What will business look like in 2050? Halfway through the new century, will we still be using organizational models and processes that belong to a different era? Will the predicted change be part of some digital transformation that has yet to be identified?
Even with a great deal of discussion about digital transformation, the term has yet to be adequately defined. While the goal of any change to a business model and organizational structure is improved performance, we do not know how to quantify the risks and rewards of digital transformation. But change is already here and impacting business models dramatically. What are the changes currently impacting the business environment, and what can we envision changing in the future?
One of the largest changes we’ve seen over the past fifty years is a move to outsourcing and automation. Outsourcing departments, such as human resources, allows businesses to get expert help in areas that have a large burden of regulatory compliance. Automation and digital methods of managing payroll and benefits allows companies who specialize in the area to invest in the new technology, rather than business investing in new technologies across several areas of responsibility, such as human resources, finance, accounting, marketing, etc. We can expect the trend toward outsourcing to continue, both with departments and individual units of work. Businesses that specialize in a single field, and can invest in the new technologies, will find their market share growing.
Big data analysis and trend and pattern prediction using deep neural networks will continue to form a growing part of planning and market analysis. Human-AI hybrid management teams will become more common. We may see something similar in the way stakeholders are planning and implementing complex infrastructure development now. Business may find itself regularly collaborating with government, education, and the private sector to plan, manage and fund business projects. This collaborative organizational model will allow the heavy burdens of regulatory compliance, funding, public opinion, environmental impact, and other challenges to be met by a team with a variety of skills. This new collaborative model can reduce the risks associated with the digital transformation of business.
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