Yesterday, I met with a number of technologists and educators from North Texas (Interlink) to discuss the changes that educators need to prepare for in their high school and college curricula. It was a lively discussion and reminded me of the issues IT organizations have in determining where to encourage their people to develop themselves and prepare the organization for the future...
I was talking yesterday to a professional futurist about the workplace of the future. We started off with the question “How do you think the workplace has evolved/changed over the last 10-15 years?”
I thought there has been an interesting merger of entertainment and work over the years with more gamification (Entertainment as work) and work taking place everywhere (work as entertainment). The days of sitting on a plane or train and resting are over – working is almost always an option.
We are well on our way to move from discrete devices to personal ecosystems that support our sensory, communications and entertainment needs. For example: 15 years ago, we would use MapQuest to print out a map before driving somewhere we’ve never been before. It was soon replaced by low cost discrete devices like a TomTom or Garmin. Today, I can do all that on my Android phone. It is less than a commodity, directions are a side effect of other tools I use.
My phone now knows when I am in the car and I can make it change its behavior for that environment, with little or no thought on my part. It can use the cars speakers… This shift to an integrated environment view rather than a product specific view is fundamental and well underway and will expand out to hotel rooms, conference rooms… rather than just my home office or car.
Another big shift that I’ve seen is the use of a whole communications arsenal instead of just email. 15 years ago, email was considered cool and new to some people – I think I had my first email account in the early 80s. Now it is recognized in its rightful role as a conduit of workflow and information… The synchronous phone call is almost an imposition not the mainstay of collaboration of a few years ago. Now hybrid tools (Lync as an example) is unifying communications, bridging between the asynchronous IM (r u there?) and buffering, yet supporting the interruption required for synchronous voice and video. With consumerization, we have those same capabilities in our personal lives now too (and they may even be better) and with a smart phone available all the time..
Personalization is common. We have come to expect that websites know we’ve been there before. With 3D printing, I can make what I want when I want it. Some of the cottage industry mentality has come back, allowing people to do what they want to do, at home.
What do you see as the biggest shift? I’ll try and put a post about some of the ways I see it shifting in the future soon, as well the effect on IT.
Are the measures we understand and use today up to the needs of tomorrow? IT within the organization has access to the tools and the connections to do more...
I am old enough to remember when the first PC landed on my desk, as well as my first laptop, smartphone… now it is an assumed part of work today. It takes more than new technology to differentiate an organization.
This sort of training tool would encourage people to get out and interact with other employees and find out information about the corporate culture and resources – going far deeper than most employee orientation today.