2017 and Beyond: How digital constructs the future of work
Digital not just means “technology” but also “money” which is explicit. Companies of all sizes, small to large, traditional to progressive are eyeing at ways to leverage digital, as digital constructs their future. The coming years will behold the digital wave sweeping the enterprise shores with changes in the workforce, evolving consumer demands, newer opportunities and challenges, and above all a drastic change. The keyword “change” is going to impact individuals, organizations, work style and the society itself.
Tomorrow’s digital economy requires each of us to learn new skill sets that could take us there. What’s called the future of work is already here and we can feel it every day. Here are some of the top examples from 2016:
Artificial Intelligence (AI): Make it your business today!
From self-driving cars to AI-powered chatbots, AI totally overhauled consumer-facing services in 2016 by bestowing the gift of autonomy. AI will enter into every organizational aspect in 2017, from customer-facing end to real enterprise world. It won’t be a surprise if we say that the future of work is also the future of AI. To stay on top of the business tomorrow, you need to make AI your business today. Industries like Retail will be the best beneficiaries of AI. Big Data will strengthen AI as it drills AI with the capacity to learn algorithms and also make strategic decisions (for example, understanding where your products will have more traction and what kind of goods can you store).
All the tech giants like Microsoft, Salesforce, IBM, Facebook, Google and others have announced that they are keenly into AI in the coming years. Salesforce’s Einstein, Google’s new Pixel smartphone, Apple’s iOS 10, and Facebook’s Caffe2Go are some of the top examples.
Internet of Things (IoT): Ushering in a revolution
IDC research states that by 2020, the number of connected devices will touch 51 Billion and in APAC, IoT’s annual market is set to rise from $250 billion to $583 billion. Governments as well as tech firms are researching and investing heavily to develop the required infrastructure to support IoT initiatives.
Here are some of the major examples of IoT in action: In San Antonio, US, streetlights are set to behave according to sudden changes in the weather so that they improve visibility and reduce accidents. The smartphone users in San Francisco can now find available parking slots in garages using mobile apps. The city of Chicago is now very peaceful since they have brought down the rodent population with predictive analytics. Wondering how? Predictive analytics helps the civic bodies there identify the trash bins that are inviting more rodents. The IoT movement is all set to tectonically move our lives and work.
Cybersecurity: Ringing the alarm of caution
Businesses will have to spend $400 annually to ward themselves off cyber-attacks. What’s more alarming is the fact that this figure is fairly higher than the GDP of 160 countries. The world of internet saw the DDOS attacks and November 2016 headlines were dominated with pro-Trump hacking news and Russia’s relation to that in the wake of the US Presidential election. Attacks on Yahoo and Dropbox were also the other major cybercrimes that created ripples in 2016. The increased use of ransomware, especially with the US accounting for about 26% of it globally is also a great concern. Even connected refrigerators and hacking of personal emails dominated the tech news. All IT departments and Chief Security Officers of companies must get their weapons ready to make the digital landscape more secure and invincible.
Automation, collaboration & competition
While automation becomes a great driver of future work, the relationship between man and machine pokes a lot of questions. Are we completely set to do away with manual workforce? Not at all! While machines are definitely capable of performing a certain set of tasks (repeatable or routine), they cannot be the strategic and constructive thinkers like humans. Robot technology cannot replace the leadership or innovation skills that humans possess. If both go hand-in-hand, that will make the future of work more efficient.
Today’s business model functions in a highly collaborative environment and it is all about engaging more people in the journey that can break the silos and transform businesses to meet tomorrow’s needs. If you are a laggard in the digital transformation process, you end up paying heavy penalty in the future. While industries like Retail have already started embracing the digital trend, the laggard state-of-mind is obvious among industries like travel, music, publishing etc. Surveys prove that the leaders in digital will overtake the laggards by 160% in the coming years.
Enterprises must layout the path of digitalization with focus on user experience and flexibility so that they can improve efficiency, productivity, and ROI. Though it also creates counterproductive perceptions among the ones with less knowledge, technology and business leaders can take it up as a challenge to herald the message of digitalization into them through innovation and real-time examples.
We welcome your ideas and thoughts on how digital builds the future of work. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.