Sections

The Jobs Of The Future Are Yet To Be Written

Hessie Jones

Dont_be_a_Job_Hopper-_-_NARA_-_514129-733x1024I’ve been told I’m a fatalist. Perhaps I am. From all the research I’ve done on the Future of Work and the amazing peers I’ve collaborated with in this category, it is  clear to me that the past definitely does not dictate the future. As this image implies, there was a time when we all expected to follow a common path: from school to a job for life.

I’ve seen firsthand how technology has wielded its way into the marketing sector. It’s changed the way people consume information and how they communicate with each other. This disruption in communication has turned the marketing industry on its head, and we find ourselves continuously struggling to keep up. Within a decade, I have seen colleagues’ careers cut short – those who have banked tremendous experience in traditional mass communications: TV, print, radio, and promotions.

The communications industry is in a perpetual state of disruption

By 2005 a new crop of roles had emerged, necessitated by the increased demand for web-based solutions: U/X design, online advertising, PPC management, community management, and web development. Now with the rise of ad-blocking and ever-increasing consumer demand for transparency and privacy, the online media industry is already being disrupted. The very jobs that were in high demand a decade earlier will need some necessary modifications. In my recent post, Have Consumers Won? Ad Blockers and the Demise of the Industry, I concluded:

Consumers are sending a message to the industry. They don’t want the current web experience, interrupted with annoying ads and messaging. They have been running away from it for sometime. The adoption of Ad blockers are just the beginning.

The pace of technological disruption has become so fast within the communications industry that marketers are turning to MOOCs and reference blogs just to keep up.

We are not alone. All industries are experiencing this.

“We are on the cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”

The World Economic Forum recently published a report that “represented more than 13 million employees across 9 broad industry sectors in 15 major developed and emerging economies and regional economic areas.” The report indicates:

Developments in previously disjointed fields such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing, and genetics and biotechnology are all building on and amplifying one another.

Smart systems—homes, factories, farms, grids, or entire cities—will help tackle problems ranging from supply chain management to climate change.

The chart below cites the instigating variables that are forcing industries and organizations to undergo major structural and operational changes, from prevailing mobile consumption to the increasing efficiency of cloud computing to Big Data usage.

techwef

We are also witnessing a decline in pure labor. This article uses the term “transitioning labor,” which is disconcerting in and of itself. The larger losses (between 2015-2020) will be felt in office and administration and manufacturing and production, to the tune of 7.1 million jobs in the U.S.

wef2

Is labor dead?

What technology has enabled is an exponential surge in productivity that has greatly improved gross domestic production and efficiency in the meantime.

The rise of the industrial revolution depended on human capital to produce things to meet market demand. WWII … the growth of the automotive industry… for decades, industries have relied on workers to improve productivity. The effect was cyclical:

…as businesses generated more value from their workers, the country as a whole became richer, which fueled more economic activity and created even more jobs.

Consider this, however: Based on the chart below, productivity and employment, which for decades correlated, began to diverge around the year 2000. As production strengthens, employment begins to wane. Over time, the economic growth in certain sectors do not rely on creation of jobs.

Note the growing disparity between GDP and household income since 1975.  The median household income overtime remains stagnant.

Authors of Race Against The Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy Eric Brynjolfsson, professor of MIT Sloan School of Management, and Andrew McAfee call this the “great decoupling.”

destroying.jobs_.chart1x910_0

Automation and robotics are already here

Advances are happening everywhere. A recent study by academics at Oxford University suggests that 47% of today’s jobs could be automated in the next two decades.

W. Brian Arthur, a former economics professor at Stanford University, calls it the “autonomous economy.”

As Brynjolfsson asserts:

People are falling behind because technology is advancing so fast and our skills and organizations aren’t keeping up.

The socioeconomic implications of this transition period are being felt today. Despite the larger economic impacts of job losses, those who are thriving fall within technology sectors and industries relying on the next-gen skill sets to respond to this increasingly competitive environment. Consider how Uber is currently impacting regulations in the taxi industry… or how AirBNB is leaving the smaller hotel chains scrambling… or how Tesla and Google will bring the car industry to its knees.

