The revelations about the extent of the hacking of Yahoo have brought issues around network security into sharp focus – most keenly observed by Mr. Jim Labonty of Pfizer in his excellent address at Automation Fair last fall, when he revealed that the company face around a million attacks on their network every single day.
Hackers only need to get ‘lucky’ once, and it’s only by dedicating resource and taking a defence-in-depth approach that UK industry can rise to meet this global challenge.
Similarly, in the news recently Bank of England Governor Mark Carney made headlines when addressing the UK’s future jobs market and the threat that automation provides to the workforce.
While Carney was making a broader point about traditional sectors such as accountancy being superseded by software capabilities, and up to 15 million UK jobs being potentially under threat, the general automation point is one we know well from the industrial sector, which has seen consistent falls in low-skilled employment for many years.
Protecting the UK from global forces and the digital revolution simply isn’t feasible, and the observation that more automated industrial economies employ more people because they are more competitive remains as relevant as ever.
In fact, it’s a point discussed in the ‘From Brawn to Brains’ research by Deloitte, which paints a fuller understanding of the effects of technology on the workforce – observing that although 800,000 lower-skilled jobs have been lost to the UK, the technology has helped create nearly three and a half million skilled ones in their place.
It also estimates that these jobs pay an average of ￡10,000 more per annum and have added ￡140 billion to the UK economy in new wages.
The fact is that for UK industry to remain sustainable and to grow, it must continue to invest in world-class manufacturing methods. A key consideration for safeguarding industrial employment is understanding the types of jobs that are going to be available in industry.