NEW YORK — Over the next 30 years, technology will create massive numbers of jobs for billions of people that nobody knows about today, Jason Schenker, chair of the Futurist Institute, said yesterday at CFO Live. CFOs must be able to plan for this trend.
Many workers fear that technology eliminates jobs, with robots taking over from error-prone and inefficient people. But those lost jobs will be more than offset by industries technology will create, said Schenker, who Politico has called the most accurate forecaster in the world.
Esports is a perfect example. Ten years ago it didn’t exist, but Schenker predicts it will create millions of jobs as it grows into a trillion-dollar industry.
Those jobs will be better than many of today’s disappearing jobs, such as retail, which has shrunk by 500,000 jobs in recent years. The jobs that will accommodate the digital, data-driven economy, including transportation and warehousing, will tend to be higher paying.
2.1 billion more people
It’s not clear how many jobs robots will take over in the near-term. Right now, they work best in controlled environments, such as the factory floor. Outside of those environments, it will likely take a while before robots can do work done by people, Schenker said. In the near term, look for more R2D2s rather than C3POs.
Looking ahead, much of the population growth will be in developing countries, offering rich opportunities for companies that provide what people need, starting with financial services. Millions of these people will not have access to traditional banks, opening the door to innovative platforms that can reach them.
Schenker expects it to take only 20 more years for per-capita gross domestic product in China and India to match per-capita GDP in the United States today.
One of the biggest tech growth drivers will be the huge volumes of data being collected, which will grow exponentially as companies tap into quantum computing capabilities. Quantum computers process data thousands of times faster than computers used commercially today.
One of the big drivers of all that data that computers will crunch will come from the Internet of things, which generates information on much of the everyday things people do, including opening and closing their garage doors. When are people leaving and coming home from work every day? Companies will know that.
In tomorrow’s data-driven future, CFOs will be able to use predictive analytics to greatly improve their planning and risk management. Schenker said using quantum computing to conduct predictive analytics on massive sets of data will be “wildly helpful” for CFOs in hedging, trading, and staying ahead of the competition.
Because of its cost, companies won't have their own quantum computing capabilities. Instead, they'll access it using a cloud platform and pay for it much like they do a SaaS service. He called it quantum-as-a-service, or QaaS.
Other inevitable trends include the growing mountain of debt by governments and central banks. Expect the Federal Reserve and other central banks to grow, not shrink, their balance sheets, and expect the federal government to take an increasing portion of people’s paychecks through payroll taxes, because it will need that money to pay for Social Security and other entitlements, which are exploding in size.