This is progress. But it’s also widening the skills gap and polarizing an economy.

Education is the starting point

It’s clear our current education is ill-equipped to prepare future generations for the impact of these ongoing changes. Consider the vantage point of a student entering college today and in the coming years. Accenture notes:

More Americans go to college than ever. But how many think about the return they will get from tuition payments that can easily reach $200,000? Up to half are unemployed or underemployed a year after graduation. And two-thirds say they need further training and instruction to enter the workforce.

As student debt balloons, it’s time for society to reevaluate post-secondary education—and our entire system. We need to create new and innovative systems that help individuals achieve their potential.

It’s clear that the Harvards and MITs of the world will need to change their models in the future as well. Free or more affordable education in the form of MOOCs (massive open online courses) and organizations like The Khan Academy or The Code Academy are already drawing students (of all ages) in droves.

The success of the Industrial Revolution or later was a result, in part, of the current education that was in step with the demands of the market. Not anymore.

The disconnect between the current education and the needs of organizations has never been clearer. PWC came out with this announcement last August and stated that degrees or A-level results will no longer be a criteria in assessing the value of potential candidates.

Here’s what I am observing today among peers and millennials: We are all in a mode of reinvention and continuous learning, striving to learn new skills in web development, writing, coding… all in the effort to be marketable under the new job conditions.

Machines can never replace humans

As part of our series on Humanity in Data, we will continue to explore the need for human-only abilities to help industry and society to progress in the coming decades. While automation and robotics will displace simple functions and be able to analyze zetabytes of information and deliver conclusions, human decision-making and creativity will be necessary to adjust to the growing challenges the world will face.

What’s exciting is that the resources available for learning are vast. As dismal as the current state of the nation is, we are at a critical point of reinvention that allows each and everyone of us to create opportunities to respond to real needs today.

I saw this on Business Insider: The future opportunities look like this:

1. Tele-surgeon: These surgeons operate on people remotely with robotic tools instead of human hands.

2. Nostalgist: Nostalgists are interior designers specializing in recreating memories for retired people. The elderly of 2030 who don’t want to reside in a typical “retirement village” will have the luxury of living in a space inspired by their favorite decade or place.

3. Re-wilder: These professionals were formally called “farmers.” The role of the re-wilder, however, is not to raise food crops but rather to undo environmental damage to the countryside caused by people, factories, cars, etc.

4. Simplicity expert: The simplicity experts of 2030 are interested in looking at how businesses can simplify and streamline their operations. For instance, they can reduce 15 administrative steps to three, or four interviews to one, or three days of work to a half-hour.

5. Garbage designer: Garbage designers find creative ways to turn the byproducts of the manufacturing process into high-quality materials for making entirely separate products.

6. Robot counselor: In 2030, robots will play a greater part in providing home care and services than they do today. The robot counselor will be a resource for picking the right bot for a family, by observing how the family interacts and identifying their needs and lifestyle.

7. Healthcare navigator: These professionals teach patients and their loved ones the ins and outs of a complicated medical system. The navigator also helps people to manage their contact with the medical system with the least amount of stress and delay.

8. Solar technology specialist: These specialists may own land where they manage a large spread of solar grids, to sell the harvested power to stations and other communities — or they may work as consultants in cities and other urban spaces, helping building owners to design, build, and maintain solar panels.

9. Aquaponic fish farmer: In 2030, populations of wild fish are disappearing — so new production methods like aquaponics will step in to replace fish that we can no longer catch in the wild. Aquaponics combines fish farming with gardening, where plants grow over water to cover its surface, while fish live below. The plants return oxygen to the water, and the fish produce waste that provides fertilizer for the plants.

Progress dictates a shift in mindset

Retirement doesn’t exist for many. Reinvention is mandatory to survival.

Organizations and the employable workforce are figuring this out as the needs of the market evolve.

For the next generation, perhaps the question needs to change from “What do you want to be when you grow up?” to  “What do you think needs fixing and what do you want to do to make a difference?

