Futurology should not be about life on off-world colonies in the 23rd century, or about man-made eyes and brain transplants in the 22nd.To be of value to business decision-makers we must keep our minds on the ‘relevant’ future – on the major trends shaping the five, ten and fifteen years ahead.
No area of knowledge should be ignored. As an ‘historian of the future’, however, I am increasingly realising that the future is more about ‘sociology’ – about how people and organisations will behave and conduct themselves in the years ahead.
As an ‘historian of the future’ I spend a lot of time drawing on the lessons of the past to inform me about what is happening today and how things might pan out in years to come. One conclusion: nothing is ever really ‘new’. We may think the digital world of today is unique – but in many ways we have lived through similar experiences in past generations. Although some things about modern life have no precedent. A good start point is to have a very clear view of the realities of today. Many of these realities can be quite surprising.
Maturing technologies are creating what I call ‘The Anywhere Economy’. In the global, wirelessly connected, digital universe of tomorrow the tyranny of geography will no longer rulePeople will increasingly be able to work how, where and when they chooseCompanies and other organisations will be able to locate with greater freedom of choice than at any time in historyOther human activities, from socialising to shopping will be overtaken by virtual possibilities ...A central driver of this shift to an Anywhere Economy is the emerging ‘Internet of Things’ – an Internet that functions through billions of connected devices, from cars and cameras to phones, smart homes and smart citiesA key technology of The Anywhere Economy is radio frequency identification [RFID]. This is also now know as Near Field Communication [NFC] – giving the ability to transmit valuable data to devices close by. For example, the Oyster card relies on this technology; so does an ‘electronic wallet’ created by giving a mobile phone the capability of passing over payment for a purchase – a ‘contactless’ transaction.The 2012 London Olympics are to be the first ever ‘contactless’ Olympics.
In the age of Big Data, driven by the sensor-connected Internet of Things and our insatiable appetite for rich content, future IT systems will be overtaken by leakage, loss and data theft on unprecedented scale. The numbers are indeed Big and growing exponentially. One second of HD video generates over 2000 times more bytes than a page of text. By 2015 annual US internet traffic alone will exceed one zettabyte – 10²¹ bytes or one sextillion. That is roughly equivalent to everyone on the planet continuously posting on Twitter for a century. By 2020 the world’s yearly data capture will surpass 35 ZB. Global storage capacity, meanwhile, is growing at only half that rate: data spill and data breach will become commonplace. And never mind external hackers: any ill-intentioned employee with USB access can take home priceless corporate data for sale to the highest bidder. It even has a name: podslurping. In any case, the real databases of the future will be social networks, where millions of individuals store their ‘personal cloud’ of social and work-related information. They will even be required take their ‘PC’ with them to a new employer. What price data security then?
How you as business decision-makers use Big Data will be the key differentiator in gaining competitive advantage in the years ahead.Innovation is the driving force of the future – not just in inventing new products but in creating innovative new services and developing more effective and relevant business models, marketing strategies, customer relationship practices and other key processesThe rapid growth and spread of the global, connected digital universe is transforming the way we innovate by harnessing the innovative power of large groups of people – we can call this ‘crowd-sourcing’Traditionally, innovation has been entrusted to specialists working in R&D teams or product development labs. Now, our digital, connected world makes it possible to harness the creative energies of immense online specialist communitiesWe need to see the rapid spread of web-based connectivity as generating an ever-growing ‘worldwide conversation’. This ‘conversation’ makes it possible to consult very large numbers of interested individuals. Put simply, we can now draw down on ‘the wisdom of crowds’.
We are in the midst of fundamental changes in our working habits – where, when, how and why we choose to contribute to the wealth-creating machineIn essence the ‘Age of the Job’ is giving way to a new culture of work. There are several important drivers of this shift:Maturing technologies are creating a mobile, connected, global information environment that is changing the rules about location, time and spaceCorporate attitudes increasingly favour more flexible working practices with growing reliance on non-permanent, free-agent workforce relationshipsNew entrants to the working population – essentially young members of the ‘digital population’ – favour less hierarchical and more networked business models – again, the move ‘from pyramid to pancake’Over coming years we are going to see the continuing decline of the fixed-place office and the rise of geographically dispersed working practicesIn addition, the future will see continuing strong growth of the ‘free agent workforce’. UK government figures indicate there are now around 4 million adult workers in Britain who are ‘neither employers nor employees’. They range across the entire spectrum from IT consultants and lawyers to creative types and construction industry tradesmen. This number is set to grow in the years ahead. By 2020 its estimated some 80 per cent of the UK workforce will be of this ‘free agent’ type – either working for a company on a flexible, geographically free basis or as external ‘contingent’ workers selling their professional skills on day-by-day or even hour-by-hour terms.
NASSCOM Cloud & Mobility Summit 2012: Futurecast: Internet of Things, Emerging Technologies & More
Internet of Things, Emerging Technologies and MoreFUTURECAST DR JAMES BELLINI
BRAIN MAP OF THE FUTURIST sociology History geography Artsscience Key knowledge areas Geo-politics psychology technology Energy statistics
2020: FACTS OF THE IT FUTURE The future Call Centre will be a robot-driven facility deploying speech recognition and computer AI
„The Future‟ is about ways of seeing the present…‟
HORIZON 2020The years to 2020 will see an unprecedented globalshift but also a transformation of the realities ofbusiness, work and everyday life, as maturingtechnologies converge and create a new world ofpossibilities
2020: TECHNOLOGY DRIVERS Internet of Things Cloud computing RFID / NFC Wireless, wireless, wireless ... Inno-communities Nano-everything Real-time analytics Centre-less organisations Free agent work culture2000 2020
GLOBAL SHIFT: BRICS AND BEYOND • 25 per cent of world land area • 40 per cent of world population • Combined GDP of $20 trillion [PPP]
BRICS AND BEYOND: THE NEXT ELEVEN? Bangladesh Egypt Indonesia “high potential of becoming Iran world‟s largest economies Mexico in 21st century alongside Nigeria BRICs” Pakistan Goldman Sachs Philippines South Korea Turkey Vietnam