2 billion jobs are going to disappear by 2030 according to the World Future Society. Not to worry, most of these jobs are boring routine jobs you wouldn’t want to do anyway. On the other hand, many of these jobs will be replaced by information-intensive jobs that require new skills to discern patterns and connect seemingly unrelated sources of information. But those sources of information will create a new level of information overload making it difficult for workers to see the ‘information forest for the data trees.’ New technologies can help overcome information overload by exposing connections that can help solve complex problems. These new technologies will be mobile-based, with an increasing amount of data and services being stored in enterprise clouds, rather than ‘on-premises.’ But these technologies will also add new complexity that will make it difficult to see the right information at the right time. Five new trends are emerging that can help; they are:
- Cloud ecosystems – the consolidation of cloud service providers into a manageable number of coherent data sources.
- Cross-cloud search capabilities – the ability to search for information across multiple enterprise clouds.
- Mobile app development technologies – the ability to develop, deploy, adapt, and maintain an unlimited number of enterprise apps running on an increasing number of devices and operating systems, each with different form factors and interface capabilities. For example, a tablet running a warehouse inventory app may work a lot differently than a dedicated mobile RFID device which uses the same app to manage inventory
- Context-awareness – automatically surfacing relevant information for a given situation. In the consumer world, in-store apps that can deliver promotions and coupons to customers as they walk by merchandise, or Google Now updates are good examples of context. In fact, in the consumer world, most of the good examples of context today are related to location. Recommending restaurants, posting sports scores, and offering sales promotions are common capabilities. In the enterprise world, context can be related to topics of interest, social connections, time, and historical viewing patterns.
- Standards – as the enterprise world fragments into cloud-based silos and a host of different devices running different operating systems, standards and interoperability are key to making ‘stuff work together.’
During last week’s KMWorld Conference in Washington DC, I presented a talk entitled “The Connected Enterprise.” During the talk, I presented ways to overcome the information overload challenge using contextual capabilities now provided by mobile devices, a consolidated user experience, and activity streams. See the whole presentation here.