In today’s rapidly advancing digital landscape, technology innovations have become a driving force that shapes industries and transforms the way we work. Among these innovations, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a game-changer – revolutionising various sectors and opening up new horizons of opportunity for workers around the world. As AI continues to evolve and make significant strides, it brings with it a wave of fresh career opportunities and the need for individuals to adapt and embrace this transformative era.
Technology innovations refer to new ideas, inventions and improvements in technology that bring about significant changes in the way we live and work. These innovations can range from small improvements in existing technologies to completely new inventions that revolutionise entire industries.
Examples include the Internet, smartphones, electric cars, artificial intelligence and several digital platforms and capabilities such as digital payments and social media. Technology innovations have transformed the world we live in, and continue to drive progress in almost every aspect of modern society – especially the world of work and how workers deliver services and job requirements.
Artificial Intelligence is one of the most recent technological innovations that is predicted to radically revolutionise the way we work, change some job functions, “kill jobs” and create new job opportunities. Let us take some time to discuss artificial intelligence and why it is going to unlock tremendous transformation in the world of work. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be described as the ability of computer-powered machines and software programmes to deliver human-like intelligence and perform specific tasks.
Technically, this is possible through the simulation of human intelligence processes by computer systems designed by computer scientists. Some of the human-like intelligence these machines can currently perform include perception, reasoning, learning, decision-making and natural language processing. The abilities of AI programmes include the natural language processing, predictive analytics, and robotics.
What AI promises is the ability to train a computer to perform specific tasks either with humans or autonomously; deliver more accurate results; and power the creation of new offerings that have never been experienced by humanity. Industries will be changed, and how we work and live will equally be impacted.
How Technology Innovations Transform the World of Work
All technology innovations always deliver three key capabilities that transform work and how we work.
Speed is a key distinguishing factor in productivity, the world of work and value creation. It is a competitive strength used by leading enterprises to deliver superior services, as well as by astute professionals to deliver expected results. Technology innovations can provide efficiency, automate processes – and even deliver decisions in real-time, empowering professionals and enterprises to achieve speed. Each innovation unlocks greater timely results and possibilities, hence the reason why adoption of technology has permeated all industries.
Precision refers to accuracy and exactness in measurements, calculations or processes. In the context of enterprises, precision is essential for ensuring that products and services are of high quality, consistent and meet specific standards and regulations.
Technologies such as automation, data analysis, computer-powered simulations, predictive models and robotics can deliver more precise results which result in greater value for industries, enterprises and professionals. Overall, technology can deliver precision to enterprises by providing accurate and reliable data, performing tasks with high accuracy and repeatability, predicting outcomes with a high degree of accuracy, and providing real-time feedback to optimise performance. This precision can lead to increased efficiency, quality and safety in various applications, ultimately improving the bottom line for enterprises.
- Creative Power and Ability
The ability or power to create is innate to all humans, and innate to all enterprises. Value comes about through creating new services or products, solutions to problems or offering new experiences that delight the market. Technology is the most creative force of all possibilities on earth, and by this value, products, services, solutions,and capabilities that were never possible are made alive.
For instance, the Internet upon its innovation has now birthed millions of digital offerings that were hitherto not possible. These digital solutions, such as digital payments, have also birthed new possibilities such as e-commerce. So, clearly, the creative capacity of technology is infinite. Professionals, enterprises and nations which understand technology and its creative power can seize several opportunities and achieve tremendous economic growth.
Why Technology Innovations Always Lead to Redundancy of Some Jobs
Technology innovations often lead to the redundancy of some jobs because they can automate or streamline processes that were previously done by humans. When technology can perform a task faster, more accurately or at a lower cost than humans, businesses and organisations have an incentive to adopt it – which can result in job-loss for those who were previously performing the tasks or job functions.
Automation – One of the most significant impacts of technology on jobs is automation. When tasks are automated, systems can perform them faster, more accurately and with less error than humans. This can lead to a reduction in the need for human labour, particularly for tasks that are repetitive, manual or require a high degree of precision.
Efficiency and Cost Reduction – Technology can also improve the efficiency of business processes, allowing organisations to achieve the same results with fewer resources. This can lead to a reduction in the need for human labour in job functions that are plagued by inefficiency, too demanding of human time, strenuous, or even toxic. Technology also reduces costs by delivering efficiency, speed and accuracy.
Changing Job Requirements – As technological innovations continue to evolve, the skills and knowledge required for certain jobs may change. This can lead to a skills-gap, whereby workers who are unable to keep up with changing requirements may find themselves unemployed or underemployed.
Elimination of Some Job Functions – Some jobs also automatically become eliminated with technological innovation. For example, emails automatically reduced and eliminated postmasters; and electronic payments in some markets have completed taken out cheques – hence, cheque-related job functions have been eliminated from those markets in banks. So, with each innovation, some job functions will automatically become redundant.
New Career Opportunities for Workers
While technology innovations can lead to job redundancy, they can also create new job opportunities in industries such as software development, data analysis and cybersecurity. Additionally, new technologies can create entirely new industries and business models, leading to job creation in areas that did not previously exist. Most of these are based on digital platforms.
Digital platforms are the result of digitalising services, processes, or the creation of new digital services and experiences. A lot of digital platforms are also created when technological innovations occur and create room for new jobs that did not even exist or could not have been conceived. A good example is social media managers and digital marketers. These jobs did not exist before the advent of social media platforms, which are digital platforms that ride on a variety of technological innovations. Several small businesses also thrive on Instagram and WhatsApp, which hitherto did not exist.
How to Take Advantage of Technology Innovations for Career Growth
Technology innovations always present new opportunities for professionals because of several factors; such as domain expertise, employment history and the opportunity to learn new skills for progressive growth. The first is to understand your leverage.
Domain expertise has to do with the knowledge and skills you have gained which are specific to a job function, industry or market environment. A fresh graduate does not have this expertise, which means when you learn additional in-demand technology skills or new functions that result from the tech-driven change, you have a unique advantage with employers. A lot of times, professionals react with fear to technological innovations without consideration of how to harness domain expertise to their advantage. The are several ways your domain experiences and expertise can empower you to use technology innovations to your advantage.
Professionals and workers who are already employed at an organisation or within an enterprise also get to access emerging technology-driven opportunities compared to people who are outside the organisation. I have seen several people reinvent themselves and seize existing opportunities opening up within their places of work or industries based on employment history – or what I like to term home-ground advantage. Several times, managers prefer people who are already imbued with domain expertise and company culture and have attained technology competencies, rather than employing fresh personnel whom they must train.
Learning new skills and pivoting to Technology Professions
The above advantages are only available to savvy professionals and workers who can embrace technology innovation as an opportunity to grow professionally, learn new skills or even make career transitions in the field of technology. There is a wide variety of technology-related professions available to choose from. When a professional is open to learning new skills, career growth prospects remain unlimited – especially with the advantages technology innovations offer. Opportunities such as remote work, industry switch and even relocation are opportunities that exist for workers due to technological revolutions.
Admittedly, learning technology skills can be quite daunting; and even making the right choice to your advantage may not come easily to everyone. This is because of the myriad options available, and the difficulty of some disciplines and resources involved in learning. In case this poses a challenge, it is helpful to seek career guidance from Technology Career Guidance professionals who can provide the needed information, clarity and confidence required to make the right choice that will be to your advantage. I have been providing career guidance for several professionals because I know the choice is not a simple one. You can contact me directly if you need such services.
The convergence of technology innovations, AI and new career opportunities is an exciting prospect, promising a future filled with unprecedented possibilities. By embracing these advancements and understanding their potential, workers can position themselves at the digital revolution’s forefront and shape their own paths in this rapidly evolving landscape. In conclusion, technology innovations should be embraced as productivity drivers for professionals, workers and enterprises, and fully leveraged for increased incomes and economic growth for all.
>>>the writer is Technology and Innovations Consultant, Entrepreneur and Speaker. Besides consulting on using emerging technologies and innovations to accelerate growth for enterprises, she also provides career guidance to individuals who want to pursue technology-related careers required to seize emerging job opportunities in the digital economy. Email: [email protected] Phone Number +233 0202 339416