articles | 15 November 2019 | PwC Cyprus

Fourth Industrial Revolution: Consumers crave trust and control

A new global report from PwC titled “Are we ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?” finds consumers are getting on board with Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies, with 90% using at least one 4IR technology.

They are willing to share personal data if there’s a big pay-off.

The report, surveyed 6,000 consumers and 1,800 business leaders in six countries to obtain a clear picture of consumer sentiment toward 4IR technologies and their impact on life and work. Technologies surveyed included Artificial Intelligence, internet of things, blockchains, and 3D printing.

Balancing convenience with trust

Consumers welcome the conveniences that new technology brings but are cautious when it comes to their personal privacy.

When asked to identify their top three 4IR investment priorities, only 40% of business leaders cited alerting consumers to data breaches—yet consumers ranked this second-highest in importance to increase their comfort with 4IR.

Beyond the tech - driving workforce transformation in the 4IR

Employers and consumers are aligned on the positive impact 4IR can make in the workplace, especially when it comes to eliminating tedious tasks and optimising workflows. Additionally, 59% of consumers say that 4IR technology gives them more control over their work-life balance. However, business leaders and consumers diverge when it comes to the impact of 4IR on their employment outlook, with business leaders (69%) seeing 4IR technologies as a driver of job creation, consumers (45%) citing 4IR technology as a concern over job security. The analysis underlines how the 4th Industrial Revolution is more than just technology, it’s a revolution of how we work and live. The challenge for business leaders is a clear disconnect between their priorities and those of employees when it comes to the impact of 4IR technology investments in the workforce. From employees’ perspective, it’s critical that business leaders establish mechanisms for employees to share concerns about the impact of technology on their jobs.

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