With all the breathless talk about how 5G or internet of things will “revolutionize” life and business, it is worth noting that big technology shifts often take decades to drive visible and measurable changes.
Ecosystems drive economic revolutions, not underlying technology itself. That was true of big innovations such electricity and the internal combustion engine, for example. That is why a productivity paradox seems to exist. In the near term, productivity improvements might not be quantifiable in a significant way.
The big observation some have made is that technology revolutions do not produce immediate or even near-term changes in productivity because whole business processes must be redesigned, and value reinforcing innovations made, before the new innovations will start to pay off in a measurable way.
Consider that in the mid 90s, computers had been around for half a century with little or no impact on economic productivity, notes author Greg Satell. The future is not a simple extrapolation from the present.
Even internet era productivity arguably has not increases as much as one would think.