The 'blackberrisation' of society – whereby people are connected by phone and email 24/7, anywhere in the world – is forecast to accentuate, with tens of millions of people using remote connections to work. Evenings, weekends and holidays will be increasingly used as work time, whilst more of the standard working hours will be used for 'personal time' – surfing the web, shopping online, watching clips and movies.
Work teams are also likely to evolve towards the virtual end of the scale, with offshoring and teleworking (working from home) more and more common. Deloitte forecast that by 2008, 41 million corporate employees globally may spend at least one day a week teleworking, and 100 million at least one day a month. Such fluidity will also help companies recruit talent wherever it is in the world. The flipside is that technology literacy will become a prerequisite for many, which is likely to pose a challenge for the older generation and other technophobes.
The other challenge for companies will be to protect the networks and servers they increasingly rely on. Anti-viruses and other TMT security are likely to become an even higher priority than they already are, as more data and information gets digitalised. Unsurprisingly perhaps, the PC will remain sovereign in the office. The US, Europe and East Asia are forecasted to add 150 million PCs, while emerging economies are expected to add over 500 million.
The report concludes that all these transformations – most of which are already under way – will provide new challenges for managers and HR departments alike. TMT should be embraced as business facilitators, but not relied on as panacea.
Source: Eye to the future: how TMT advances could change the way we live by 2010
Review by Emilie Filou