5 ways we’ll be working in 2020 - Future of Work Part 2

Posted on: January 5, 2015 by John Minnick

500 million tweets are sent per day – 10 years ago Twitter didn’t even exist. Continuous developments in social media, mobility, cloud and big data are affecting consumer behaviour and influencing our expectations in the workplace, making it crucial for businesses to stay ahead of the latest digital trends. As Malcom X said, “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

With CES taking place this week launching the latest consumer tech innovations, it’s a good time to get future gazing and here we look at the top five ways we’ll be working in 2020. This follows on from our recent discussion of how businesses can succeed in the future digital workplace. (Future of Work)

1. It’s all about Wearables

This is such an exciting topic, dominating this week’s headlines at CES with neat-looking watches, button-sized computers and pet trackers. However, the wearable tech of the present is often a solution without a problem. In future we expect to see much more sophisticated technology which provides solutions to real problems, such as refined health monitoring devices. We also expect to see the emergence of industry-specific wearable solutions which help people be more productive and efficient in daily life, but can also help them in their job such as the military, police and transport sectors. This will affect how employees not only can, but also expect to be able to work, making end-user experience the biggest challenge. Recently a bio-hacker in Sweden started thinking beyond wearables to digital implants and tattoosdefinitely one to watch to see how the experiments unfold.

2. Mobile by Default

Mobility is the new standard, and employee expectations are high. A key change we expect to see is that tech will no longer be a limiting factor, but will allow employees to work where and whenever they like in a wire-free and password-free collaboration ecosystem. Businesses will also need devices and applications that offer both a compelling compute platform for enterprise IT management, as well as great mobility features for its staff. Think next generation Ultrabooks, which are super-fast and light but with full PC productivity while providing IT managers with the security and manageability they require.

3. The Security Challenge

One of the biggest challenges CIOs face today is providing a secure environment and minimizing the loss of sensitive data – something that will remain a challenge in the foreseeable future. Safeguarding devices that connect to the network is becoming more challenging too, and is also essential for working remotely and achieving the anywhere, everywhere ambition. Businesses will require endpoint protection services that combine the expertise and vision of technological consultants, operational specialists and mobility experts. With the help of devices which have expanded management capabilities of enterprise security, hard drives enabling hardware encryption and remote management and biometric login technologies, businesses of the future will be able to create bespoke and practical solutions to their security needs.

4. Everything Software

We are moving towards a world where everything is virtualized and software is already redefining industries like taxis, retail and hospitality. In the future, smart software will run and manage servers, networks, storage arrays and even entire data centers. Companies that don’t innovate in this way will struggle to survive.

5. Digital Natives Everywhere

Digital natives will continue to grow their presence in the workforce, bringing different ideas and mind-sets. They think and communicate differently; they Whatsapp or tweet rather than e-mail and are absorbed in social media. This brings with it two-fold challenges. The first lies in drawing in the new digital-focused talent by offering them a workplace that allows them to work in the ways they are accustomed to in their personal lives. The second lies in ensuring the older generation is not left out. Reverse mentoring will become more popular, whereby the younger generation of digital natives helps the older generation to work with new technologies. This could be vital to achieving a unified workforce that is able to thrive in the digital workplace.

The red thread that runs through all these trends is user experience. As technology is increasingly empowering consumers and raising their expectations in their personal and professional lives, the need to accommodate these expectations in the workplace is also growing. So, it’s time to get prepared and the digital workplace of the future will be ours.

John Minnick, Senior Director, Global STeP Team, Atos James McMahon, Global Domain Director, Digital Workplace Services, Atos

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About John Minnick

Sr. Director, Global Strategic Technology Partner Team, Atos Distinguished Expert, Global Infrastructure & Data Management
For the past decade, John has managed a global team of enterprise architects developing the technical design principles deployed by organizations in 190 countries. His team is responsible for creating a framework for technology sourcing, innovation incubation, and integration to enhance intellectual property and drive revenue. John brings a wealth of experience in the technology sector, including CIO and management roles in engineering, manufacturing, and information technology; leadership for five start-up companies; and proficiency across a wide range of software and hardware platforms. He is a member of numerous industry councils and customer advisory boards, and leads technology standards teams. As the founding member of industry-wide teams, he has been instrumental in guiding standardization of workplace technologies with documented savings of tens of millions per year. John is the author of 17 IEEE dozens of Technical papers, featured in online and trade magazine articles, a noted reviewer of software text books, and a regular event speaker at conferences, including Siemens Summits, Microsoft TechEd, sales conferences, industry councils, and customer advisory councils. He is a Dale Carnegie certified team builder, and the winner of two graphical software development awards, as well as the coveted Tully Award for teamwork communications.  John is also an Atos Distinguished Expert and Scientific Community Blogger.

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