The 4th industrial revolution will be digital - Mckinsey

"There is a common perception that digitization and automation are a threat to the world’s workers, companies at the forefront of the technology frontier have actually created jobs—different, new roles that are much more high tech than the roles of the past... change can be opportunity for everybody. So I think we look at it through that lens. Change doesn’t have to be a threat; it’s just the opposite." an excerpt from a recent panel discussion hosted by McKinsey.

In this article, we summarize some of the key perspectives from the discussion. However what is clear to us is the focus on digital technologies and the importance of reskilling / upskilling the workforce to be ready to capitalize on the efficiencies that the new digital technologies will offer.

David Goeckeler, CEO of Western Digital

Building a future-ready workforce, will define the success of Western Digital

"It’s about all of our employees being ready for that future" he emphasized. With the emergence of scalable internet of things that can change how factories are run, focus is shifting away from the technology aspect and more to the readiness of the workforce to adapt to the new infrastructure. "This is a new world in manufacturing, there is going to be a lot of fast and big data."

Robert Bodor, CEO of ProtoLabs

The manufacturing industry is experiencing a severe labor shortage, this has potential long-term implications

"A National Association of Manufacturers study indicated that over two million manufacturing jobs could go unfilled by 2030. As a digital manufacturer, we’ve worked to automate a great deal of our manufacturing process, which allows us to be more efficient with our workforce." Robert said. The company uses online learning portals to help employees learn new digital skills and incorporates technology on the job in order to improve the employee experience.

Revathi Advaithi, CEO of Flex

Reskilling is core for the survival of companies

"It’s core for the survival of companies, and, more importantly, its core for our people strategy, because the best way to keep our employees, our colleagues, excited about what they do is to make sure that they are at the forefront of every technology they use."

The future is digital - skillsets required in the workplace are going to shift drastically especially for our children

We have noticed a subtle but interesting shift in discussions by business leaders in the last 5 years when talking about the digitally enabled workforce. In the past, much more emphasis was place on the technology and how they can improve productivity. We have since moved past justifying the value of these technologies and are now discussing about how to get the workforce ready for actual adoption.

No one can predict the future, but we would hazard a guess that technology and digital skills will play a much more important role in the careers of our children than ours.


The Logic Coders is a coding school for kids aged 6-16 in Singapore

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