Millennials will demand a virtual workspace and will insist on an arrangement that suits their neeeds, while cybercriminals will become more sophisticated and applications will blend mobility, security and data storage in the workplace.
That’s the word from Fujitsu Americas’ projections for the future workforce of 2025 and the implications for enterprise technology.
“In today’s technology-focused culture, an unprecedented amount of our daily lives is now digitized. By 2025, enterprise technology will necessarily become more human centric than it is today,” says Neil Jarvis, chief information officer at Fujitsu America. “This shift, which is due to an increasingly innovative society that demands a ubiquitously people-friendly user experience in the workplace, will blur the lines between the enterprise and life itself.”
According to the Freelancers Union, there are 53 million people doing freelance work in the US – 34 percent of the national workforce. This number could expand to as much as 89 percent since Millennials report a strong preference for choosing when and where they work in lieu of being placed in a 9-to-5 position. As technology advances to the extent that employees can be as productive working remotely as they are at the office (maybe even more so), many organizations will no longer need a traditional office setting in five to ten years. Even today, it is not uncommon for companies to allow their employees to work from home or remotely on a consistent basis, as all that is typically required of today’s worker is a laptop, Wi-Fi connection and mobile phone. And despite those who oppose virtual workplace arrangements on the grounds of it inhibiting collaboration, engagement and innovation, today’s ever-connected employees now demand the level of enterprise connectivity that they enjoy outside of work, so tools like telepresence, unified communications platforms, and enterprise social media tools are a must and will change the role of the IT department significantly.
Meanwhile, by now, it goes without saying: the Internet of Things is introducing new cybersecurity challenges for IT, and it is changing the way we work. Gartner estimate that 4.9 billion connected things are in use in 2015, up 30 percent from 2014, and will reach 25 billion by 2020. This exponential increase in the volume of data means that networks will be more vulnerable to information breaches; however, this doesn’t necessarily mean that these breaches will lead to increased fraud as making sense of all that data still has a long way to go.
“Most security breaches do not target personal information with the intention of identity theft, and often, they are carried out just to prove it can be done,” said Jarvis. “Having said that, just as our interconnected existence expands, so will cybercriminals’ knowledge of data analytics, raising a very important question: Are CIOs prepared to outsmart cyber-criminals as they amp up their expertise? With the unsteady success rates of applying cybersecurity practices in our professional and personal lives, it’s safe to say there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in this area.”
By 2016, Gartner also predicts that 30 percent of BYOD strategies will leverage personal applications and data for enterprise purposes, indicating that the line between personal and enterprise usage of applications, data and devices is fading. The newest members of the workforce are technologically savvy, adaptable and innovative, and they will continue to demand improvements in the way enterprise technology is delivered and stored, to ultimately allow them to work more productively from anywhere and at any time, with faster, more efficient technology. The company predicts that in 10 years much of enterprise technology will become more consumer-driven, where BYOD will stand for “bring your own datacenter” in lieu of its current definition, “bring your own device.” Changes like the new BYOD will have far-reaching effects on mobility, security and data storage in the workplace.
“We’re seeing this already, but working remotely will be just as effective as working from the office, since employees will have all the corporate information they need in their dedicated cloud,” says Nick Magliato, head of Managed Infrastructure Services at Fujitsu America. “The new BYOD, enabled by cloud, will allow consumers and businesses to leverage the same information, applications and tools, facilitating the user experience, increasing productivity and, perhaps most important, meeting the high expectations of today’s users.”