The biggest economic shift in human development has been established and acknowledged in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This shift impinges on manufacturing, a sector that accounts for 70 percent of global trade. In economic terms, the digital transformation will make a mark upon consumer markets first.
Physical products, for example, were interchanged by digital versions that offer greater potential and boundless accessibility and were more economical in most circumstances such as phone calls, we started using Skype, Viber, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp; instead of purchasing CDs, we started using iTunes and Spotify.
Instead of transferring money through paper-based transactions, we began using digital payment services such as PayPal, Swish, etc. The digitalization is not only interchanging a physical product with a digital one but also it’s using digital technologies to enrich and boost the physical world.
The integration of innovative technologies such as 3D printing and artificial intelligence into industrial processes also presents challenges to our economies as we transition from the Third Industrial Revolution to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With AI in a predominantly digital world encroaching on manual labor and services, we need to adapt and come up with new and innovative ways to create employment opportunities as we make this transition.
Business to society is also about employment. I’m persuaded and very confident in my thinking and I highly believe that creating and securing jobs is a value in itself because it strengthens the societies we live in.
We live in exciting and thrilling times in today’s world. To meet and to be able to tackle the upcoming challenges with digital transformation, reskilling or up-skilling will be required as a first step for economic growth. The challenges coming up ahead are enormous, but our economies, and above all our societies have risen to similar challenges successfully in the past and I am confident that human ingenuity will rise to the challenges we face today. It is completely up to us all to shape up and form a better tomorrow for everyone. And we can all make the transformation today together. Are we ready as business leaders to face this?
Rumessa Mailloux, Deputy Head of Corporate & Compliance Affairs at Cosmos Group