Everything You Always Wanted to Know About The Future of Work | Cognizant


Though it’s undoubtedly true that the
future of work is always in the future, it’s also undeniably true that the
future of your work has never been closer. The rise of robots, machine intelligence, distributed ledgers, quantum physics — a world being eaten alive by software. All of these trends point to the new world which is shaping up quite differently from any world we ever seen or worked in before.
From almost the last 10 years, the Center for the Future of Work has been cataloging
and commenting on these and a whole host of other extraordinary dynamics. But in
these 10 years we’ve never attempted to pull together all of our analysis and
insight into one report—until now. From and To is just that—a state of the union
for the future of work. It’s everything you wanted to know about the future of
your work but we’re afraid to ask. Here’s a look at some of the key trends
in the report. From hierarchies to wirearchies, from car systems to feudalism
to royalty and politics and now in big multinational businesses, humans have
always tended to organize themselves into hierarchies. But now in our
hyper-connected world, hierarchies are a bug, not a feature—a disconnect in a
networked world. Now Millennials prefer to work in wirearchies—dynamic
networks of connected nodes free of predefined priorities or ranks. In many
businesses, the agenda of the formal hierarchy is misaligned often conflicts
with the realities of how work gets done. Will hierarchies go
entirely extinct? Probably not, but the future is a mix of
both: of the formal and the informal, of the hierarchy and the wirearchy. From
bits to qubits: though modern digital technology can often seem miraculous,
what’s really miraculous is that it’s all made possible by the simplest of
concepts—ones and zeros. Individual transistors at the heart of computers
are no more than on/off switches, represented as either 1 or 0. But now
we’re reaching the limit of bits—as CPU manufacturers struggle to make binary
based computing any smaller or faster. Enter quantum computing! Long a
scientific theory but now becoming a reality, these computers go beyond this or binary by using quantum bits or qubits—simply
put a bit can only be either 1 or 0; a qubit can be both 1 and 0 at exactly the
same time. With this step functioning computational power, a whole new class of processing power is being revealed: predicting traffic 45 minutes in advance,
completely solving prime numbers or modeling the molecular interaction of
drugs with almost 100% accuracy—these are some of the scenarios that binary
computers will never be able to achieve but which will be in reach with quantum
computing to hand. From the suit to be hoodie: the office and the suit have gone
together like Laurel and Hardy since well… Laurel and Hardy. Picture somebody sitting at a desk in an office in virtually any part of the modern world
and your mind’s eye goes to a jacket on the back of a chair, a slightly loosen
collar and tie, a yellow sticky note “Don’t forget the milk” placed on the edge
of the computer screen. But now suits are for suits: creative, mold breaking leaders
don’t wrap themselves in the conformity of an idea or a drape. The suit no longer
fits. Take a peek inside Goldman Sachs. Sure
you can still spot some suits but the real power is off to the side of the
room invisible behind a 27-inch Mac, clad in a hoodie. 70 hours minimum a week of
diving for pearls in PEARL in a gray flannel suit does not compute. The a DJ now runs the world’s most powerful financial institution is proof if proof is needed
that every company is now a technology company and every company now dresses like one or should. Hoodies, the $3500 type from Piana – not a $19.99 from Target, rule. From retired to re-tired: for the last hundred years the arc of a
working life has been pretty clear. Go to school, go to college, get on a career
ladder, knuckle down to 40 years, relax for a decade or so and then die. But now
retirement—a phase of life that used to last 10 or 15 years from 65 to 80—
stretches out a head for 30 or 40 years. If we quit work at 65 have we saved
enough money to last us that long? For many people the answer is “No”. Live
long enough to live forever,” says Ray Kurzweil. Sure, but how am I going to be
able to afford it? Fortunately the rise of the gig economy offers us a
potential lifeline. We never need to fully retire or we can unretire as
circumstances dictate. Gigs can put food on the table as long as we can keep in
the game. Re-tired, we can seize the work opportunities that are blossoming across
the gig economy. Ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, platforms such as
Upwork for writing, accounting, design and related services, Guru for IT and
engineering skills, Amazon’s Mechanical Turk offering knowledge workers a way to
bid for expert work needed by organizations large and small. All of
these offer the post 65 crowd a way to keep the money coming in rather than
just going out. From mass-produced to me produced: for the last hundred years
we’ve become accustomed unless we’re Lord or Lady of the Manor to wearing
store-bought off-the-shelf clothes. The result: Well, we all look kind of the same.
Now through rapid prototyping and short-run production with 3D printers,
we’re paving the way for an era of personalized print-it-yourself products.
Forget the same as what everybody else is wearing vibe, now we want uber-personalized one-of-a-kind, perfectly tailored clothing, that’s still
affordable. Already Nike has started using 3D printing for customized sports
shoes. Adidas is getting into the Sewbot game, a mixture of AI, robotics and
3D printing. By taking a picture via an app, Adidas customers can have their body measurements taken and the data sent to the nearest Sewbot which will create the
item of clothing to fit perfectly. No more ordering three versions of the same
item to test the size and sending two back. Returns will diminish as will the
retail supply chain. The hope for a completely sustainable model of clothing
and footwear production is fast becoming a reality. Shoetopia is a product that’s similar to the Adidas model allows customers to
take pictures via the app and have shoes custom-made in a local digital
fabrication center. The shoes are even biodegradable. The next step is to bring
these production sensors into our own homes with personal 3d printers. PIY is
the eco-friendly future of manufacturing and retail. Ranging across technologies,
business models and demographics, From and To outlines what we consider the
most important trends that will change what you do and how you do it: be you a
chief executive, a student, a politician or just a regular worker. Whether you’re
excited by the future or fearful, this is no time to not be paying attention. The
future of your work is changing. This report is your field guide.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *