During the press conference to announce NOKIA being acquired by Microsoft, Nokia CEO ended his speech saying this “we didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost”. Upon saying that, all his management team, himself included, teared sadly. Nokia has been a respectable company. They didn’t do anything wrong in their business, however, the world changed too fast. Their opponents were too powerful. They missed out on learning, they missed out on changing and in the end this made them loose to competition.

How does this relate to you as a leader? Digital transformation has and will have a great impact on all companies. It will have an impact on the workforce that can result in higher workload, more stress and less communication. Digitalisation in manufacturing will have a disruptive effect every bit as big as in other industries that have gone digital, such as office equipment, telecoms, photography, music, publishing and films.

As with other productivity-improving technologies, The Internet of Things will affect workers in different ways. The value of some types of knowledge workers is likely to increase since the Internet of Things will create new needs for human judgment and decision making. The impact on service workers will vary. Demand for workers in some services, such as food preparation, office and home cleaning services, security, and retail checkout, could fall as such tasks are automated, at least in high-wage economies. In general, manual work will come under increasing pressure from IoT and smart machines, but IoT will open up some new employment opportunities, too. Workers will be needed to install and maintain the physical elements of IoT systems—sensors, cameras, transponders, and so on. Other workers will be needed to design, develop, sell, and support IoT systems.

Employees could be affected in various ways—some will benefit from IoT-based systems that give them new tools and skills; some may see their jobs change as IoT data are used to redefine functions and streamline tasks.

The most important in the workplace moving forward is to rethink the workplace. The effects of the transformation will not be confined to large manufacturers; indeed, they will need to watch out because much of what is coming will empower small and medium-sized firms and individual entrepreneurs.

T. K. Kurien, CEO of Wipro said at a roundtable discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos that companies need to “rewire their engineers” to think the right way about IoT beyond connectivity, logistics or network value and moving on to co-creation based on a network that shares monetary value between various stakeholders, using software-based co-integration.