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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Diving Deep Into Digital Experiences

Kai Goerlich

 

Google Cardboard VR goggles cost US$8
By 2019, immersive solutions
will be adopted in 20% of enterprise businesses
By 2025, the market for immersive hardware and software technology could be $182 billion
In 2017, Lowe’s launched
Holoroom How To VR DIY clinics

From Dipping a Toe to Fully Immersed

The first wave of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) is here,

using smartphones, glasses, and goggles to place us in the middle of 360-degree digital environments or overlay digital artifacts on the physical world. Prototypes, pilot projects, and first movers have already emerged:

  • Guiding warehouse pickers, cargo loaders, and truck drivers with AR
  • Overlaying constantly updated blueprints, measurements, and other construction data on building sites in real time with AR
  • Building 3D machine prototypes in VR for virtual testing and maintenance planning
  • Exhibiting new appliances and fixtures in a VR mockup of the customer’s home
  • Teaching medicine with AR tools that overlay diagnostics and instructions on patients’ bodies

A Vast Sea of Possibilities

Immersive technologies leapt forward in spring 2017 with the introduction of three new products:

  • Nvidia’s Project Holodeck, which generates shared photorealistic VR environments
  • A cloud-based platform for industrial AR from Lenovo New Vision AR and Wikitude
  • A workspace and headset from Meta that lets users use their hands to interact with AR artifacts

The Truly Digital Workplace

New immersive experiences won’t simply be new tools for existing tasks. They promise to create entirely new ways of working.

VR avatars that look and sound like their owners will soon be able to meet in realistic virtual meeting spaces without requiring users to leave their desks or even their homes. With enough computing power and a smart-enough AI, we could soon let VR avatars act as our proxies while we’re doing other things—and (theoretically) do it well enough that no one can tell the difference.

We’ll need a way to signal when an avatar is being human driven in real time, when it’s on autopilot, and when it’s owned by a bot.


What Is Immersion?

A completely immersive experience that’s indistinguishable from real life is impossible given the current constraints on power, throughput, and battery life.

To make current digital experiences more convincing, we’ll need interactive sensors in objects and materials, more powerful infrastructure to create realistic images, and smarter interfaces to interpret and interact with data.

When everything around us is intelligent and interactive, every environment could have an AR overlay or VR presence, with use cases ranging from gaming to firefighting.

We could see a backlash touting the superiority of the unmediated physical world—but multisensory immersive experiences that we can navigate in 360-degree space will change what we consider “real.”


Download the executive brief Diving Deep Into Digital Experiences.


Read the full article Swimming in the Immersive Digital Experience.

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Kai Goerlich

About Kai Goerlich

Kai Goerlich is the Chief Futurist at SAP Innovation Center network His specialties include Competitive Intelligence, Market Intelligence, Corporate Foresight, Trends, Futuring and ideation. Share your thoughts with Kai on Twitter @KaiGoe.heif Futu

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Jenny Dearborn: Soft Skills Will Be Essential for Future Careers

Jenny Dearborn

The Japanese culture has always shown a special reverence for its elderly. That’s why, in 1963, the government began a tradition of giving a silver dish, called a sakazuki, to each citizen who reached the age of 100 by Keiro no Hi (Respect for the Elders Day), which is celebrated on the third Monday of each September.

That first year, there were 153 recipients, according to The Japan Times. By 2016, the number had swelled to more than 65,000, and the dishes cost the already cash-strapped government more than US$2 million, Business Insider reports. Despite the country’s continued devotion to its seniors, the article continues, the government felt obliged to downgrade the finish of the dishes to silver plating to save money.

What tends to get lost in discussions about automation taking over jobs and Millennials taking over the workplace is the impact of increased longevity. In the future, people will need to be in the workforce much longer than they are today. Half of the people born in Japan today, for example, are predicted to live to 107, making their ancestors seem fragile, according to Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott, professors at the London Business School and authors of The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity.

The End of the Three-Stage Career

Assuming that advances in healthcare continue, future generations in wealthier societies could be looking at careers lasting 65 or more years, rather than at the roughly 40 years for today’s 70-year-olds, write Gratton and Scott. The three-stage model of employment that dominates the global economy today—education, work, and retirement—will be blown out of the water.

It will be replaced by a new model in which people continually learn new skills and shed old ones. Consider that today’s most in-demand occupations and specialties did not exist 10 years ago, according to The Future of Jobs, a report from the World Economic Forum.

And the pace of change is only going to accelerate. Sixty-five percent of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in jobs that don’t yet exist, the report notes.

Our current educational systems are not equipped to cope with this degree of change. For example, roughly half of the subject knowledge acquired during the first year of a four-year technical degree, such as computer science, is outdated by the time students graduate, the report continues.

Skills That Transcend the Job Market

Instead of treating post-secondary education as a jumping-off point for a specific career path, we may see a switch to a shorter school career that focuses more on skills that transcend a constantly shifting job market. Today, some of these skills, such as complex problem solving and critical thinking, are taught mostly in the context of broader disciplines, such as math or the humanities.

Other competencies that will become critically important in the future are currently treated as if they come naturally or over time with maturity or experience. We receive little, if any, formal training, for example, in creativity and innovation, empathy, emotional intelligence, cross-cultural awareness, persuasion, active listening, and acceptance of change. (No wonder the self-help marketplace continues to thrive!)

The three-stage model of employment that dominates the global economy today—education, work, and retirement—will be blown out of the water.

These skills, which today are heaped together under the dismissive “soft” rubric, are going to harden up to become indispensable. They will become more important, thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning, which will usher in an era of infinite information, rendering the concept of an expert in most of today’s job disciplines a quaint relic. As our ability to know more than those around us decreases, our need to be able to collaborate well (with both humans and machines) will help define our success in the future.

Individuals and organizations alike will have to learn how to become more flexible and ready to give up set-in-stone ideas about how businesses and careers are supposed to operate. Given the rapid advances in knowledge and attendant skills that the future will bring, we must be willing to say, repeatedly, that whatever we’ve learned to that point doesn’t apply anymore.

Careers will become more like life itself: a series of unpredictable, fluid experiences rather than a tightly scripted narrative. We need to think about the way forward and be more willing to accept change at the individual and organizational levels.

Rethink Employee Training

One way that organizations can help employees manage this shift is by rethinking training. Today, overworked and overwhelmed employees devote just 1% of their workweek to learning, according to a study by consultancy Bersin by Deloitte. Meanwhile, top business leaders such as Bill Gates and Nike founder Phil Knight spend about five hours a week reading, thinking, and experimenting, according to an article in Inc. magazine.

If organizations are to avoid high turnover costs in a world where the need for new skills is shifting constantly, they must give employees more time for learning and make training courses more relevant to the future needs of organizations and individuals, not just to their current needs.

The amount of learning required will vary by role. That’s why at SAP we’re creating learning personas for specific roles in the company and determining how many hours will be required for each. We’re also dividing up training hours into distinct topics:

  • Law: 10%. This is training required by law, such as training to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

  • Company: 20%. Company training includes internal policies and systems.

  • Business: 30%. Employees learn skills required for their current roles in their business units.

  • Future: 40%. This is internal, external, and employee-driven training to close critical skill gaps for jobs of the future.

In the future, we will always need to learn, grow, read, seek out knowledge and truth, and better ourselves with new skills. With the support of employers and educators, we will transform our hardwired fear of change into excitement for change.

We must be able to say to ourselves, “I’m excited to learn something new that I never thought I could do or that never seemed possible before.” D!

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