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Six Predictions for the Future of Work in 2017

Jimmy Fitzgerald, Vice President, Asia-Pacific & Japan, ServiceNow | Dec. 13, 2016
Some of these changes will take us out of our comfort zones, at first. But many changes we will welcome with open arms and wonder how we ever got anything done without them.

Give Me the Apps I Want or Else...

Digital natives, DIYers and citizen developers have cultivated a maker movement. The rise of personal choice and the impact of this culture of people that refuse to accept off-the-shelf solutions and prefer to make, modify and control the things they interact with every day are beginning to be felt in enterprises worldwide.

This is a natural evolution of the BYOD era, where personal tech invaded the enterprise. In fact, employees are connecting personal devices at an average of two more per user. This mindset shift in the way employees envision the use of the tools they are trained on will continue to permeate the walls of the enterprise in 2017. Employees will demand that the technology used in the office should enable, not dictate how they work. If solutions do not meet their needs, then they will create apps to their specifications. What's more, they can.

IDC says: The digital transformation economy - operating at scale - will be "driven primarily by code." We'll see the coder role continue to divide into the elite professional developers and those "aspirational" developers who tap the growing pool of low-code apps. All software will evolve to include low-code capabilities, enabling employees in every department to customise interfaces with simple drag-and-drop tools or build full-fledged applications, while the IT team will remain responsible for brokering and managing these apps.

Welcome to the Task-Marketplace Inside Your Company

When the tidal wave of the much hyped consumer gig economy (Uber and Grab) and sharing economy (Airbnb) hit the enterprise worker shores it may feel more like the emergence of a task-marketplace. Workers will come together to complete a specific task/micro work and then disperse. Millennials are attracted to the agile, low-friction model of providing services to get work done.  This agile work style has always been popular in the developer community and is now extending to sales and marketing departments. These departments increasingly turn to freelancers and contractors to quickly scale up and down their teams to deliver certain tasks. There is no shortage of talent that is attracted to this low-friction model of providing services as contractors. It particularly appeals to Millennials, which at 1.2 million strong, currently makes up the largest generation in the Singapore workforce today both as contractors and as managers tapping into the pool of freelancers for enterprise tasks.

The implication of this is that companies will have to become more agile in the way they manage, deliver and optimise their business tasks.  Just think of how Uber has automated the interactions between drivers and riders.  Enterprises will need to build the kinds of systems that enable rapid exchange of talent and services, instead of relying on ad hoc methods like email.


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