Want more insight on where the workplace is headed? See Social Collaboration: A Powerful Force In The Future Of Work.

Image source: Wikimedia

Comments

IoT Can Keep You Healthy — Even When You Sleep [VIDEO]

Christine Donato

Today the Internet of Things is revamping technology. IoT image from American Geniuses.jpg

Smart devices speak to each other and work together to provide the end user with a better product experience.

Coinciding with this change in technology is a change in people. We’ve transitioned from a world of people who love processed foods and french fries to people who eat kale chips and Greek yogurt…and actually like it.

People are taking ownership of their well-being, and preventative care is at the forefront of focus for both physicians and patients. Fitness trackers alert wearers of the exact number of calories burned from walking a certain number of steps. Mobile apps calculate our perfect nutritional balance. And even while we sleep, people are realizing that it’s important to monitor vitals.

According to research conducted at Harvard University, proper sleep patterns bolster healthy side effects such as improved immune function, a faster metabolism, preserved memory, and reduced stress and depression.

Conversely, the Harvard study determined that lack of sleep can negatively affect judgement, mood, and the ability retain information, as well as increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even premature death.

Through the Internet of Things, researchers can now explore sleep patterns without the usual sleep labs and movement-restricting electrode wires. And with connected devices, individuals can now easily monitor and positively influence their own health.

EarlySense, a startup credited with the creation of continuous patient monitoring solutions focused on early detection of patient deterioration, mid-sleep falls, and pressure ulcers, began with a mission to prevent premature and preventable deaths.

Without constant monitoring, patients with unexpected clinical deterioration may be accidentally neglected, and their conditions can easily escalate into emergency situations.

Motivated by many instances of patients who died from preventable post-elective surgery complications, EarlySense founders created a product that constantly monitors patients when hospital nurses can’t, alerting the main nurse station when a patient leaves his or her bed and could potentially fall, or when a patient’s vital signs drop or rise unexpectedly.

Now EarlySense technology has expanded outside of the hospital realm. The EarlySense wellness sensor, a device connected via the Internet of Things, mobile solutions, and supported by SAP HANA Cloud Platform, monitors all vital signs while a person sleeps. The device is completely wireless and lies subtly underneath one’s mattress. The sensor collects all mechanical vibrations that the patient’s body emits while sleeping, continuously monitoring heart and respiratory rates.

Watch this short video to learn more about how the EarlySense wellness sensor works:

The result is faster diagnoses with better treatments and outcomes. Sleep issues can be identified and addressed; individuals can use the data collected to make adjustments in diet or exercise habits; and those on heavy pain medications can monitor the way their bodies react to the medication. In addition, physicians can use the data collected from the sensor to identify patient health problems before they escalate into an emergency situation.

Connected care is opening the door for a new way to practice health. Through connected care apps that link people with their doctors, fitness trackers that measure daily activity, and sensors like the EarlySense wellness sensor, today’s technology enables people and physicians to work together to prevent sickness and accidents before they occur. Technology is forever changing the way we live, and in turn we are living longer, healthier lives.

To learn how SAP HANA Cloud Platform can affect your business, visit It&Me.

For more stories, join me on Twitter.

Comments

About Christine Donato

Christine Donato is a Senior Integrated Marketing Specialist at SAP. She is an accomplished project manager and leader of multiple marketing and sales enablement campaigns and events, that supported a multi million euro business.

Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Brews Sustainable Growth On Cloud ERP

David Trites

Recently I had the pleasure of hosting a podcast with Paula Muesse, COO and CFO of Zhena’s Gypsy Tea, a small, organic, fair-trade tea company based in California, and Ursula Ringham from SAP. We talked about some of the business challenges Zhena’s faces and how the company’s ERP solution helped spur growth and digital transformation.

Small but complex business

~ERP helped Zhena’s sustain growthZhena’s has grown from one person (Zhena Muzyka) selling hand-packed tea from a cart, into a thriving small business that puts quality, sustainability, and fair trade first. And although the company is small its business is complex.

