Is YOUR Business Safe from Disruption?

Did you see the recent report from Seek and the NAB about which industries are growing the fastest in Australia? According to the report, four industries are leading the pack when it comes to increased employment and higher salaries:

  • Building and construction
  • Healthcare and social assistance
  • Education and training
  • Accommodation and food services

According to Tapas Strickland, senior economist at the NAB:

“Over the past year, these industries combined have been responsible for 91% of Australia’s employment growth despite only comprising 38% of total employment in the economy.”

But are those really a safe long-term bet?

If you’re working in these industries, you might feel reassured that they are growing and creating more opportunities. But don’t be complacent! Even in these fastest-growing industries, technology and automation are eroding the way work gets done.

Here are four examples – one from each of these industries …

1. Building and construction – a one-armed robot bricklayer

Did you think you should be a brickie, because we’ll always need houses, so you’ll never be out of a job? Think again.

It’s not even news anymore that 3D printers can “print” a house in hours. And now, Perth-based company Fastbrick Robotics is working on a robot bricklayer that can build a house in a day. The robot can lay 1,000 bricks an hour – five times as much as a good brickie on a good day.

2. Healthcare – AliveCor

If you have a heart condition, you used to need to go to a cardiologist or experienced GP for regular ECGs.

But now, there’s an app for that. AliveCor provides a small device you attach to your smartphone, and you can do an ECG yourself … instantly … and the results are sent wirelessly to a remote monitoring centre.

What’s more, it’s free, because the company knows the data they gather are more valuable than the money they could charge patients. In fact, they predict that in 10 years’ time, they will have enough data to be able to predict heart attacks and strokes before they occur.

3. Education and training – MOOCs

The traditional way of doing training is to get everybody to “down tools” and gather in a training room to attend a course.

But now online training is replacing much of the traditional training course – and it can do it better, faster, and in a more customised way. Large organisations like Accenture, Deloitte, Target and Ticketmaster have extensive in-house online training programs. But even if you don’t have their resources and budget, you can get access to high-quality online courses – free or for a small fee – through the hundreds of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).

4. Accommodation and food services

When we have robots doing all the work, we’ll have more leisure time, right? At least, that’s one theory, and one reason why leisure industries like accommodation and food might be seen as future-proof jobs and careers.

But not so fast! A company in Japan has already launched two hotels that are completely staffed by robots. The owners want to create “the most efficient hotel in the world”, and although it’s still not perfect, it’s a strong indication of a future trend.

So what does this all mean for YOU?

You might think of these examples as just small players in an industry, and you would be right. But disruption doesn’t happen overnight – it usually does start with small players. And if even the four fastest-growing industries in Australia are facing competition from these disruptive forces, what could this mean for your business?

The message is clear: Innovate! Don’t think disruption can’t happen to you, and don’t wait until somebody else shakes you up.

What Next?

Scroll to Top