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What Forces will Drive the ‘Future of Work’?

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Will digital leadership improve workforce efficiency? If yes, what does it take and why is it necessary? Read on.

​​A speaker that was once used for playing loud music has evolved with new capabilities to behave intelligently, it can access music from across the world, relay news, update weather and even manage other smart devices. This is just one example of how digital has crept into various spaces of our lives, from smartphone and watches to smart lights and smart cameras. 

In this blog, I would like to take you through how digital leadership is bound to completely change traditional workspaces. As per Gartner, by 2020 the greatest source of competitive advantage for 30 percent of organizations will come from the workforce's ability to creatively exploit digital technologies.


So, the question is, what will bring about the seismic shakeup of the workplace?

  • Emerging technologies
  • The global marketplace
  • Workforce dynamics


These influencers are going to guide us further to reconsider the roles of individuals in the workplace and compel us to re-engineer and reshape job roles, business models, processes, and organizational practices.

And while many portray the Future of Work as an accelerating march of machines and automation taking over, this can be a rather over simplistic projection. Yes, technology and automation have impacted workplaces, but that has mostly been to improve efficiencies and productivity. In future, technology and human intelligence will complement each other to solve many pressing business problems. 


Quite honestly, the Future of Work is already here!


In this regard, guiding organizations into the new digital reality will be what Gartner calls as the ‘Intelligent Digital Mesh.’ 


What do you mean by Intelligent Digital Mesh? 


Intelligent Digital Mesh merges the virtual and real world to create new categories or business models. Setting the foundation for the future digital ecosystems that will be determined by connected devices delivering next-gen digital services.


Weaving people, devices, data and services, the Intelligent Digital Mesh will tap into a wide array of endpoints, collect information and enhance human interaction.


How will it manifest in an enterprise?


The continuous rise of the number of endpoints, sensors, virtual assistants, chatbots, AI-powered platforms and architecture will help enterprises accomplish the Intelligent Digital Mesh, delivering higher business value.


Let’s go one step ahead and dig deeper into each key vertical that will drive innovation processes and reimagine business strategies:




In the literal sense, intelligence is the ability to learn, understand, reason and take decisions. With respect to this topic, I’m talking about the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into products, services or applications to do exactly the same, enabling the rise of autonomous systems.


One of the things that the industry will witness as we delve deeper into data economy is Augmented Analytics. Employing AI and Machine Learning (ML), Augmented Analytics will transform the manner in which analytics content is developed, consumed, and shared to optimize decision-making at the organizational level. 


It will not only facilitate better decision-making but also help enterprises unlock business value. 




AI technologies will make data smarter by blending it with contextual processes, self-learning capabilities and giving organizations the capacity to process vast volumes of data for their benefit. 


The intelligence of AI will also bring about Autonomous Things such as drones, robots, and autonomous vehicles, moving beyond rigid programming models and employing AI to enable them to interact more naturally with their surrounding environments.


As automation becomes imperative to increase output and productivity, technologies infusing intelligence will have a deep impact on the enterprise. What’s more? AI-Driven Development will improve the speed and accuracy of software development by automating code generation, improving testing accuracy, automate debugging with pattern recognition and assist in project management. 




This vertical focuses on developing digitally enhanced, connected environments. Gartner estimates that by 2020, we can expect 20 billion connected sensors, endpoints and digital twins will exist for more than a billion things. 


What is a Digital Twin? 


It refers to a digital replica of physical devices, processes and systems that can be put to use for various purposes. Digital Twins will move beyond the IoT (Internet of Things) to form a digital representation of an organization. DTO’s (Digital Twin of the Organization) will further assist organizations to create more flexible, dynamic, and responsive processes to drive better business outcomes. 


A robust connected environment consists of a seamless convergence of IoT and AI. With the power not only at the Cloud IoT core but at the edge. Empowering the Edge will propel edge-focused infrastructure into sharper focus, embed intelligence into devices, and will address the challenges related to bandwidth, connectivity, and latency.


Consequently, leading to enhanced Immersive Experiences such as Mixed Reality, changing the way people perceive the world. 




The mesh refers to how enterprises can take advantage of the connections between people, systems and services to deliver digital outcomes.


“Future place of work might not be an open plan office, but interconnected workspaces not tied to one place, but many.” - World Economic Forum


The use of IoT will lead to the rise of Smart Spaces which will employ sensors and beacons to increase convenience and sustainability. IoT paired with advanced analytics, will also make the workplace safer - especially in healthcare and manufacturing environments.


Another process that has the potential to transform industries such as pharmaceutical, supply chain planning, automation and military logistics is Quantum Computing. Though still in a nascent stage, its parallel execution and exponential scalability enables to solve problems that were too complex for traditional algorithms or approaches.  


The rise of the digital economy will also put an increased focus on digital Ethics and Privacy. Organizations, both in the private and public sector, have to pay close attention to how they are using personal data and ensure privacy and security never get compromised. 


As the third internet revolution, Web 3.0, is going to be based on Blockchain Technology that holds immense potential to impact the Future of Work - especially as work becomes more data-driven and data-dependent. Because blockchain is an incorruptible ledger with cryptography and distributed databases to record transactions, it makes the workplace and information exchange infinitely safer. It will provide new foundations for identity, privacy, and processing and enable smart contracts and retain data integrity.


I would like to leave you with thought - the Future of Work is about creating a sustainable, secure architecture that focuses on higher productivity, innovation, flexibility, and collaboration, and while we might view this future with trepidation (thank you, Black Mirror), the technologies at play will aid and assist, rather than monitor or replace.


Look forward to hearing from you, drop me a line here or on LinkedIn/Twitter.