In the last 25 years, technology has broken many barriers. Along the way we’ve had to create new rules about what is socially acceptable in this new world where innovation – from automation and robotics to social media and the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) – is creating a seamless connection between humans, technology and our environment.
In its Future of Business: 25 years into the future report, cloud based business management solutions provider, MYOB Group (ASX: MYO), addressed the new rules of surviving technological change.
MYOB chief technical advisor and futurist, Simon Raik-Allen, said by the time we enter the 2040s, we will have experienced a dynamic shift in the way we conduct business.
“At every level, from the digitisation of every transaction to the management of each organisation, every business will undergo major change. Although those changes will be profound, what may be more remarkable is what has remained the same,” he said.
According to Raik-Allen, businesses need to look back to look forward. He said we can learn a lot about what the future holds by looking back.
“When I look back at the two decades of global innovation, there has been some stunning successes and some resounding failures.
“For many of them, that success or failure has hinged less on how well they were built or the idea on which they were created, and more on how they were received by people: did they solve a problem, have a place in society, and capture the imagination in a way their competitors didn’t?” he said.
As such, as we look forward, to a future populated with virtual work portals, remote jobs, AI assisted management and robotic workforces, we have to understand the important role people play in the future of business, according to Raik-Allen.
“No matter how good an idea, there are some things people just aren’t ready for – and that will change how, when and even if a technology ever reaches the mainstream. But, how fast those changes are coming, and how quickly people – with their amazing adaptability – are ready to adopt new technology is also increasing.
“We’ve entered a period in which technology development is no longer craft and creation, but aggressive evolution. And just like in evolution, which is driven not just by steady growth but by pressure points, we are seeing a period of hyper development. As in the natural system, in business this will reward the agile, the nimble and the adaptable, and weed out the slow and the resistant to change,” he said in the report.
With change as the only constant businesses can bet on in the future, he suggested businesses focus on user experience.
“We understand now, perhaps better than ever before, the importance of user experience. Twenty, or even 10 years ago, the concept of user experience was just not a consideration. Now, it’s a job within itself and has been made even more important not only by businesses, but by the user’s own requirements and demands.”
Raik-Allen added that for businesses, the future workspace looks bright.
“We are at the dawning of a fourth industrial revolution. The pace of technological advancement is building, laying the foundation for smarter systems that will enable us to tackle problems. Rather than removing jobs, like our previous experience of industrial revolutions, technology will provide more opportunities for rewarding work,” he mentioned.
But, many of these roles will be in areas that are still in development or will depend on the next stage of technology.
“It is estimated that 65 per cent of children entering primary school now will work in a job that doesn’t exist today.
“As a business owner you need to make sure that you can rapidly change to align with the way in which not just technology but society is moving. In predicting the future of business technology over the next 25 years, people will be your best barometer,” he added.