With a new decade ahead, what will the future of work could look like? The Netimperative team spoke to some industry experts to ask what they predict next year will bring.
With technology now infiltrating every aspect of our lives – both personal and professional – 2019 has been yet another year of change for all businesses, regardless of size of sector.
Whether its enhancing client communications, streamlining processes or boosting productivity, it seems as if technology now plays a part in every task we undertake in the office. In fact, thanks to the roll out in flexible working policies; “the office” isn’t even a physical space any more. It’s safe to say that in this digital-first era, innovative technologies have transformed the traditional face of business into something unrecognisable.
Andrew Filev, Founder and CEO of Wrike
Flexible and remote working practices will increase in popularity:
“Driven by the saturation of the workforce by millennial and Generation-Z workers, more offices will adopt university-campus-like flexibility, where seating isn’t assigned, teams can self-organise, and you’re just as likely to find a worker sprawled across a sofa as you are at a desk. Employers should embrace this flexibility, which combined with an increase in mobile working – will save enterprises up to 25% on commercial real estate and energy costs.”
Desired skillsets will change:
“Automation will continue to eat away at routine tasks next year. As the nature of work transforms, jobs will become more cognitively challenging, boosting the need for creative, empathetic, and strategic career skills. Humanities and arts degrees will see 10% growth as storytelling, content, and design become increasingly important to brands. STEM will also continue its growth trajectory.”
Christian Reilly, vice president and chief technology officer, Citrix
Businesses will increase focus the employee experience
“In the recent past, many organisations have spent a considerable amount of financial and human resource focusing on the customer experience. Building digital platforms to engage customers and using those digital platforms to retain customers to improve your customer Net Promoter Score. And yet in 2020, we’re going to see a shift away from the customer experience, and much more focus on the employee experience.
“So many digitally mature organisations are already starting to place an importance on enabling technologies and processes to drive employee experience. Our research has shown us, improved employee experience certainly boosts customer experience but also improves internal Net Promoter Score, which is extremely important for the war on talent.
“If you can’t build an environment that supports the needs of your employees, they’re going to find that at another company. Fundamentally, ease of use and flexibility are key pillars to enabling employee experience. The trend will result in new methods of tracking behaviours that can inform new technologies and processes; ultimately improving the value to the organisation.”
Simon Marchand, Chief Fraud Prevention Officer, Security & Biometrics Business, Nuance Communications
Companies will own up to their responsibility for safety
“Companies have a responsibility to stop the broader implications of fraud that go beyond their bottom line and their brand perception. It’s not only about preventing customer information from being stolen, it’s preventing fraudsters from getting in organisations with information stolen elsewhere.”
“Many companies will increasingly allocate more resources to understanding the growing sophistication of fraudsters and the latest fraud attack vectors (SIM swapping, mules, scripting, etc.), the consequences of criminally acquired credentials (emails, zip codes, SSNs, and other highly personal information), and the technology and best practices to protect against fraud. Part of this will be done tactically—for example by tracking the life of a stolen credential (from it being sold on the Dark Web, to being used to acquire credit cards and goods that are then sold for a profit, to the use of these profits to fund organized crime rings and more)—but also as a broader organisational mindset that fraud isn’t just a “cost of doing business” any more.”
Zachary Jarvinen, head of product marketing, AI and Analytics, OpenText
Bots will enter the mainstream
“In 2020, the average employee may just converse with a chatbot more than they speak with their coworkers, family members or even their spouse, as the demand for an instant response at any time continues to bubble up.
“Chatbots will prevail as one the next preferred digital interface with their advanced contextual capabilities that can personalise any professional, and personal, experience through deep learning.
“Next year, chatbots will dominate human interactions more than ever before, and in order to keep up, almost every consumer facing business that wants to stay competitive will incorporate these human-like AI personas into their service.
“Additionally, chatbot implementation will also expand into the workplace in new ways to help with recruiting, training (via knowledge assistants), and overall efficiency (via virtual assistants), becoming more intertwined with all facets of life.”
Alberto Pan, Chief Technical Officer, Denodo
Edge Computing will emerge as the key to device management
“Next year, devices are set to become smarter than ever before. The use of them is will also increase to new levels. Already, through the collection and analysis of data, these devices – whether they be voice assistants or smart thermostats – are able to learn about our preferences and adjust accordingly.”
“But, the volume of data they collect is expected to exceed record levels in 2020. The more devices we use, the harder it becomes to collect all data into a central repository, analyse it and then push the resulting recommendations back to the device. Next year, businesses will need to adopt technologies that execute the compute function on these devices, or on the ‘edge’ of these devices, rather than doing it centrally. This will enable devices to learn and adjust in real-time.”
Joe Garber, Global Vice President of Strategy and Solutions, Micro Focus
Organisations will look to invest in modernisation strategies, rather than costly products
“Digital transformation (DX) has been a hot topic for a number of years, and will continue to be for several more to come. What will change, however, is how organisations are attacking this challenge. Early on, many pursued DX with a portfolio of brand-new products that were generally not backwards compatible. This rip-and-replace strategy has proven to create too much risk and cost for many organisations, particularly those that have developed IP and key processes around critical IT over time. As a result, many will instead turn to modernising core business systems with solutions that are open and integrated.”