Sunday, January 05, 2020

The future of knowledge work : Predictions for 2020

 The future of knowledge work : Predictions for 2020

1.0  Overview

Many people predict that knowledge work will be a significant contributor to the future global economy. (i.e.: Drucker, 1959; Davenport, 2005). One trend that will facilitate the rise of the knowledge economy will be increasing ubiquitous access to information. People all over the world will be able to access the information they need anytime, anywhere (Leake, 2008; Hoomen, 2005). This trend is already beginning with the escalation of smartphone shipments, and the millions of applications available for them (Anderson, 2009).
The Purpose of This paper aims to describe findings from a study of current leading edge knowledge workers and to discuss the challenges and issues that knowledge workers may face in 2020, as the world of work shifts into a knowledge economy.
This article is about the findings from the study of leading edge knowledge workers, and  uses the findings to inspire a discussion of the issues and challenges that future knowledge workers may face.

2.0  The descriptive  of the methodology

In this article, the author describe the Observations from leading edge knowledge workers focused to be discuss are:

We conducted two different ethnographic studies of a total of 43 mobile and remote workers. Mobile workers worked on the go - outside of a static office for at least 50 percent of their time, and remote workers worked from home
Key findings
Participants in our study were closely tied to their smart phones, often using their phone as the go-to device for the information they needed – even when they were working at home.
Need for integration and filtering
The most frequent task that mobile participants conducted with their phone was checking e-mail. Participants checked e-mail constantly during microbreaks while walking down the hall, during lulls in a conversation, or when stopped at red lights.
Infrastructure constraints. The finding that participants were tied to their smart phones points to participants’ strong desire to attain ubiquitous access to their e-mail and other information.
Struggle to stay digital. Despite the fact that participants were tied to their smart phones, they still struggled to stay digital

3.0   Evaluation 

The  author  has adequately established The future of knowledge work: predictions for 2020. observations of mobile workers in today’s workforce highlight some of the challenges to knowledge work now and in the future. Many of the current challenges are being recognized and addressed. The following sections will take a closer look at issues and tensions regarding information management and knowledge work that will need to be resolved as we transition to a sustainable knowledge economy in 2020.

Information management (aka overload) and the knowledge worker
Our study results show that today’s knowledge workers face an overwhelming amount of information. Information is everywhere, comes in a variety of formats and media, is intertwined in work and home life and provides unique challenges to the mobile workforce. Information is the static, raw material that when applied and acted upon is transformed into knowledge, a distinction discussed in more detail later in this paper.

Overwhelmed by information
Along with the sheer proliferation of information content are the ever-increasing ways to access, store and share it. The term ubiquitous access has been used to articulate the goal that information is available anywhere, anytime delivered in a format that you desire.

Making sense and use of information
The ease of ready access to information does not address the problem of what to do with it once you have it.

Intelligent information integration
On  the foreseeable future, technologies will continue to advance, enabling the continuous flow of information to our technology, and fingertips at rates that exceed our ability to make sensible use of all of it.

Making information spaces visible. There will be a need for continued development and refinement of intelligent yet easy to use information integration tools that help knowledge workers make sense of information spaces and content.

Context-aware systems. The growing trend in context-aware applications that use location (GPS) information and inferences about the user’s situation, e.g., tasks, activities and schedule will continue to expand.

User-awareness and control. Context-aware systems rely on information provided by a combination of other systems, external sensors and users themselves.
Mobilizing for the knowledge economy
As we discussed at the beginning of this paper, the twenty-first century economy is a knowledge economy

4.0  Discussion on the broad  number of important tensions or opposing directional biases.

This broader consideration reveals a number of important tensions or opposing directional biases. This section describes three such tensions to stage additional opportunities for technology innovations in support of future knowledge workers and knowledge work.

The author describes three such tensions to stage additional opportunities for technology innovations in support of future knowledge workers and knowledge work.
Tension 1: information does not equal knowledge. Getting the right information to the right person at the right time and in the right format to support decisions or facilitate action has long been the primary objective of information technology.
Tension 2: knowledge is global, mobile and difficult to contain behind the firewall. In the anytime, anywhere world knowledge can no longer be sequestered behind the corporate firewall.
Tension 3: increasing knowledge-intensity is not reflected in today’s educational outcomes. Smarter products, solutions and services require a smarter workforce

5.0  Conclusion
The paper is grounded in observations of today's leading edge knowledge workers. Based on study findings, it predicts challenges that future knowledge workers will face and propose processes and solutions that can help knowledge workers to successfully overcome these challenges.

Watts Perotti, J., Wall, P. and McLaughlin, G. (2010), "The future of knowledge work: predictions for 2020", On the Horizon, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 213-221.

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