Will new digital innovations invariably destroy jobs? The answer is “yes” or “maybe”.
The first view is based on the old dictum that “Science discovers, technology executes and humans conform”.
The second rests on the observation that much depends on how technology is actually used.
In the past nine months, I have authored two survey reports on how digitisation will reshape four subsectors in global investments: long only managers, wealth managers, hedge fund managers and private equity managers. They are available at www.create-research.co.uk.
The key conclusions are: each of them face digital disruption, given that data is their lifeblood; and the resulting business transformation is as much about leadership as it is about technology. What top executives do to create new opportunity sets makes a huge difference to eventual outcomes.
Early adopters of digitisation, however, hold that there is nothing inherent in digitisation that guarantees success. It is about navigating through the fog to invent a new future, far removed from old connections and causality. Without a clear business strategy and a group of far-sighted people committed to delivering it, no digital tool – no matter how sophisticated – can make much difference.
I co-authored a piece on this subject which was published in the FT on 11th April 2018 and in FTfm on 16th April 2018. If you are a subscriber, the link is here.