Digitalization for many organizations, the traditional business structure is obsolete. By traditional business structure, we mean vertically integrated companies that hire full-time employees to work nine-hour shifts on company property. Technological advances that seemed out of reach only a decade ago are now ushering in an era of transformation and disruption.
These aren’t isolated trends. They are happening at the smallest and largest scales simultaneously. Consider that some of the biggest and most disruptive billion-dollar businesses of today didn’t exist ten years ago. A study by Huron shows that S&P 500 companies now last, on average, about ten years, down from 33 years back in the 1960s.
This large-scale tendency for quick-pivoting change has implications for the everyday consumer, and for the workforce responsible for meeting his or her needs. Consumers desire fast, flexible solutions to problems that are scalable, adaptive, and intelligent.
Of those three elements, intelligence is the one that today’s digitalization methods make more accessible than ever. If you want your business to last through the next decade, you will have to consider scalable and adaptive ways to offer smart solutions to your customers and partners.
Putting Digitalization in Its Place – the Historical Perspective
To better understand what to expect from digitalization in the workplace and in consumers’ lives, Accenture looks at the history of work itself. Throughout most of history, work was done in an ad hoc manner. The Industrial Revolution made processes repeatable, and parts interchangeable. The Information Age made adaptive processes possible, and now, the increasing complexity of these processes makes intelligent processes necessary.
It’s important to note that with each of these historic events, naysayers were stirring up fears of joblessness and poverty. That didn’t happen in the 18th century, and it won’t happen now, either.
Instead, the nature of people’s jobs will change – just as they did then.
What Does the Future of Work Look Like?
The digital transformation will empower everyday people to use resources previously limited to the largest and most powerful organizations on the planet. The sharing economy is just one aspect of this newfound ability to leverage work in a scalable, adaptive, and intelligent way.
Now, more than ever, business leaders will have to look through their processes and determine ways to use technology to increase efficiency and encourage communication. Doing this requires re-thinking things that would have been taken for granted a decade ago – such as 40-hour workweeks and on-site offices.
Executive decision-makers in every industry have to take a critical eye on how their processes meet consumer demands. Tomorrow’s billion-dollar firms will be the ones who use digitalization to create scalable, adaptive, and intelligent technology solutions to consumer needs.
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