For starters, tea isn’t grown in the United States, so Zhena’s has to maintain and import inventory from multiple warehouses around the world. Some of their tea blends have up to 14 ingredients, and each one has a different lead time. That makes demand-planning difficult. In addition, the FDA and US Customs require designated ingredients be traced and treated a certain way to comply with regulations.

Being organic and fair trade also makes things more complicated. Zhena’s has to pass an annual organic compliance audit for all products and processing facilities. And all products need to be traceable back to the farms where the tea was grown and picked to ensure the workers (mostly women) are paid fair wages.

Sustainable growth

Prior to implementing its new ERP system, Zhena’s was using a mix of tools like QuickBooks, Excel, and paper to manage the business. But to sustain growth and ensure future success, the company had to make some changes. Zhena’s needed an integrated software solution that could handle all facets of the business. It needed a tool that could help with cost control and profitability analysis and facilitate complex reporting and regulatory requirements.

The SAP Business ByDesign solution was the perfect choice. The cloud-based ERP solution reduced both business and IT costs, simplified processes from demand planning to accounting, and enabled mobile access and real-time reporting.

Check out the podcast to hear more about how Zhena’s successfully transformed its business by moving to SAP Business ByDesign.

 This article originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

Building a successful company is hard work. SAP’s affordable solutions for small and midsize companies are designed to make it easier. Simple to install and use, SAP SME Solutions help you automate and integrate your business processes to give real-time, actionable insights. So you can make decisions on the spot. Find out how Run Simple can work for you. Visit sap.com/sme.

Comments

About David Trites

David Trites is a Director of SAP Global Marketing. He is responsible for producing interesting and compelling customer stories that will humanize the SAP brand, support sales and marketing teams across SAP, and increase the awareness of SAP in key markets.

The Future of Cybersecurity: Trust as Competitive Advantage

Justin Somaini and Dan Wellers

 

The cost of data breaches will reach US$2.1 trillion globally by 2019—nearly four times the cost in 2015.

Cyberattacks could cost up to $90 trillion in net global economic benefits by 2030 if cybersecurity doesn’t keep pace with growing threat levels.

Cyber insurance premiums could increase tenfold to $20 billion annually by 2025.

Cyberattacks are one of the top 10 global risks of highest concern for the next decade.


Companies are collaborating with a wider network of partners, embracing distributed systems, and meeting new demands for 24/7 operations.

But the bad guys are sharing intelligence, harnessing emerging technologies, and working round the clock as well—and companies are giving them plenty of weaknesses to exploit.

  • 33% of companies today are prepared to prevent a worst-case attack.
  • 25% treat cyber risk as a significant corporate risk.
  • 80% fail to assess their customers and suppliers for cyber risk.

The ROI of Zero Trust

Perimeter security will not be enough. As interconnectivity increases so will the adoption of zero-trust networks, which place controls around data assets and increases visibility into how they are used across the digital ecosystem.


A Layered Approach

Companies that embrace trust as a competitive advantage will build robust security on three core tenets:

  • Prevention: Evolving defensive strategies from security policies and educational approaches to access controls
  • Detection: Deploying effective systems for the timely detection and notification of intrusions
  • Reaction: Implementing incident response plans similar to those for other disaster recovery scenarios

They’ll build security into their digital ecosystems at three levels:

  1. Secure products. Security in all applications to protect data and transactions
  2. Secure operations. Hardened systems, patch management, security monitoring, end-to-end incident handling, and a comprehensive cloud-operations security framework
  3. Secure companies. A security-aware workforce, end-to-end physical security, and a thorough business continuity framework

Against Digital Armageddon

Experts warn that the worst-case scenario is a state of perpetual cybercrime and cyber warfare, vulnerable critical infrastructure, and trillions of dollars in losses. A collaborative approach will be critical to combatting this persistent global threat with implications not just for corporate and personal data but also strategy, supply chains, products, and physical operations.


Download the executive brief The Future of Cybersecurity: Trust as Competitive Advantage.


