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How Do You Stand with the Digital Workplace of 2025?

By Wayne Houghton
Published April 20, 2016

Jobs which were commonplace in 2015 will no longer exist in 2025Jobs which were commonplace in 2015 will no longer exist in 2025. The qualifications of Students graduating in 2016 will be obsolete for any profession in nine short years.

How so?

Digital innovators are emerging daily to both shape and disrupt every industry imaginable. Who hasn’t heard of the protest of ‘traditional taxi operators’ against UBER; from Kenya to France, and from USA to India?

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Traditional enterprises are scrambling to make sense of Business Digitisation in order to stay relevant in the Digital future. Companies are also digitising their products and services, along with operational processes and customer channels. Over 70% of top fortune 500 companies have plans to offer their products as a Digital service by 2020. Currently, the 10 most valuable start-ups globally are estimated to have a value of US$172.7 billion; all of them embrace Digital platform based business models. Around 90% of the business models in 2020 will be driven by the cloud.

Globally, the number of connected devices will nearly quadruple by 2025, significantly altering the skills employers hold most valuable. Increasing connectivity will change how employees choose to work–for example, remotely, part-time, independently, or dispersed–and provide employers with a spectrum of hiring options.

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The line between what has traditionally been business and IT is becoming more and more blurred. Largely due to the early adoption and impact of Digital marketing, The Chief Marketing Officer or CMO, now controls a bigger “IT” budget and influence than the CIO. This is only set to increase and expand across the organisation, as Digital Natives become future business leaders.

New Digital innovators are emerging daily to both shape and disrupt every industry imaginableWhat new skills and expertise will be required to lead and manage the Digital enterprise of the future?

As robots, AI and Digital algorithms continue to replace many jobs and professions, new and emerging professions by 2025 will focus more on human interaction, augmented through Digital mechanisms. Jobs requiring uniquely human characteristics, such as cultural deftness, care-taking or empathy, and creative thinking, are those least threatened by automation.

The ability to work from any place at any time is fueling the Digital nomad trend. This will also blur political and economic boundaries, and test national labour codes.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), its sub-fields, and automation will create some specific reflecting trends associated with new and emerging technology advances.

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Wayne Houghton, Director of Growth Implementation Solutions, Frost & Sullivan AfricaCareer gains from AI and automation include:
• Artificial Intelligence technology and automation salesperson
• Specialist programmers
• Cybersecurity experts
• Engineering psychologists
• Robot and automation technology manufacturer, distributor, servicer, and refurbisher
• Technology-specific trainer
• Neuro-implant technicians
• Virtual health care specialist
• Virtual reality experience designer

Already, front-line military personnel are being replaced with robots as private bankers and wealth managers are replaced with algorithms. Telemarketers, data entry capturers, tax preparers, lawyers, accountants, actuaries, statisticians and consulting engineers, on the other hand, are all going to be replaced with AI.

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So what can you do to adapt to the changing workplace?

Digital transformation cannot be ignored without becoming irrelevant; an adaptive Digital strategy is imperative.

The Digital workforce will be significantly different from today in terms of culture, leadership style and skills.

The ability to work from any place at any time is fuelling the Digital nomad trendAs AI, robots and digital algorithms automate many professions, jobs requiring uniquely human characteristics –or are critical to the development of Digital solutions—will be in great demand by 2025.

A holistic Digital transformation strategy, which considers the Digital workforce along with the business model, process and customer channel dimensions, are imperative for organisations wishing to remain relevant in the next 10 years.

About the Author
Wayne Houghton is Director of Growth Implementation Solutions with Frost & Sullivan Africa in Cape Town, South Africa.

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