20 Trends that Will Shape the Next Decade: Part Four – Technology Trends


Part Four of a four-part series on the future of work and the developments impacting contingent workforce management focuses on “the ubiquity of technology”. This series continues to identify select perspectives contained in the comprehensive “2020 Report – 20 Trends that Will Shape the Next Decade” and other corroborating sources.

McKinsey & Company published research suggesting that automation technology continues to shape the future of work as more and more traditional job functions are being automated. They write, “We find that about 60 percent of all occupations have at least 30 percent of activities that are technically automatable, based on currently demonstrated technologies. This means that most occupations will change, and more people will have to work with technology.” This is a trend already being felt acutely by organizations in most industries as the competition for tech talent remains stiff.

Yet, the tech trends that matter to workforce management go well beyond automation technology. The very nature of how, when and where work can be performed has been irrevocably changed by the advent of cloud computing. Intuit names Working in the Cloud as a key trend that will continue to impact the future of work in the 20s. The remote work enabled by cloud tech has been (and continues to be) a boon to providers of project/SOW talent and even staff supplementation in areas like billing, administration, marketing, and a host of other job functions where the work is easily performed via the web.

Technology even influences talent acquisition practices. Social and Mobile Computing Connect and Change the World says the Intuit report and nextSource confirms this is indeed the case with respect to sourcing talent. With the Millennial generation’s extensive use of social media to form brand opinions, organizations must cultivate a positive “company brand” reputation across the social platforms where today’s talent spends time sharing. This is a trend nextSource has been promoting for some time, beginning with this post. Talent acquisition relies more than ever on “online reputation” and smart workforce management professionals are focusing on keeping tabs on their online image. At the same time, recruiters are increasingly relying on the social profiles of candidates to identify untoward behaviors among prospective hires. So this tech works both ways when it comes to sourcing.

Another critical workforce practice increasingly important to the future of work is the ability to harness data. Technology continues to drive the collection of deep pools of data. Performance data, price data, and many other metrics are captured in workforce management automation tools like VMS systems. Data is Critical for Competitive Advantage says the Intuit report and forward-thinking management harnesses the data collected in VMS tools to numerous competitive benefits. From pay rate optimization to metrics on such critical factors as “time to fill” and rates of requisition response from staffing supplier partners, there are countless ways the data can be used to improve overall performance of a workforce management program.

If you haven’t yet, circle back and read Parts I – III on demographic trends, social trends, and economic trends of this four-part series to gain a fuller perspective regarding the most pressing trends for the future of work in the 2020s. For consultation on how to prepare your organization for the Future of Work, speak with a workforce specialist today and embrace the economic trends identified by the multiple sources cited in this article.

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