Much has been published in the industry about how automation will result in job loss e.g. the book, The Second Machine Age, as an example.

Further, the question is obvious as to whether or not the skills you have today will be relevant tomorrow?

Women at work
Such discussions have been occurring for the past several years since the financial crisis of 2008; and the question now pondered by enterprises and governments is :

  1. How do we grow the middle class?
  2. How do we provide skills to under-served communities?

Quite a bit of these threads are discussed in the Innovation for Jobs forum. Cisco is well on its way in structuring skills training via our Certification Program and via Network Academy.

Now, 40% of the world’s population is connected to the Internet today. We can expect another 3 billion to be connected within the next 3-5 years from countries other than North America and Europe. This fact has implications to what we develop and for whom — think carefully here.

So a few questions to ponder, as change is exponential [perhaps it has always been so]:

1. How could you use technology to create more jobs than you would lose them?
2. What kinds of Internet enabling solutions could you envisage for Africa, India, Middle East, as examples?
3. What will disrupt YOU and how do YOU intend to respond?

If companies don’t adapt in this upcoming information age, they will be left behind. Can the same be said for people?

As greater innovation drives further automation, are we disrupting ourselves out of jobs?

The answer to the question above is yes, which means we must approach our careers with the same innovation and creativity that we apply to our work.

Lifelong learning and re-invention will be the keys to staying innovative and disruptive in the work we do and in our careers.

Intercloud, security, and IoE are all areas that present massive opportunity for re-invention and innovation. The need for enhanced security is real – the estimated annual cost of cybercrime to the global economy ranges from $375 billion to as much as $575 billion. By 2020, it has been predicted that an estimated 50 billion devices and objects will be connected to the Internet. Those devices will be connected 24/7/365, providing ever-increasing value. The Internet of Everything isn’t about everything. It is about developing and delivering services capable of meeting new customer demands, and unlocking new sources of revenue in the process. There is a real opportunity here to marry innovation, economic growth, and job creation.

As a CTO and evangelist for new frontiers development and engineering, I can tell you that the future of technology is exciting. The new job creation driven by those new services, will, in turn, increasingly drive the need for continuous adaptation and reinvention.

In the words of Antoine De Saint-Éxupéry,

“As for the future, your task is not to foresee but to enable it.”

Will the skills you have today be relevant tomorrow? Are you willing to ponder the innovation challenges that will arise as billions of new adopters connect within the next 5 years?

Have questions or comments? Tweet Monique & @CiscoSP360 to learn more!


Monique Morrow


New Frontiers Development and Engineering