I write a lot about the “Future of Work” but what I often mean by that is the “Future of YOUR Workforce” or even the “Future of the Enterprise”.
There are 3 main technology disruptors that are in the (accelerating) process of fundamentally changing the nature of work within your enterprise. I believe that companies that figure out how these can be leveraged to make your workforce more efficient and productive are going to be the companies that lead their industry in the future.
Number 1 is Artificial Intelligence. AI delivered via mobile, desktop, Internet of Things or robots will augment the workforce of tomorrow (and today) by replacing many workers outright and also replacing many of the tasks of the workers that remain.
The second is the networked, or “on demand”, workforce that is enabled by technology. Companies like Uber achieved early mover status and grabbed tremendous market share in their space by leveraging this technology enabled on demand workforce.
And lastly, we have big data, wearables and analytics that enable people analytics. In other words, the ability to gain deeper insights into your workforce then ever thought possible.
Re-imagining and re-designing your workforce
These technologies are going to be so fundamentally disruptive that they will require companies to completely re-imagine their workforce to accommodate the new technologies and to train and hire to the new skill sets that your workers will need to thrive in the workplace of the (near) future.
The first step is to gain insight into what each of these technologies can actually “do” today and what they will realistically be able to do in 1, 3, 5 years down the road.
So for example, today robots are being used in everything from manufacturing to retail, but in only some forms of manufacturing and in only some forms of retail. But the technology will only get better and so that means that today every retail company should have a steering and planning group tasked with re-designing their workforce to accommodate these new metal and alloy workers. This also means designing where they fit into the store from a transaction standpoint, as well as designing new store layouts to accommodate their unique mobility patterns. It then requires training existing, and new, human workers on how to work with these robots. Getting them comfortable with what the robots can do and how they can help.
The challenges are large but the rewards will be tremendous.