Digitalization Effect on Future of Business Life | Interview with Mohab Ayoub

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Automation, the industrial internet of things, artificial intelligence, and robotics are changing the way we approach business, as well as production methods. In this process, those working with companies are also transforming, acquiring new skills, and adopting new ways of labor.

Hence we came together with the giant of the industry, Algedra, in the field of interior design in UAE and we asked the CEO of the company, Mohab Ayoub, how digitalization will affect businesses or enterprises that suffer due to the declining economy.

Here you will find everything you may wonder about where the world is going to be like after Covid-19.

Once world lockdown, did you have struggle as a company?

First, when we have started remotely working, getting used to it was really challenging due to the need to socialize, which is something that is in our nature, but once the virus spread that much quicker, there was nothing but work. Our employees were highly efficient in this period of time.

We held onto our business and increased the value that we add to the company as well as profit.

According to you, which factors triggering change?

Workers doing oil drilling in the US solve failures miles below the ground with a data visualization tool developed on the basis of a game engine. In Germany, an artificial intelligence system that takes into account the skills of both segments determines the division of labor between humans and robot workers. In China, the retail giant is teaching JD employees how to use delivery drones.

These are just a few examples of the changes digital transformation has created in the business. Today, companies are going through a rapid digital transformation process. With the digital transformation, new sectors, new jobs, and new ways of working are emerging and this factor is triggering change.

Do you think that this is a choice or obligation?

This transformation has turned into an obligation rather than a choice for companies. Now all companies, including the manufacturing sector, architecture, or interior design are also technology companies. Those who cannot realize this transformation are doomed to fall behind in the competition.

What did lead to this transformation?

First, let’s take a look at the factors that lead to this transformation. According to GE’s Future of Work report, there are three main factors. The first of these is the industrial internet of things. Today, the distinction between physical and digital systems is increasingly blurred. Thanks to the Internet, sensors, and cloud-based analysis systems, gas turbines, jet engines, locomotives, and medical devices can communicate with each other and people. The interpretation of the data produced by these machines creates a much more efficient production environment.

Second factor; Technologies such as smart factories that emerge as a smart whole of the design, engineering, production, procurement, logistics, and after-sales service processes, and additive manufacturing that allows producing brand new products in brand new ways.

The third factor is the concept GE calls the Global Brain. Technological and economic developments have radically changed the role people play in the production processes. Automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence have enabled machines to do many jobs faster and better than humans. Although it may seem like a risky situation such as unemployment in the short term, it has actually increased the value of competencies such as creativity, entrepreneurship, and communication skills, where people have an advantage over machines.

Can this treasure of knowledge turn into innovation?

Economic development has enabled billions of people to contribute to the global treasure of knowledge. While the common knowledge of people integrated through digital communication networks became the key point of innovation, it changed the way of doing business and created new business areas that require new skills. According to data from the McKinsey Global Institute, the demand for technological expertise will increase up to 55 percent by 2030.

The opportunities offered by the industrial internet and its contribution to the economy are frequent issues. According to Accenture data, the contribution of the Internet of industrial objects to the global economy by 2030 will reach $14.2 trillion.

What about the people? Where do they take a place in this revolution?

However, the factor that will make a difference in the business world where almost everyone invests in technology will be the investments that will enable the workforce to adapt to the new world. Because no matter how technology and automation develop, people will be at the center of the digital revolution. 

So, those who adopt a “human first” approach will benefit. Happy employees will be much more efficient and will not need to look for new jobs, which companies that bring solutions to the needs of employees will be advantageous in every respect.

Many employees are afraid of losing their job with the digital revolution, aren’t they?

From the perspective of employees, the first issue that comes to the agenda is that people will be unemployed. With the digital transformation, more than half of the current jobs will be automated. However, according to McKinsey’s report, only 5% of existing jobs are subject to full automation. However, at least one-third of the activities carried out in 60% of today’s work will be automated.

Although there are some fluctuations in the short term, the productivity increase that will be brought by the industrial internet of things in the long term will become a factor that increases economic growth, which in turn will increase employment.

The interesting thing is that employees who are said to be hurt by this job are more prepared for digital transformation than companies, and they adapt to transformation faster than companies.

Employees defined as “Human”, who acquire new skills with the support of technology besides their personal skills, develop themselves rapidly, while organizations that are structured in accordance with the old workforce have difficulty in adapting.

Companies that struggle to find and retain the right talent are slow to invest in employee development and training. Information management is also among the areas where companies have difficulty adapting. More and more information is being produced today. However, information that is not properly managed can make things more difficult instead of making it easier. The time is taken to find appropriate information also negatively affects the productivity of companies and employees.

What about the solution?

To further support the development of employees by adopting technologies that create new generation employees. Applications such as artificial intelligence augmented reality, and sentiment analysis can both improve the workforce and keep the company growing.