Ireland set to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

by Ian Dowd, Marketing Director UKI, NGA HR

A huge global change is underway as the technological advancements of the last three industrial revolutions join with the latest emerging developments. The first major turning point in history was brought about by the steam powered engine and then electrical power changed all our lives forever. These were followed by the digital revolution with the change from mechanical and electronic technology to what is now known as The Information Age – the online life which absorbs us every day.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is already underway and experts predict it will disrupt, transform and potentially eliminate millions of jobs, particularly in manufacturing, transportation and service industries thanks to the trend towards automation increasing rapidly.

These changes are going to have effects worldwide and there will certainly be a huge impact on Ireland as with many other countries, but this needn’t be viewed as a negative development. It’s true that as automation grows so does the likelihood of robots replacing humans in many jobs but Ireland is set in great stead for the future and the unfolding of the latest industrial revolution. As one of the most globalised nations in the world, Ireland has the highest proportions of people living overseas, yet Dublin and Cork are emerging as hubs for young Europeans seeking opportunities in science & technology industries.

Some major IT companies have realised the potential in Ireland which has led to the building of multi-billion data centres in Dublin and the creation of hundreds of jobs in the city. Ireland is even at the forefront of the Internet of Things (IoT) – one of the biggest ever technology trends in which everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data. In fact it is an Irish company which is bringing the IoT to life for some of the world’s biggest technology brands by making the wireless systems that enable machines to talk to each other. Predictions show that the sector is set to exceed €34.2bn by 2020 and 25 billion devices will be connected by 2025. Ireland is on the right path to thrive in these changing dynamics.

But how do HR professionals in Ireland deal with the colossal changes about to impact industries, companies and people throughout the country? To make this industrial revolution truly successful the active participation and focus on strategy of HR leadership is vital. HR teams will be managing more than just humans in this new hyper-connected workplace as employees collaborate more extensively with robots and intelligent devices. Despite the fact that there may be fewer physical workers, a new approach to training and development will be required as many existing employees will need retraining. It would also be prudent to development a recruitment strategy focusing on capabilities as opposed to vacant positions. A modern technology infrastructure will enable HR teams to spend less time administrating the changes and focus their efforts on helping the organisation to predict and adapt to future needs.

Advances in the Fourth Industrial Revolution with decision making based on rich insight will lead to a more productive, enjoyable and more profitable world of work. Embracing the changes and growing with them will enable organisations – and individuals – to truly thrive and not be left behind during these exciting times ahead.

About NGA Human Resources

NGA Human Resources is a global leader in helping organisations transform their business-critical HR operations to deliver more effective and efficient people-critical services. We help our clients become better employers through smarter, more streamlined business processes — to save money, manage employee life cycles, and support globally connected, agile organisations. This is how NGA makes HR work.

What sets us apart is The NGA Advantage. It’s a combination of deep HR experience and insight, advanced technology platforms and applications, and a global portfolio of flexible service delivery options.

Founded in 1969, NGA has over 44 years of experience in the IT industry. As a recognised global HR services leader, we have offices in 35 countries on five continents, supporting customers in more than 100 countries.

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