What is The Future of Work?

The Future of Work is evolving and businesses who don’t embrace it will be eclipsed by competitors they never saw coming.

Yet, no single definition embodies what FoW is.

We have put together an executive summary for every CXO and business manager so they can understand the dramatic and changing role of employees and technology critical to their future success.

Changes are rapidly transforming the workplace:

  1. One is societal. As millennial workers stream into offices, they want the tools they are accustomed to in their personal lives to follow them. These include collaboration and BYOD – allowing them to work with their own phones, tablets and laptops and to chat and share like they would on Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.
  2. Technological change is happening – faster than ever. Moore’s Law has been doubling computing power at the same cost for many decades – it has brought immense computing power into the hands of every worker.
  3. Cloud, of course, is one way this is done. No longer does a person need to build a data center – they can prototype and release their programs and services on available clouds such as those from Microsoft, Google and Amazon.
  4. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are making it possible to supplement human intelligence with machine smarts to enable some tasks to be offloaded to silicon.
  5. Quantum computing is coming and thanks to cloud – is available to anyone, allowing incredibly complex problems to be solved relatively quickly.
  6. Digital transformation is on the rise – companies realize if they do not innovate, they will die. We like to think of the razor market as a simple example. These companies didn’t realize selling an online subscription could be an immensely successful way to deliver their blades to market. As a result, billions of dollars have shifted to new entrants who did.
  7. IoT allows the measurement and management of virtually anything. Tracking widgets has never been easier and neither has applying analytics to follow business function.
  8. Minimum wage obsession by politicians scares companies who utilize low-wage workers and have small margins. They are looking for technological ways to ensure they can survive.

These eight areas above provide the backdrop to what is the Future of Work.

Future of Work Infographic

A) Supercharged Collaboration: Millennials are huge fans of instant messaging, video and social platforms – as a result, these solutions are being demanded in the workplace. They also have the potential to make the organization react more quickly to market changes and become more nimble as they transform.

B) AI in customer service is a huge driver of productivity – chatbots and virtual voice assistants which handle prospects and customers allow an organization to rapidly respond to customer needs. In addition – the future of work requires these smart agents to be flexible enough to defer to and integrate with, live humans as needed.

C) Democratized AI: AI is changing all markets and departments – having 24×7 intelligence analyze and crunch numbers and other data can’t be matched in a cost-effective manner by humans. The Future of Work involves simpler interfaces which provide the average worker with AI power.

The Future of Work will require training – likely on the vendor tools which democratize AI. Programmers, managers and other knowledge workers within an organization will all grow their value to the organization when they can effectively increase their productivity through the use of AI. The best historical analogy is imagining the productivity per worker in a factory where workers can harness a steam engine compared to a factory without one.

We may also see more importance paid to job skills as opposed to titles as AI becomes a partner in the workplace.

Specific areas to look for are AI-based workforce management, cancer screenings via man and machine working together, robotics, autonomous vehicles, AR, VR, smart everything, from glasses to factories, and better integration between workflows and tech which speeds projects to completion.

AI is expected to add many trillions to the global economy. We projected the arbitrage opportunity is up to $3.5T per year! The WTO also believes the numbers will also be quite large $16T in ten years. Much of this benefit will be as a result of productivity increases in the workplace or the Future of Work.

FoW will be incredible and scary – for those who are unprepared. The ability to catch up will diminish exponentially as compute power is becoming directly linked to business productivity and efficiency.

Rich Tehrani – Futurist and Tech Visonary

Unlike the steam engine mentioned above as a transformer of factories – AI and ML are actually also evolving and speeding up, meaning an organization which harnesses these technologies now and evolves with them, can’t easily be caught up with – unless they stumble.

Knowing this – all business leaders must realize the time to prepare for and embrace the Future of Work is now!

Where do organizations go to learn more? The world’s only Future of Work Expo (collocated with the ITEXPO #TechSuperShow) of course. Feb 12-14, 2020 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.


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