The world of work is changing; and fast. The fourth industrial revolution is challenging business models thanks to a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds – impacting all disciplines, economies and industries.
These technologies – including mobile, cloud, the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence – are providing more data than ever, and this is having a profound impact on business. “The nature of how we work – and the workplace itself – has undergone a dramatic evolution,” says Toni Townes-Whitley, corporate vice president of Industry at Microsoft. “Today technology is increasingly inside everything we touch; data volumes continue to rise as connectivity has become more and more pervasive, accelerated by cloud services that fuel intelligent action. The opportunity to think and operate like a digital company is providing the catalyst for new ways of working, which is centred around data. We now have unprecedented access to data about our products and services, with insights to how they are being used and are performing.”
Microsoft is positioned to help reskill today’s workers for the digital economy. “Our partnership with The Markle Foundation’s Skillful Initiative in the US aims to use the very forces driving change – technology and data – to build an ecosystem of workers, employers, state and federal government, educators, community organisations and workforce centres to help Americans adapt to the changing workplace,” Townes-Whitley says.