The workforce of the future will look more like an average teenager’s interaction with the video game “Modern Warfare” than the current office cubicles of today, according to a lively keynote speech at the FOSE conference Tuesday.
Thomas Koulopoulos, an expert on cloud computing and author of “The Innovation Zone” and “Living in the Cloud,” took his rapt audience through a series of exercises designed to lead them to the future workplace. That place, he said, will rely on collaboration rather than individual effort.
He said that if one looks at the way children and teenagers play, it will offer an indication of how the workforce will behave in the future.
“They want to solve it collaboratively,” Koulopoulos said. “The future is not a solo flight. A server is where you go, where your friends hang out, like the corner or the mall.”
Koulopoulos predicts workers will eventually behave the same way and that the extreme level of collaboration will be built on a foundation of transparency that’s beginning to exist at every level. There will come a time when a job applicant and a prospective boss will each know so much about each other through their Facebook pages and other social media that the interview may not be as important, he said.
The question, he said, is this: How will the workforce of the future take all of this information and create value with it?
Connections, data and behavior in and around mobile devices offers the intelligent information that industries crave, he said.
“The cloud is the beginning of a new era that focuses on the innovation of ‘behavioral business modes’ where the core asset is the real time knowledge of markets and individuals,” he said.
Because of that knowledge, businesses and government agencies can tailor their services to what the marketplace wants even before people know they want it. It can be like a real time “SkyMall” magazine filled with gadgety-products that people never knew they were interested in but once they see them, they can’t live without.
He said it is sort of a “mass personalization,” if a government or a business knows the supply chain really well and then lets the customers define the products.
“How do I meet the needs of a constituent before they even know that need exists?” he said.