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The Rise of the “Supertasker”: Our Next-Generation Workforce

We are living in the age of the “supertasker.” At Cisco Live Cancun last week, I polled our audience and asked, “How many devices are you connected to at this moment?” The majority of the audience held three or four. However, some still had their hands up at five and six devices. Supertaskers are emerging as the next-generation workforce, integrating several new devices to increase their productivity—and they will not be the minority for long.

As the Internet of Everything (IoE) continues to evolve, we see increased momentum towards connecting the unconnected. The Fitbit, for example, reminds us that we need to achieve our daily step goal while maintaining our work-life balance. As more organizations digitize their business, we expect 50 billion objects to be connected to the Internet by 2020—and more and more of these devices will integrate into our ever-changing work lives. Read More »

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Technology that Works: on the Farm, in the Lab, or in the Marketplace

These days, it’s hard to keep up with the flood of cool technology and cutting-edge products coming to market. It used to be my passion; now it’s also become my career. Turns out, all those hours on Reddit and TechCrunch were a good investment after all.

As a member of Cisco’s Internet of Everything (IoE) Emerging Technology team, I get to evaluate everything from augmented reality to robots and 3-D printers. I was even lucky enough to be one of the early Google Glass Explorers — bringing the good word of Silicon Valley’s newest products to the world. Read More »

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From Local to Global: Extending Our IoE Innovation Strategy with openBerlin and TTTech

mfg Blog 110714There are people all over the world doing truly innovative acts to move the technology needle, but without proper support, many of these ideas fail to come to true fruition. We at Cisco are committed to doing our part by guiding these creators towards a path of success. With both internal and external programs to feed innovation – including the Cisco Internet of Things (IoT) Innovation Grand Challenge and the Technology Fund – we aim to nurture disruptive ideas.

In this light, we were pleased to announce in September the establishment of an IoE Innovation Center in Berlin, Germany – openBerlin. Scheduled to open the summer of 2015, openBerlin will focus on the rapid prototyping of solutions in the transportation and manufacturing verticals. openBerlin marks the sixth Innovation Center in Cisco’s portfolio and joins its successors in Rio, Brazil; Toronto, Canada; Songdo, South Korea; Barcelona, Spain; and London, UK. Read More »

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The Internet of Employment – the workforce behind a connected future

By next year, it is estimated that 25 billion devices will already be connected to the internet, with that figure set to double to 50 billion by 2020. These connected ‘devices’ won’t simply be computers, they will range from alarm clocks, cars, coffee makers, fridges, baby monitors and smart watches, to street lighting, parking meters and planes.

Having this quantity of connected devices has the potential to change and improve the way we live our lives. It is already possible to adjust your central heating remotely, but imagine being able to tell your coffee maker to turn on, on the way home from work? Or have your GP assess you remotely via the data coming from your health monitor or even smart watch?

In fact, according to the 2014 Cisco Connected World Technology Report (CCWTR), launched today, roughly 8 in 10 professionals even believe middle income workers will have robots that can assist them with various work related activities at some point in the future.  The possibilities are endless. However, for this to become a reality, we need a workforce of technicians and engineers capable of building such a connected network. Imagine the skills needed to manage and maintain an army of connected robot assistants!

Internet of Employment

First of all, the networks needed to create the Internet of Everything (IoE) on such a large scale needs to be built, creating job opportunities for those with specialist IoE networking skills. Fifty billion plus connected devices (not to mention the robots) will create an incredible amount of data – leading to a pressing demand for data scientists to make sense of this information.  Security will also be front of mind, creating jobs for IoE security specialists.  This is not to mention the applications we haven’t even dreamt of yet which will suddenly become possible in an IoE-enabled world, opening up innumerable opportunities for IoE entrepreneurs to flourish.

Technology isn’t just shaping the jobs of the future and the skills we need to fulfil them, it’s shaping the way we work too. The CCWTR also reveals that the majority of Generation X and Y professionals believe that smartphones and wearable devices will be the workforce’s most important ‘connected’ device.  This will enable new ways of working; such as creating ‘supertaskers’ – people who can successfully do more than two things at once, and do them well.

Wanted: 900,000 IT Pros

However, today’s global ICT skills shortage could seriously hamper this connected vision. Realising this potential depends on the individuals and having the skills and knowledge to harness the opportunities IoE provides. Currently the outlook is bleak, with the EU already expecting that there will be up to 900,000 ICT vacancies by 2015.

This is why I, and many of our education partners were in Barcelona last month to launch the first global IoE curriculum, introduced by the Cisco Networking Academy.  The new curriculum seeks to help close the broadening ICT skills gap and empower a new generation of innovators to embrace the IoE’s full possibilities. Cisco Networking Academy also recently launched an IoE ‘Smart Grid’ curriculum, which gives electricians the Internet Protocol (IP) skills to service the millions of potential new intelligent smart grid devices that are due to be installed in EU households by 2020.

Smarter teaching – smarter living

Initiatives like Cisco Networking Academy, and support for ICT related skill development, can make a massive difference and create employment on a large scale in both the short and long term. Barcelona’s Smart City programme provides a great example of the positive potential of IoE, creating 47,000 new jobs through innovations from smart bus shelters to a smart waste management system.

Europe has a chance to grasp the opportunities IoE can bring -- by equipping people with the skills required to meet the soaring demand for the new jobs created in a world where everything is connected.  Five million students have already enrolled in Cisco Networking Academy in the last 17 years, with over 9000 academies present in 170 countries. With the new IoE courses in place, Networking Academy students now have the chance to gain the skills needed to drive the workforce of the future – and be an integral part of the IoE journey.

 

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Video Games, Video Conferencing and YouTube: The Job Search of the Future

In this guest blog, Jeanne Meister, Partner, Future Workplace and Co-author of The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop & Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today (Harper Collins) shares her insights on the future of work in an Internet of Everything (IoE) landscape. The description of the new hire process in the blog post below is adapted from Chapter 1 of her book, The 2020 Workplace.   

Job searching, hiring and our daily work life are rapidly changing thanks to technological innovations.  Knowledge workers are gaining greater control and flexibility over their employment experience.  This will start from the moment job seekers begin an employment search.

According to the 2014 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, more than 60% of workers report that their current or future job searches will not be limited to their hometown, or even country.

Organizations will need to evolve their processes to find and hire the best talent in the future.  Today’s methods won’t work with tomorrow’s workforce.  Consider the case of “Katya,” a top graduate from a well-respected university in 2020. After graduation, Katya will land her first job at D&Y, one of the country’s last two major accounting firms.

Submitting an online resume and completing several rounds of in-person interviews will not be the way Katya gets hired. Read More »

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