Digital innovations and the development of robotics are disrupting industries across the globe.
While CEOs are working to keep their business relevant to their customers, many of the staff they employ will face turbulent times over the next 20 years as their skills become redundant.
Many jobs will either not need to be done, or will be replaced by software and artificially intelligent machines.
Some of the jobs in the firing line, according to research by Oxford University, include supermarket checkout staff, keyboard operators, real estate agents, and glazers.
Apart from the implications for people, the changing world of work will force educators and industry to take a long hard look at the courses and training they offer.
Among those facing turbulent times include the music and film industries, TV, radio, publishers, and the oil and transport industries as alternative sources of generating energy and electric vehicles go mainstream.
Anyone in business knows that it's not what happens to you that matters - it's how you react to it. For example, do you remember the video rental chain Blockbuster? The firm was knocked for six by movie streaming services Netflix and Redbox, it pegged the future of the company on mailing out DVDs to customers instead of going online.
PwC's digital strategy and data leader Greg Doone says in a report: "For consumers it's all about content experiences. If digital is a simpler way of getting the content they will gravitate towards that.
"Given the wide variations in consumer tastes for content, the challenge for entertainment and media companies is to blend traditional intuitive approaches with data insights and to maximise the value of the experiences they offer.
"The prize for achieving this is heightened by the fact that the consumer has never been more up for grabs than today. It's increasingly clear that New Zealanders see no significant divide between digital and traditional media: what they want is more flexibility, freedom and convenience in, when, and how they consume their preferred content."
Doone recommends companies do three things to help themselves (and their staff). Innovate around the product and user experience; develop seamless consumer relationships across distribution channels; and put mobile (smartphones) at the centre of it all.
Once upon a time musicians had to work hard to be taken on by a manager, who'd then try and convince a record company to sign them up. A few lucky ones would get a deal, and their music would only be available to buy on a disk, so distribution (and profits) could be managed.
But there were plenty of fine musicians who couldn't get on the gravy train, and had little outlet for their creativity under the old guard.
Today, almost anyone with a desire to do so can record music at home and upload their work to any number of online music sites where it can be offered for sale as a file download or streamed.
The problem for musicians is the consumer is now overwhelmed with choice, so standing out from a crowded market is almost impossible for bands without an expensive marketing campaign.
Even if they do manage to sell or stream a few thousand copies of a song, the money isn't enough to live on.
TimeOut writer Lydia Jenkin wrote that Kiwi band She's So Rad saw their songs streamed 90,000 times on Spotify - but the band's leader Jeremy Toy expects it earned just $130 from the company. Streams from services like Spotify and Rdio need to be in the millions to make a decent income.
While a flatter path to music distribution has opened the doors for more artists to be heard, financial success remains a hard nut to crack. However, after years of fighting illegal digital distribution, the music industry has fallen into line with what the public want. Instant access to whatever they want.
According to Recorded Music New Zealand, sales of CDs has dropped from $35.5 million in 2012 to $21.4 million last year. Streaming music sales have gone up from $1.8 million in 2012 to $12.7 million in 2014.
In short, the joy of picking through discs in a music shop is being replaced by a smartphone and digital downloads. And this has affected CD manufacturers, distribution firms, companies that print the CD sleeves, and retailers. But this has also created new jobs in software development and home entertainment systems that connect to the internet.
The TV and movie industries have also embraced online distribution. No longer are expensive transmitters and multimillion-dollar broadcast licences required as streaming shows online has gone mainstream.
Just this month the former Top Gear trio of Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond shunned the BBC to stream their new motoring show via Amazon Prime Video.
The move by broadcasters to use the net as a distribution channel has led to a range of custom apps being developed that can integrate advertising.
The radio industry, realising that smartphones are the new portable radio, has cottoned on that streaming over the internet is an easy way to deliver content to their listeners. The technology has also been embraced by thousands of wannabe broadcasters who are streaming shows over the net via apps and websites such as TuneIn.com.
If you wanted any evidence that the newspaper industry is facing turbulent times then you only need to travel on a bus. Gone are rows of people reading newspapers, in are handfuls of smartphones, the odd tablet and the occasional laptop.
The news industry is in a transition period that may never end, and while the core skills of journalism and writing are still needed, publishers are branching out into video production, audio streaming and podcasting.
It means a whole new set of skills are needed by those working in the profession, and include the ability to shoot video, record audio, and edit files using all manner of software.
If you drive a truck then you may think you've got nothing to worry about. Pop your handbrake on and remain seated.
The Freightliner truck hit the US highway a few months back and is the first autonomous commercial vehicle to take to the road in Nevada. While there is someone sitting in the cab, they are there to make sure the vehicle's systems are working correctly. The truck's system has been described as being like a plane's autopilot, with the driver stepping in when needed.
That means professional drivers - and there are millions of them - will one day not be needed.
We are in a period of global change in the workplace, and what was will not be. Robots will take over the factories, scanning systems will replace supermarket checkout operators, we will use electricity over oil for heat and transport, and move from an analogue to a digital world. There will change, opportunities and tough decisions. The trick is to stay relevant.
Jobs most at risk from technology
• Public transport drivers
• Checkout operators
• Farm, forestry and garden workers
• Personal assistants
• Keyboard operators
• Real estate agents
• Factory workers
• Machine operators
• Print trade workers
Jobs least at risk
• Medical practitioners
• Advertising, PR, and sales staff
• ICT managers
• Legal professionals
• Hospitality managers
• Child carers
• Social welfare workers
• Construction managers
Source: Oxford University