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Our world on the cusp of 'the fourth industrial revolution'

19 Oct 2016

MYOB has recently explored the technological revolution that will transform the way we all connect, relate and interact with one another.

With information from the latest Future of Business series, MYOB chief technical advisor and futurist Simon Raik-Allen explains that even with incredible advances in technology, people need to be together to truly be creative.

“Right now, we’re on the cusp of what the World Economic Forum calls the fourth industrial revolution. There’s no doubt that momentous change is underway and that there will be huge employment impact from the disruptive change,” he says.

“But, like the last industrial revolution, it is more likely to enrich our experiences and provide more opportunities for meaningful work and exciting business.”

Raik-Allen believes that technology won't actually isolate or exclude people, instead it will bring them together.

“It doesn’t matter how advanced our technology becomes, in the end, it will come down to people and values. The next revolution will lift humanity, embrace creativity and shape a world that empowers communities. People will always be at the centre of the business, and their experience will be more valued than ever,” he explains.

“This is our vision at MYOB. We understand that business isn’t just business, it’s personal. Although we continue to design, innovate and advance our technology, ultimately it’s the human connection that enables our business and our clients to succeed. We’ve believed this for the last 25 years and we’ll be doing this for the next 25.”

While not all the technologies promised for the world in the 21st Century have come to fruition, Raik-Allen believes that we can learn a lot about what the future holds by looking back.

“We live in a world that is taking its first steps in developing a host of technologies that will shape our future. Jetpacks, self-driving cars, bionic limbs, interplanetary travel, holograms, AI assistants - the stuff of science fiction in the last century is now very close to reality,” he explains.

While technology will drive dramatic changes in many areas of business, Raik-Allen says that the face-to-face value of human interaction will be more highly valued than ever - giving rise to a whole new section of business designed to fulfil the need for human interaction and experience.

“How many of these developments will unfold, and their influence on business and society, is unpredictable. But, by looking at the last 25 years, we can see patterns of development, which allow us to discern the ways current technology may evolve,” he explains.

“As a business owner you need to make sure that you can rapidly change to align with the way in which not just technology but society is moving. In predicting the future of business technology over the next 25 years, people will be your best barometer.”

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