POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE IMPACT OF ICT ON SOCIETY
The impact of ICT on organisations has an additional effect on society. As more people begin to work from homes, or jobs become deskilled, or jobs are taken over by a computer, the impacts are going to be very severe. Consider them here.
- Increased leisure time – more work done in less time ought to mean more leisure time. In some cases this does happen. Take for example sole proprietorships, or small partnerships, or where people are allowed to work from home. In many cases this doesn’t, as managers require the same amount of time spent on the job, so people should become more productive. Also as leisure time increases, the leisure industry will grow.
- Deserted city centres – home shopping over the Internet, reduced offices due to more teleworkers. These will both result in fewer buildings in the city centre.
- Never away from work – as the number of teleworkers increases, they will tend to work and live in the same place, they may feel as though they are never away from the job.
- Increased stress at home – as the number of teleworkers increases, they may be expected to household chores.
- Equality for disadvantaged people – disadvantaged here means those that can afford a computer, but are in some way barred from attending a work place possibly because of a disability. These people can now compete with the able bodied worker.
- Lack of privacy – as more and more information is collected and stored on us, and with the use of more sophisticated equipment to search the data, privacy is harder to achieve.
- Reduced number of manual jobs. these jobs have been reduced by computers. For example assembly work on production lines, has now been replaced by computer controlled machinery such as robots and computer controlled fork lift trucks.
- Deskilling (or even complete elimination) of some jobs. Some office jobs have completely disappeared. For example the filing clerk, a person that would spend time placing files in an order in a cabinet, logging them in and out, has gone. Another job that has changed is the typist. Before the advent of word processors, a typists job was quite highly skilled, because any mistakes required a complete retype of the document. Word processors allow for editing at any stage. Desk top publishing software has also allowed anyone to produce quite high quality documents, whereas before this was a skilled and often lengthy process.
- Creation of new more interesting jobs. Examples would be systems analysts, programmers and software engineers, as well as help desk operators and trainers.
- Increased unemployment. the new jobs created by ICT are fewer than those lost ICT. This could have the effect of creating an underclass of people ‘who have not’, and can’t afford to have because they have no job to gain any money.
- The need to continually update your skills. Because of the fast pace of change in ICT, people need to continually learn new skills, or they themselves will become unemployed.