“Who innovates, begins to lose, who does not innovate, ends up losing”. Guillermo Beuchat
According to Carmen Cuesta from BBVA Research, the information age began in the 50´s, with the entry into operation of the first computers, which started the change from analog to digital.
However, only until the last two decades the radical changes brought by information and communication technologies have taken place and brought to our society a true industrial revolution.
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the digital economy is defined as the result of a process of transformation triggered by Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). This revolution made technologies cheaper and broadly standardized them, improving business processes and driving innovation in all sectors of the economy (OECD, 2015).
The impact of digital revolution on the world economy is really relevant considering that in the G-20 countries the digital economy was expected to generate 4.2 trillion dollars by 2016. In Europe, it could contribute 4% of GDP, in Colombia 6.12% and in the United States already represents 6% of GDP. (Towards a measurement of the Digital Economy in Colombia, August 2016).
On this occasion, instead of referring to the economic fact itself, I´m going to point out the impact it has on economically active people. At the beginning of 2016, the World Economic Forum estimated that seven million jobs will be lost in the fifteen largest countries in the world before 2020. This phenomenon is motivated by automation, disintermediation and the redundancy of tasks and processes.
Nevertheless the creation of new jobs will also take place, especially in more technical and specialized professions such as mathematics, computational engineering and technology systems architecture.
Clearly, not all professionals will survive this natural selection motivated by the fourth industrial revolution, therefore it is of vital relevance to illustrate the skills and training that will be decisive in this new work context.
Nowadays we are experiencing a rapid technological change that dramatically affects the traditional business models, therefore the market will require experts in analytics, artificial intelligence, automation, virtual reality, Big Data, Data Mining; among others.
Technicians in computer technology, specialists in analytics, software developers, philosophers, pure mathematicians; will play a leading role in the digital age. We are going to witness a phenomenon that can be called “The Nerds revenge". These professionals will appear on the scene as the great privileged that all companies want to have. Those formerly discriminated and victims of bullying, will be considered as the new owners of the work scenarios. Far from being despised characters, will become a pride to which all want to belong and just a few will be accepted.
On the other hand, under these new circumstances competencies and skills such as flexibility will be highly appreciated. Professionals that handle change well and that are able to perform different functions and tasks will be highly appreciated. The market requires workers able to either be leaders or member of specific projects, who do not have difficulties with moving to different countries and adapting easily and quickly to different types of cultures.
Likewise, the ability and willingness to learn and unlearn will be crucial in the digital age. Technology and business models continuously change, and if individuals are not in a continuous learning process, the relevance of the company´s value proposition can be destroyed in the blink of an eye.
Strategic thinking, communication, transformational leadership, emotional intelligence, and negotiating skills will be soft skills that must be cultivated in order to fit in the fourth industrial revolution.
As we can see the digital economy is only a topic of value generation, economic development and competitiveness, to make it a reality in our companies and our countries it is vital to have technically trained professionals with the necessary skills in order to adapt to a very competitive market, which will leave behind countries, organizations and of course a large number of individuals.
You're welcome to be part of this exciting world, however it's up to you.
Oscar Javier Jiménez Yepes
MBA Universidad Javeriana
Facebook: Inntegrity onestopsite
Find below the link of the Spanish version of this articlehttps://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=7667782876541115080#editor/target=post;postID=7244217696876203880;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=0;src=postnam