The Future of Work is today. Are you ready?

07 Mar

The Future of Work is today. Are you ready?

Giulia Carosella
Research Analyst, European Industry Solutions, IDC
Read full bio  @GiuliaCarosella

We are now witnessing significant disruptions to the way work is done, the concept of work itself is undergoing a fundamental change as a result of demographic and social trends including the urge of millennials as a growing share of workforce and the rapid technological changes from mobility to automation.  

This vibrant scenario has made Future of Work an enterprise wide imperative, raising questions such as:

  • How to get Future of Work ready?
  • Which technologies will be more suitable to support the way we will work in the future? And which will be their impact?
  • What are the best practices, processes and platforms to consider in the FoW journey?

These questions and many others have been the focus of the IDC Future of Work Conference held in Milan last week. The conference has been an opportunity for learning more on IDC Future of Work framework, listening to key players in the market and successful case studies and experiencing future of work in action thanks to a speaker virtually participating to the conference.

Enable the future of Workculture focusing on what matters for Employees Experience, empower the future of Workspace through as-a-service models to gain agility, flexibility and cost efficiencies, and augment the future of Workforce leveraging emerging technologies, such as AI and robotics. These are the key takeaways from the opening keynote speech presented by Roberta Bigliani, Executive Sponsor of IDC European Future of Work Practice.


Source: IDC FoW Practice, 2019

Employee Experience to thrive in the talent battle

As outlined by the recent IDC Future of Work 2019 survey results, one in two companies consider future of workculture a priority. This implies adopting a borderless, agile and dynamic organization able to adopt new approaches to talent sourcing and management, shift from key performance indicators (KPIs) to key behavioral indicators (KBIs) and create superior employee experiences (EX).

IDC predicts that “by 2021 at least 60% of G200 companies will actively monitor and manage employee experience and utilize EX as a key differentiator to build and maintain B2B and B2C relationships”.

For Michele Apa, SE Manager at VMware, personalizing employee experience creating role-based access to resources has a fundamental impact on improving employees’ productivity when combined with simplified IT consumption and dynamic collaborative teams. The central role of employees in any Future of Work initiative has also been recognized by Fabio Chiodini, Modern Workplace Lead at Avanade, as essential component to deliver sustainable value.

According to Pascal Barnard, Head of HR Shared Services & Smart Working Project Manager at Axa, “Every change occurs more easily if there are a clear vision and people trusting it “. Axa brought on stage their experience with implementing a smart working initiative, one of the top FoW initiatives undertaken by Italian companies according to the IDC Future of Work 2019 survey results. 75% cut in travel costs and significant reduction in number of sick leaves just to mention some of the key smart working benefits reported by Claudio Saccavini, Technical Director at Arsenàl.IT.

Collaborative, borderless and “as a service” workspace to accelerate productivity and agility

Workspace is less and less place and time dependent, becoming more flexible and connected to enable workers to benefit from increased mobility, collaboration and access to resources. It increasingly leverages new “as a service” buying models for acquiring infrastructure, software and devices. This is critical to boost employee satisfaction and productivity, while improving organizational agility.

Thinking about the roadmap for enabling the digital workplace, according to the global software company LRS Output Management, it goes through some key requirements: agile IT, IT infrastructure standardization and a strong leadership to break IT silos approach. The road is by no means without obstacles, for the global software vendor ASG Technologies a major challenge of the digital workspace whereby resources can be accessed any time and from any device is security, the answer to that is central access control and a policy driven context.

AI and Robotics to Augment Workforce

As history tells us, each wave of technological disruption has profoundly changed the job market and the scale always tips towards a positive impact on jobs. When asking companies about their estimated impact of AI and robotics on number of jobs, a positive outlook emerges and “the most mature FoW companies are also the ones showing greater optimism” says Roberta Bigliani.

IDC predicts that “by 2024, 50% of structured repeatable tasks will be automated and 20% of workers in knowledge-intensive tasks will have AI-infused software or other digitally connected technology as a coworker”.

Technologies such as AI and robotics are expected to augment and automate workers, rather than replace them, freeing up workers from repetitive tasks and allowing them to focus on value-added activities. This will increase workers satisfaction and productivity, helping them unlock their latent creativity, perception and imagination thus creating new opportunities for value creation within the organization. This idea has been further stressed by Cristiano Boscato, Board Member at Injenia, who introduced the concepts of Social Process Management and collective intelligence arguing that to get to artificial intelligence you have to start with collective intelligence, keeping human in the loop, as every innovation starts with people. 

IDC European Future of Work (FoW) Practice Team will be hosting its first IDC European FoW Executive Summit, to be held in Germany on June 24 – 25, 2019. This IDC Executive Summit will bring together C-level executives from various lines of business to discuss the requirements for building a successful FoW strategy. If you want to have more information have a look at the official Summit site and or reach out to Kathrin Hopkins (khopkins@idc.com). To have more information on the IDC European Future of Work Practice have a look at the video below or reach out to Angela Salmeron (asalmeron@idc.com) or Jan Alexa (jalexa@idc.com).  

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