In recent times, the way businesses are structured has changed dramatically. With emerging technologies making our lives easier, a lot of old methods have become redundant. For that reason, automation is both a blessing and a curse. The way we have viewed business, conventionally, at least, is dead. The world is changing around us, and many business owners aren’t sure they’re prepared to adapt.
And it’s not just business that is feeling the effects, either. Even the way we live our daily lives is changing radically. So, should automation be feared, or embraced? No one is really quite sure. At least, not at the moment. So much is still up in the air. The benefits are clear. Our working lives, and are home comforts, will be made immeasurably more convenient. People, though, aren’t a species that are too fond of change.
With more and more automation on the horizon, let’s take a look at a few of the ways our lives, both professional and personal, will change forever. We may not know an awful lot about what the future holds, but what we do know, we can prepare for. It’s down to you to decide whether it’s for better or worse.
Manufacturing Staff Will Become Redundant
It’s pretty much a given that, sooner or later, physical labour will be replaced entirely by machinery. Particularly in the manufacturing industry. It’s believed that robots are set to dominate the sector within the next half a decade. It’s already happening, actually.
Changes are afoot, especially in China; who have the world’s largest market for automated machinery. Millions of jobs could be lost in the manufacturing industry in the next five years. And should we be surprised? After all, robots don’t need breaks, salaries, or vacations. They’re pretty much the perfect worker already.
All Our Data Will Be Stored In One Place
And that time will come sooner than you think. As a matter of fact, I’d guess that it’ll come about as soon as The Cloud can sort out its security issues once and for all. From that point on, the sky (pun intended) is the limit for private cloud computing. All of our information will be stored directly in one place and will be accessed on the move from anywhere in the world.
Companies Will Be Able To Predict Our Needs
Amazon is currently leading the way with this technology. They believe that they’ll soon be able to process an order and have it delivered to you, by drone, by the time you realise you even want to order it. That’s a pretty scary thought, but it shouldn’t be surprised. Amazon’s analytics leads the way for their industry. Even Google looks on enviously at their top-secret formulas.
Once they’ve mastered this, it could open up possibilities for all other companies to follow suit. Imagine a time where it will be possible for the supermarket to predict your grocery shop based on previous trends. Not only that but to have it delivered to you right as you start thinking about making a shopping list. We may never have to go physically shopping again. Is that a good thing? It’s certainly convenient, but they’ll have to crack the formula first. Which brings me on to my next point, nicely…
Conventional Stores Will Close
If and when the above technology becomes a reality, the need for physical stores will become redundant. There could simply be no need for shops to operate anymore. Provided they have a warehouse and a head office, everything will cease to exist. That’s going to lead to even more job cuts, but could there also be some benefits, too?
I think so, yes. The land that was once inhabited by shops becomes open once again. And, let’s be honest, there are millions of stores all over the world that could be put to better use. There is the opportunity for more homes in highly populated areas. Or, more scenery, in a world where we’re otherwise destroying nature. That could be a pretty sweet (and fair) trade off for the job losses. And on that note…
More Businesses Will Open
You’ve noticed the overriding theme of this post has been job losses, right? It’s starting to risk sounding like a George Orwell novel. So, how about some positives? Namely, some positives that we’re already starting to identify. With the losses of jobs, more people will begin to embrace their entrepreneurial side, and start their own businesses. It could be a case of survival of the fittest. Except now, the fittest are those equipped with a business brain.
We’re already seeing signs of this. Automated services, being as affordable as they are, are making it possible for people to start their own businesses. It began with the likes of eBay and Amazon making it possible for people to sell things via their very own online ‘storefront.’ Those two companies took the sting out of all the operating costs of a business, making it possible to earn from home on your own terms. What has followed is an entire generation of self-motivating workers. And that trend looks set to continue well into the era of automation.
The Paradigm Will Shift
On that subject of ‘survival of the fittest,’ let’s talk about how society will change. It used to be the case that those ‘down and dirty’ jobs were the safe bets. You didn’t need to leave school with any particular qualifications. You could just become an apprentice and learn a trade afterwards. While that will still be the case, at least, to some extent, the onus will now be on the strategic thinkers. Those that are well-equipped to process numbers and think creatively will thrive. Everyone else will find it difficult.
Some of these changes are already evident to see, even today. How far and how quickly it evolves remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure, the way we live and work will change drastically in the near future. And it’s high time we started to prepare for it.