Comments

Tags:

Unleash The Digital Transformation

Kadamb Goswami

The world has changed. We’ve seen massive disruption on multiple fronts – business model disruption, cybercrime, new devices, and an app-centric world. Powerful networks are crucial to success in a mobile-first, cloud-first world that’s putting an ever-increasing increasing amount of data at our fingertips. With the Internet of Things (IoT) we can connect instrumented devices worldwide and use new data to transform business models and products.

Disruption

Disruption comes in many forms. It’s not big or scary, it’s just another way of describing change and evolution. In the ’80s it manifested as call centers. Then, as the digital landscape began to take shape, it was the Internet, cloud computing … now it’s artificial intelligence (AI).

Digital transformation

Digital transformation means different things to different companies, but in the end I believe it will be a simple salvation that will carry us forward. If you Bing (note I worked for Microsoft for 15 years before experiencing digital transformation from the lens of the outside world), digital transformation, it says it’s “the profound and accelerating transformation of business activities, processes, competencies, and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of digital technologies and their impact across society in a strategic and prioritized way.” (I’ll simplify that; keep reading.)

A lot of today’s digital transformation ideas are ripped straight from the scripts of sci-fi entertainment, whether you’re talking about the robotic assistants of 2001: A Space Odyssey or artificial intelligence in the Star Trek series. We’re forecasting our future with our imagination. So, let’s move on to why digital transformation is needed in our current world.

Business challenges

The basic challenges facing businesses today are the same as they’ve always been: engaging customers, empowering employees, optimizing operations, and reinventing the value offered to customers. However, what has changed is the unique convergence of three things:

  1. Increasing volumes of data, particularly driven by the digitization of “things” and heightened individual mobility and collaboration
  1. Advancements in data analytics and intelligence to draw actionable insight from the data
  1. Ubiquity of cloud computing, which puts this disruptive power in the hands of organizations of all sizes, increasing the pace of innovation and competition

Digital transformation in plain English

Hernan Marino, senior vice president, marketing, & global chief operating officer at SAP, explains digital transformation by giving specific industry examples to make it simpler.

Automobile manufacturing used to be the work of assembly lines, people working side-by-side literally piecing together, painting, and churning out vehicles. It transitioned to automation, reducing costs and marginalizing human error. That was a business transformation. Now, we are seeing companies like Tesla and BMW incorporate technology into their vehicles that essentially make them computers on wheels. Cameras. Sensors. GPS. Self-driving vehicles. Syncing your smartphone with your car.

The point here is that companies need to make the upfront investments in infrastructure to take advantage of digital transformation, and that upfront investment will pay dividends in the long run as technological innovations abound. It is our job to collaboratively work with our customers to understand what infrastructure changes need to be made to achieve and take advantage of digital transformation.

Harman gives electric companies as another example. Remember a few years ago, when you used to go outside your house and see the little power meter spinning as it recorded the kilowatts you use? Every month, the meter reader would show up in your yard, record your usage, and report back to the electric company.

Most electric companies then made a business transformation and installed smart meters – eliminating the cost of the meter reader and integrating most homes into a smart grid that gave customers access to their real-time information. Now, as renewable energy evolves and integrates more fully into our lives, these same electric companies that switched over to smart meters are going to make additional investments to be able to analyze the data and make more informed decisions that will benefit both the company and its customers.

That is digital transformation. Obviously, banks, healthcare, entertainment, trucking, and e-commerce all have different needs than auto manufacturers and electric companies. It is up to us – marketers and account managers promoting digital transformation – to identify those needs and help our clients make the digital transformation as seamlessly as possible.

Digital transformation is more than just a fancy buzzword, it is our present and our future. It is re-envisioning existing business models and embracing a different way of bringing together people, data, and processes to create more for their customers through systems of intelligence.

Learn more about what it means to be a digital business.

Comments

About Goswami Kadamb

Kadamb is a Senior Program Manager at SAP where he is responsible for developing and executing strategic sales program with Concur SaaS portfolio. Prior to that he led several initiatives with Microsoft's Cloud & Enterprise business to enable Solution Sales & IaaS offerings.