Digitalisation Impact on the Workforce

The Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation  (DBEI) commissioned a research project to explore the likely impact of digitalisation and automation on the Irish workforce. 

John Gilsenan of Market Dynamics, working as an Associate Consultant with global research firm IDC, was one of two consultants assigned to this project. His role was to conduct in-depth interviews with 50+ representatives of industry, academia and representative bodies and moderate stakeholder focus groups. He was also the primary contributor of analysis to the 100+ page report of findings, forecasts and recommendations to the DBEI.

Among the findings of the research was that one in three jobs in Ireland are at high risk (a probability greater than 70%) of being disrupted by the adoption of digital technologies. Much of the disruption, however, will result in changes to job roles and tasks performed by individuals rather than job losses. The research also found that strong overall growth predicted for the economy should generate enough new jobs to replace those lost. Sectors most at risk are those normally associated with repetitive, manual tasks that can be replaced by automation. 

The jobs at highest risk of displacement by digital technologies include many elementary, low-skilled occupations. Also includes are several sales and customer service occupations that can be replaced through a combination of chatbots and robotic process automation (RPA).