Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Kladderadatsch watch, Gartner edition

Gartner, a technology research and advisory firm, recently released its "top predictions for IT organizations and IT users for 2014 and beyond." Surprisingly, one of the predictions focused on social unrest (emphasis in original):
By 2020, the labor reduction effect of digitization will cause social unrest and a quest for new economic models in several mature economies. Near Term Flag: A larger scale version of an "Occupy Wall Street"-type movement will begin by the end of 2014, indicating that social unrest will start to foster political debate. 
Digitization is reducing labor content of services and products in an unprecedented way, thus fundamentally changing the way remuneration is allocated across labor and capital. Long term, this makes it impossible for increasingly large groups to participate in the traditional economic system — even at lower prices — leading them to look for alternatives such as a bartering-based (sub)society, urging a return to protectionism or resurrecting initiatives like Occupy Wall Street, but on a much larger scale. Mature economies will suffer most as they don't have the population growth to increase autonomous demand nor powerful enough labor unions or political parties to (re-)allocate gains in what continues to be a global economy.
I suppose its a sign that things are getting really bad when mass political movements come up at a completely antiseptic business/technology conference.  That being said, credit to Gartner for at least acknowledging the dynamic of mass disaffection via technologically-driven job displacement.

1 comment:

  1. Gartner is about as middle-of-the-road as it gets. I can't even read them anymore because their repeat of conventional wisdom is so banal.