And the Survey Says: Digital and Emerging Technologies Will Add Jobs Over the Next Decade

It’s probably not surprising that emerging technology’s role in the future of work, the workforce and workplaces are top of mind for global business leaders; what is surprising is nearly three quarters (74%) of those executives believe digital and emerging technologies will add jobs and increase the size of their workforce over the next decade.

That should help allay some of the fears of workers that emerging technologies, especially artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, will be job killers in the future. The data, among the key findings from the University of Oxford-Protiviti survey, suggest business leaders expect those technologies will lead to more jobs, not fewer, in 10 years’ time. The VISION by Protiviti report, “Executive Outlook on the Future of Work, 2030 and Beyond,” highlights current and future of work trends, ranging from human capital and employee engagement to AI and the emerging technologies driving digital transformation.

A staggering 88% of global business executives say AI will be key for a “radical transformation” of their company over the next decade. When asked about the specific technologies that will drive radical transformation and growth, “artificial intelligence and machine learning” took the top spot, followed by “system integration” and “autonomous robots.” In contrast, only 7% believe that quantum computing will be a transformative factor in the next decade, suggesting that businesses are still in the very early stage of leveraging this technology.

The second installment of VISION by Protiviti, a provocative thought leadership series that analyzes megatrends to provide strategic insights for C-suite executives and board members, highlights this survey of 250 C-suite executives and board members working across a diverse range of industries.

The survey revealed that 74% of global business executives believe that digital and emerging technologies will increase the size of the workforce in the next decade. It also found that 86% expect the types of jobs their employees will perform to be different from today — a figure that remains nearly unchanged regardless of where the leader’s company is headquartered globally.

Retention amid the Great Resignation and beyond

Business leaders also responded to questions about another dominant workplace trend: talent retention. With the Great Resignation continuing to impact organizations across the globe, retention and turnover remain a top concern among 83% of the surveyed executives. Surprisingly, despite the current environment, 84% believe that employee loyalty and retention will increase over the next decade—a number that jumps to 95% among North America-based leaders.

While they remain optimistic about retaining talent, they’re less so when it comes to recruiting skilled workers to fill open roles. When questioned, 86% expressed concern about a potential shortage of qualified workers arising within the next 10 years.

Read more about what the survey revealed and watch an interview with Oxford professor David Howard.

To learn more about our emerging technologies practice, contact us.

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