What Will IT Look like in the Workplace of 2020?

4 minute read

What does the future look like for the world of IT? When looking into the future, it’s important to exercise a certain amount of caution. Movies show how easy it is to make hasty conclusions: just think of the disappointment of Back to the Future fans across the world when October 21, 2015 arrived and they still required roads. Thankfully, by simply paying attention to the world we work in today, we can see a lot about what the world of work and IT will look like from 2020.

Safe predictions

Massive growth in global internet usage will not slow down, economic power will continue to shift as emergent markets grow, and the global community will continue to become increasingly urbanised. While these global trends might seem far removed from the day-to-day concerns of the workplace, three kinds of business models already in place today look set to thrive in these conditions… all of which have innovative IT solutions at their core:

  • Big multinational corporations
  • Small entrepreneurial companies
  • 'Green' and socially-minded small businesses and workers

Looking at how these kinds of operations are likely to make use of IT in 2020 and offers real insight into how we can prepare our IT networks for the future.

Analytics for performance

The largest multinational companies are unlikely to lose any of their industry dominance. As stable employment for workers in all professions becomes less and less common, with freelance models and ‘platform economies’ on the rise, large companies will become increasingly attractive as they are able to offer fixed employment. In return, these companies will receive their employees’ commitment, and the ability to monitor those employees: the kinds of data profiling that we see applied to customers today will increasingly be applied to employees in order to:

  • help HR measure performance targets over a dispersed, globalised workforce
  • check workers' locations and well-being
  • provide deeper insights into how users relate to technologies

IT networks will be at the heart of this development, as they provide a large-scale interface capable of processing large quantities of data produced through global worker activity. HR departments, IT departments, and business leaders will need to be in close contact to make the most of the data they can access. All IT networks can learn from this by implementing easily scalable data analytics software, and maximising the amount of data their workers are producing through low-cost solutions such as Unified Communications.

Telepresence for finding workers and virtual collaboration

The workforce of 2020 will be globally dispersed, and companies will be looking for ways to make the most of talent across the world. IT based solutions already in place today, such as virtually shared workspaces, mobile conferencing, and telepresence will prove integral in allowing for this. Your IT department can ensure that these technologies are already installed in order to ensure that organisations are ready for the future.

With new economies and talent-hubs coming from new locations across the world, the recruitment process of large organisations will involve searching across a global workforce for ideal candidates. This will require IT departments to provide data analysis to ease the process of looking through applications. All networks can prepare for this development by making the most of the data that they are currently producing.

Another green world for remote workers

Already, the internet has opened up opportunities for remote working, and entrepreneurial attitudes have encouraged casual models of employment and informal networks of collaborators on a project-by-project basis. These trends will continue, and many workers will come to expect more informal working arrangements, allowing them choice over when and where to work. Global WiFi initiatives such as WiFi4EU, LinkNYC and the City of London’s plan to implement public 5G WiFi have this in mind: work from 2020 will have the potential to be conducted anywhere, anytime.

In this world of workers choosing what they do on a task-by-task basis, organisations will want to maximise their pool of potential workers. IT systems and analytics need to be in place to allow a wide range of tasks to be accessed and completed remotely by a rotating group of casualised workers and let employees see what workers and talents are available to particular tasks. This will ensure that future generations of ‘digital natives’ feel they are in control of their work-life balance with the ability to choose work that makes the most of their talents and development, while organisations are making the most of the best talent available to them.

As environmental concerns become increasingly evident across the world, workers will be concerned that they are living ethically and contributing positively through what they do. By allowing workers choice of where and when they work, implementing remote IT networks will encourage workers’ sense that they are in control of their choices. This will help organisations to attract and retain a wide range of talented workers in the future.

Data breaches

More troublingly, the International Data Corporation predicts that a quarter of the world’s population will be affected by data breaches by 2020. Beyond credit card fraud, opportunistic criminals will be looking for more ‘durable data’, such as healthcare and general institutional records, in the hope that it will be of value to someone else. To ensure the confidence and safety of workers and clients, cybersecurity needs to be on the mind of all IT networks to prepare for the concerns of 2020.

Ready for the workplace of the future today

2020 might seem a long way away, but the IT infrastructures that will drive it are all set to be put in place today. By embracing newly accessible technologies, such as Unified Communications and Big Data analytics, your business can secure itself a strong position in the future worlds of work:

  • Implement Unified Communications that allow for remote & flexible working.
  • Start making the most of your available data, ready to use data analytics to drive efficiency, aid recruitment, and observe worker patterns.
  • Prepare against criminals’ increasing interest in data by investing in cybersecurity.
  • Make ‘remote working’ a possibility in order to attract a range of workers.

Get in touch for independent telecoms advice now to help you implement these technologies!

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