e.g. the fields of employment and education,” says Philipp Schröder.
Automation will impact the individual company as well - regardless of whether the company acts or does nothing.
“It’s not like there will be digital solutions for everything, but it’s probably a good idea to keep an eye on the trend within your industry. You don’t necessarily have to be a first mover. But you should probably make sure you’re not last,” says the economics professor from Aarhus BSS, who also points to the fact that entirely new markets will arise.
“The developing of solutions takes place in the markets, and we will see a boom in this development. After all, the robots must be developed and built,” Philipp Schröder points out.
For the individual employee, there will be several possible paths to take if your work is impacted directly or indirectly by automation, and Philipp Schröder points to three possible ones:
“The service sector will experience significant growth, and the need for services which we don’t even dream of today will emerge. This will provide new opportunities for freelance work,” predicts Philipp Schröder.