The future trends in a digital economy
The future trends in a digital economy will include both consequences and opportunities. The question is… will you be resilient to potential job loss, and be ready to take advantage of the new job and business opportunities that come available?
As major car companies, retailers, and many other industries go through global restructuring to be more competitive, they continue to close plants and brick and mortar stores – are laying off thousands of people – while ecommerce businesses continue to grow exponentially. This is further proven by the slow demise of Black Friday, where only 44% of U.S. consumers say they plan to shop as much on Black Friday this year as they did last year, according to a survey from Deloitte. Cyber Monday in 2018 had its biggest internet shopping day in history. Shoppers are bypassing the crowds and lengthy in-store lines and opting instead to do their holiday buying online.
According to USA Today, citing eMarketer’s forecast – China’s online retail sales are expected to grow 7.5% to USD$5.6 trillion, while sales in the U.S. are seen to increase 3.3% to around $5.5 trillion. China will make up for 55.8% of global online retail sales by the end of 2019. We all need to be better prepared to transition out of the old economy, and take advantage of the new digital economy – to get your online piece of the pie.
The challenges to individuals, businesses and communities
Futurist Thomas Frey indicates that, in the next few years, individuals, businesses and communities at every level will face continuing challenge and change in the new digital economy. With the emergence of ecommerce, technology and artificial intelligence, it is estimated that by 2030 over two billion jobs will be displaced. At the same time, we can use technology to help unemployed people participate more fully in the economy. Technology will be an important tool and digital skills will be necessary to close this unemployment gap.
I had the chance to personally interview Thomas Frey; and he identified some interesting predictions both positive and negative which I will share in the next two blogs. Thomas Frey states that existing jobs to be displaced very shortly equates to roughly 50% of all jobs on the planet. Artificial intelligence / big data and technology / smart machines are now replacing employees from in a variety of industries and occupations.
The message isn’t intended as a doom and gloom outlook. Instead, it’s purpose is to be a wakeup call, letting the world know how quickly things are about to change. As people transition out of their careers, they will need new skills to do something else. Academia will need to change as well as new and better training is required to prepare people for the next generation of jobs in a digital economy. The academia challenge is that our schools are training people for vocations that will not exist in the very near future and our business schools are training people to be managers, not entrepreneurs. The skills we need today must be highly transportable – “live where you want – work globally.” The products and services we provide the world must be able to be delivered over the Internet. As long as we have a laptop and Internet connection we are in business – this is the way of the future.
The first wave of job loss is taking place in blue collar occupations that have big incomes with relative low ability in what is referred to as the “Death of Average” (for example jobs in mining, oil resource development, taxi drivers, couriers, postal workers, farming, etc.). These are jobs that demand below-average ability, where no one is working globally, and is accessible to a high school graduate or even dropout.
The second wave of job loss will happen in the white collar professions. For example, jobs in law, medicine, and accounting will be affected and displaced with technology where many of the research functions can now be done by a robot. In many law schools, we are starting to see a decline in enrollment. We are also seeing the emergence of robot doctors diagnosing human conditions and illnesses. Wearable technological tools, such as Fitbits or your phone, will soon be able to give a more accurate assessment of your personal well-being than your personal doctor.
Opportunities will only be available to those with digital skills
The great thing about the digital economy is that opportunities are available to everyone and not just big corporations. Technology will continue to disrupt and create challenges, but it will also elicit equal opportunity for those that are ready. We all need to better understand how to use technology and create economic opportunity for ourselves. With increasing broadband coverage in many places around the world, access to the internet and online skills will enable new entrepreneurs and freelancers to take advantage of digital business opportunities to work in whatever style suits them.
To survive the onslaught of change, we will have to retrain and reskill people for future occupations. Even if you are doing accounting, or something fairly stable, the tools you are going to be working with in the future are going to be vastly different than the tools you are going to be working with today. People are going to have to be trained to work with these new tools. There is going to be lots of retraining and re-skilling that is going to take place over the next few years. The need for training is going to be ongoing.
CALL TO ACTION: Don’t get left behind and start to develop new digital skills
Most people live the life they think they have to live. They are unfulfilled, overworked, stressed and stuck in a system that exploits them instead of helping them achieve their highest potential. They get the education they think they need to get the job society says they should want. Unfortunately, most lack the life skills required to be self-made and self-reliant.
Add to this the growing disruption technology is having on the world economy and the potential shifts in the labor market. Artificial Intelligence and Robotics continue to be one of the most heavily funded areas in which companies like IBM, Apple and Google continue to develop new technologies. Trouble is it will be at the expense of many people’s job.
Our vision is to wake up millions of people to realize the tremendous potential that lies within themselves. And further, to show them how to harness this potential in the new, digital economy and to be like a growing number of people and learn while you earn.
In this new economy you must never stop learning or growing and in order to compete; you need to design your own life curriculum that empowers you to be the best version of yourself.
Take advantage of the access to cutting edge training that you can really use to understand the digital economy and all of its components. Business Themes Like:
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To provide this level of training we’ve partnered with Six Figure Mentors (SFM). The SFM Digital Skills Platform was designed to help existing business owners better leverage their business online and as well, give perspective entrepreneurs the knowledge and tools to build their own online business.
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Doug Howorko– “the lifestyle entrepreneur” & founder of ZAGGTIME
ZAGGTIME is the source for Lifestyle Entrepreneurs. We are a team of business bloggers and lifestyle enthusiasts impacting the world by sharing inspirational and practical insights for creating the income, lifestyle and freedom you want.