The technology and business landscape has been changing at an unprecedented speed. Working for one of the world's leading IT companies, part of my role in the Atos Scientific Community is to think one step ahead, to anticipate coming social, business and technology challenges.
The years ahead will see era defining change in the global technology landscape, further impacting the way we all connect, live and do business. One of the most profound ways we will notice this change is in the demographics of our society. 'Digital natives' are already coming of age - people that have grown up with the internet and social media almost from birth.
Whilst they may not realise it, today's schools are preparing young people for jobs that don't yet even exist, as the IT revolution looks set to change the face of the employment market. At Atos we have been thinking about the sort of careers that lie in store for our so-called digital natives - as well as roles that may not be around for much longer:
Social media concierge
Individuals, just like organizations, are increasingly using social media to publicise themselves to their peers and clients. But how, in such a time-pressured world, are people to keep their profiles up-to-date and show themselves to be truly at the 'bleeding edge'? Step forward the social media concierge, who will act as the gatekeeper to your online profile, providing regular, brilliant content to your network in your name.
Medical cyborg specialist
A whole new branch of medicine will develop to deal with the rise of implanted technology, as the possibilities of the 'Internet of things' encourage more and more of us to have nano sensors and chips embedded in our bodies. This new group of doctors can expect to be in high demand. Where else are people to turn when their stomachs stop talking to their microwaves?
The demand on food production from a burgeoning global population will force the emphasis onto more efficient, productive forms of farming. Smartphone capability is already enabling farmers in developing countries to group together in digitally connected cooperatives, using their mobility to buy and sell more economically and to share resources. On a global scale, the ability to use mobile technology to micro-manage food production in order to establish an agricultural synergy across the world will be a valuable skill that will help to reduce shortages and gluts and ensure minimum waste and maximum supply
Personal environment designer
The first smart glasses are only months away from commercial release, offering us all the possibility to experience the virtual and physical worlds as one. By the time today's 10-year-olds are adults, face mounted second screens will be commonplace with a whole new industry developed around them. A personal environment designer could facilitate a health examination by a consultant on the opposite side of the world; enable remote management of equipment; and visualise imaginary environments as downloadable themes, enabling the customer to experience the world as they would like to see it.
Tomorrow's dynamic business environment will require a unique type of professional - one who doesn't presume to know the answers; a person who really listens and comes up with innovative answers to clients' business challenges. Business technologists will be more than just techies, or consultants who aren't truly accountable for delivery. They will consider the entire value chain with the sole purpose of delivering on business strategy. Their role will be to orchestrate ecosystems, providing teams of skilled consultants and industry experts to define and deliver an end-to-end blueprint that meets business objectives.
As well as new roles emerging, existing roles will change and disappear. One role that today's children are far less likely to take on is that of...
Ironically, while recruitment agencies try to predict the sort of jobs and skills that will be in highest demand in the future, one position that looks unlikely to survive the IT revolution is their own. Social networks like LinkedIn are already beginning to automate the pairing of suitable candidates with suitable jobs, and as our personal data becomes more transparent and starts to include performance measures, it will become quicker and easier for employers to carry out rapid online searches for ideal candidates at the push of a button, without having to engage a recruitment consultant.