Quoting Kathleen McCaffrey, Co-Founder of Cryptocurrency Tezos – “The Early Bird Might Get The Worm, But The Second Mouse Gets The Cheese” – set the tone for the latest ICBE Lunchtime Bites Webinar on the Future of Work with Dr. Monica Murphy.  In the fast-paced and rapidly evolving business environment it pays to be an innovator, but second mover advance might produce a bigger and safer reward.  The bigger message was you need to make informed decisions and the risks are great.

Over the course of 45 minutes, Monica unveiled visions of future business, the skills needed, what technologies were emerging and how attendees can keep up to speed on the rapid changes.

In reviewing the technologies that are driving the ‘4thIndustrial Revolution’, Monica described the technologies that are now maturing and finding themselves in factories, homes and offices and forming part of new business processes from data and related data analytics, leap frogging cloud computing power, seamless speech recognition through to 5G, 3D printing and virtual/augmented reality.

Ireland is not just on the receiving end of these technologies with many Irish companies leading the charge from Transfermate to Travacoin.

We have now exited the era of hype for many of these technologies, with driverless buses being trialed in Dublin – made possible with the maturing and availability of technology to a general acceptance of robotics and cobotics in medicine not only being inevitable but accepted by the general population.

The sum of the technologies, i.e. the collective power, deepens their impact which will fundamentally alter the type work we do, how we view it, and ultimately increase productivity.  3D printing opens up huge opportunities for the manufacturing sector not just in its ability to customize objects but in its immediacy – no more waiting for weeks for that vital part.  IMR in Mullingar have the capacity to 3D print Titanium objects. This and similar technologies are powered by almost endless cloud computing capabilities with the power to mine for rich insights that were previously not available.  Naturally robotics and cobotics capture the imagination as they are so tangible but they rely on these underlying technologies. All of these advancements are power hungry but this will be offset by capturing more efficient renewal sources. Business are being transformed with new roles created but nothing is immune from these changes from health to aging.

Amidst all these changes Monica focused on 5 key technologies to watch including:

  • Cryptocurrency
  • Blockchain
  • Big Data
  • 5G
  • Robotics

Cryptocurrency (with other technology) has now effectively removed intermediary layers between customers and services they require from travel, real estate to banking with many major financial institutions reviewing early negative perspectives on the technology.

Monica describe the underlying software technology supporting Cryptocurrency, which keeps an indelible record of transaction and maintain trust in its value.  This is something that is slowly being accepted as reliable and opens up true global commerce opportunities and challenges to existing players in equal measure.

Advanced Data Analytics uncovers rich veins of knowledge and insights with an super human ability to improve processes and solve complex business problems.  Clean data will ultimately fuel the rapid arrival of AI – something we already see and accept in lower level customer service bots.

5G will ensure the pervasiveness of these technologies with the capacity for extremely fast wireless transfer and help ensure remote instant delivery.  In the new world of Internet Of Things, 5G capacity will be rapidly utilised.

Robotic, cobotics and lights off fully automated factories are now a reality and we will see the intermediary slow introduction of this technology as user acceptance and trust starts to be established.  The four laws of robotics and the resolving of key ethics questions will help here.  The impact is clear from economic to societal with increased speed, flexibility and quality – much of which is being reaped by companies like Mercedes Benz to the Singapore Government.

All of these changes will demand new future skills and Monica listed the top 10:

  1. Complex problem-solving (programming, algorithms, Data Analytics, STEM)
  2. Critical thinking
  3. Creativity
  4. People management
  5. Coordinating with others
  6. Emotional intelligence
  7. Judgment and decision-making
  8. Service orientation
  9. Negotiation
  10. Cognitive flexibility

These changes also open up new flexi and remote working capabilities with the new highly- prized jobs of the future residing in:

  • data scientists
  • graphic designers
  • user experience designers
  • behavioural psychologists
  • future-researchers
  • freelance relationship officer
  • robotic engineer
  • data cleaner
  • education specialist

The C-suite is also not immune with external demands and expectation that they understand the digital transformation and the elevation to C-level of CDO (chief data officers) in addition to CTOs on the horizon.

In finishing up, and in the era of ‘fake news’ – Monica offered some tips to ensure that resource material is accurate from looking out for high number of typos, vagueness and accurate references.

Check out the slides from the presentation below.

The Future World of Work ICBE Webinar

Want to replay the entire webinar.  Check out our YouTube video below.