Fact of the Week: 84 Percent Of Global Firms Plan To Accelerate Digitalization In The Next Five Years, and 50 Percent Plan to Increase Automation

Kevin Gawora December 21, 2020
December 21, 2020

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Source: World Economic Forum, “Future of Jobs Report, 2020,” October 2020.

Commentary: In contrast to the decade of slowing productivity growth that followed the global financial crisis, the next decade could see productivity growth take off, driven by a better understanding of new technology and the pandemic. The 2010s saw low productivity growth possibly due to innovations producing smaller-than-expected returns, weak aggregate demand—or, more likely, the fact that innovations take time to be used most efficiently. With technologies like cloud computing and big data now more widespread and better understood, firms can discover new ways to leverage them, leading to increased productivity growth. The pandemic also has forced many companies to use IT services in ways and on scales previously unseen, which has underscored the importance of new technologies, particularly video conferencing. These two factors combine to lead to a wider adoption of new technologies, as outlined by a recent World Economic Forum survey, which may lead to a feedback loop of even greater productivity gains.