Firms urged to embrace ‘boundary-less’ business

Companies face an imminent war for talent and will struggle to attract employees to fill the pending skills gap unless they start planning for the workplace of the future, according to a whitepaper produced for Fujitsu by research firm Pierre Audoin Consultants.

The Workplace 2025 whitepaper says that organisations’ boundaries will become increasingly fluid, in terms of layers of management and flexible working practices, while traditional industry models will be broken down, driving new models of collaboration.

The future workplace will replace familiar, rigid hierarchies and departments with small, collaborative networks of teams composed of internal and external freelancers, connected via unified communication platforms and supported by intelligent assistants.

Individual employees will no longer be defined by a single role. Instead, their contribution and workstyle will adapt to meet the requirements of different tasks.

Businesses will need to overhaul their offices to incorporate more collaborative spaces, using virtual and augmented reality to enhance meetings. And when the workplace is no longer tied to a physical location, biometrics will play a greater role in securing access to enterprise data and applications, allowing people to seamlessly access applications from any device, anywhere.

According to Fujitsu, this increased fluidity will affect not only the types of skills required, but also the recruitment process to secure the right talent. The whitepaper predicts that by 2025 the fastest-growing businesses will be those able to instantly identify and tap into skills from a global talent pool. The process of finding the right workers will transition from placing individuals in defined roles, into the global crowdsourcing of freelance skills.

Those that fail to adapt to this transformation will face growing talent recruitment challenges, Fujitsu warned.

Conway Kosi, head of Managed Infrastructure Services EMEIA at Fujitsu, explained: “There is a real and present danger that employers without appropriate workplace technology strategies are going to find themselves left behind in the war for talent — because they simply won’t be able to attract people to work in what will be seen as increasingly antiquated working conditions and practices.

“The workforce of the future expects highly flexible IT that will accommodate their chosen way of working in a seamless manner — IT that supports more effective, richer collaboration with peers both inside the business and across the wider industry. Companies need to realise that the strategic decisions relating to both technology and the social side of workplace transformation they make today will have a major impact on their future options for building or joining business ecosystems, in terms of attracting workers with the right skills. Unless you’re a ‘boundary-less’ business, you’ll be left behind.”

“The use of crowd sourcing and agile working to attract the right  people seems an unstoppable trend, and is a big part of the workforce transformation projects at many major companies. But enabling seamless remote and agile working poses huge issues for IT departments who are trying, at a time of increased cyber security risk  and data protection obligations, to keep the handling of valuable data within the boundaries of office networks. The most successful future workplaces will be the ones which get the balance right between these, at times competing, priorities.” – Kevin Barrow, Partner.

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you prepare for the future of work, please read our research report “Preparing your business for the future of work. Digital business and disruptive technology in focus.

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