The Internet of Things (IoT) may be introducing many new possibilities into our work and domestic lives, but there are fears it could lead to mass layoffs in the future.
A report published last week by consulting firm Zinnov claims that IoT will impact a staggering 120,000 jobs in India by 2021, although up to 94,000 redundancies could be made.
Meanwhile, only 25,000 jobs will be created within the next few years. The main cause of this will be increased automation, whereby humans are replaced by technologies capable of handling the same job.
IoT causes mass job losses
Connected chips, gadgets and machinery will have detrimental effects in areas such as office work, support and maintenance, it’s thought. Only more skilled employees – such as network engineers and robotics coordinators – will keep their jobs.
The connected tech market will consist of 5 percent of the global technology industry and will make $15,000 within the next few years, according to Nasscom.
India currently contributes $1.6 billion to the global IoT industry, says Zinnov, but this will reach $7.3 billion by 2021. The country’s corporate sector is driving the industry, making up 80 percent of the country’s overall contribution.
The government only funds 20 percent of the domestic IoT market, perhaps due to a lack of understanding and interest in the area. Firms, on the other hand, are looking for ways to save money and streamline their operations.
Automation to affect whole tech sector
Recently, US tech analyst HfS Research said the technology sector in India will lose more than 4 million jobs by 2021. This, it claimed, will come down to companies automating low-skilled jobs.
Hardik Tiwari, engagement lead at Zinnov, told the Economic Times that thousands of jobs will be affected in India. However, countries like the UK and US will also be impacted in similar ways.
“Internet-of-things technology will impact 120,000 jobs in the country by 2021. 94,000 jobs will be eliminated, and 25,000 jobs will be created in the five-year period,” he said.
Tiwari explained that service companies are reaching out to IoT companies with unique products, something that’ll help the Indian IoT develop into a global leader.
“There is a lot of demand from service providers for niche internet-for-things players with intellectual property and platforms. This will help increase the industry’s market share.”
Automation needs care
Nitin Rakesh, CEO and president of global IT and business solutions provider Syntel, told Internet of Business that companies experimenting with automation need to ensure they have “robust” strategies in place.
“A robust and holistic approach to enterprise automation provides a central backbone that empowers companies to modernise so they can survive and thrive in the two-speed world and harness the capabilities of the new IoT paradigm.,” he said.
“As the IoT tidal wave gathers strength, a gap is emerging between companies reliant on ageing legacy systems and the growing demand for digital connectivity by consumers. This digital disconnect will create unprecedented challenges for companies across a many sectors, including banking, insurance, healthcare and manufacturing.
“In order for companies to become IoT ready, they must find a way to unlock the data within their legacy systems whilst upgrading to more modern digital platforms that support the constant stream of real-time data that IoT-connected devices generate.”