Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly across the Atlantic Ocean once rightly said, “Preparation, I have often said, is rightly two-thirds of any venture.” These wise words from an inspirational woman are in so many ways applicable to the business landscape and how we should operate within it. In this era where innovative ideas coupled with digitization have become front runners in the global enterprise, preparation is key to be successful. The global economy today thrives on competition. Smart planning along with optimization of technology is the best way to get ahead of the curve. Organizations that fail to capitalize on their talent, technology and other resources at their disposal, will miss out on the advantages of what digital transformation has to offer in the future.
While the future of work is clouded by a lot of uncertainties, one of the big questions looming over every enterprise is, is it possible to prepare for the future of work?
Numerous factors like a demographic shift, changes in consumer preferences and advances in technology are profoundly changing the way organizations operate their business and manage people and job environments. While this colossal change might appear challenging on the surface, it offers an excellent opportunity for organizations to evolve, scale up, and break the glass ceiling; and by extension, suit up for the future of work.
We have been witnessing the convergence of technology in particular, with solutions from mobile to analytics to cloud to machine learning that are forging new capabilities at work. In many ways, these very solutions have been leading the world towards a digital future. Along with bringing in a change in how business is done, they are also revolutionizing the workspace. Regular operations are more simplified, workforces are more collaborative and digital solutions are more diversified. Having said this, future success would depend on integration of these new age technologies within the core construct of the IT infrastructure. Applications like data management and collaboration, data analytics for secure practices etc. can greatly contribute to an organization’s overall development.
It is also pertinent to note that while emerging tech is crucial for growth, it brings along a set of complexities with security topping the list. According to a study on The State of IT Complexity in India commissioned by Citrix, 98% of respondents from India admitted to using shadow IT applications that fell outside the official IT policy. To avoid such instances, the CIO and his/her team is tasked with not only deploying secure solutions but also with communicating IT policies of the organization and acceptable practices for management of organizational data.
While we strap in and gear up for Industrial Revolution 4.0, business leaders will also have to formulate a robust and comprehensive workforce strategy. Industrial Revolution 4.0 will bring with it more complex technologies and ambitious business objectives that will require an innovative thought process and digital dexterity. In an effort to harness this through higher levels of efficiency, tactics like hiring the right talent from the millennial pool and re-skilling will play an important role. Skill sets like creative and social intelligence along with artificial intelligence would be paramount in realizing the full potential of humans and machines.
While we can guess and predict at what the future of work holds, our best course of action would be to secure the present so that we have the capacity to scale when the future arrives. The time is ripe for the C-suite consisting of business leaders and CIOs to huddle and understand the forthcoming trends in people and business management and how they can be best utilized with technology. Enterprises that manage to successfully implement IT solutions and at the same time balance employee expectations will be ready to take the next step in the digital journey that is to come.