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Published On: Fri, Sep 18th, 2020

Technology will not drive commercial intelligence, humans will, businesses may

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By Udeze Daniel

The past few weeks has continued to see a large surge in the use of virtual and clear technology to pioneer particularly commercial affairs.
The one peculiar to us and quite rapid on the social space is Tele and video conferencing platforms and this does not limit other bunch of technological manipulations available to man and intended to drive sustainance and productivity at a level.
It would be profoundly quick (and almost disagreeable) to admit that the future is not technology but human! Over the past few days since the scourge crippled man-enabled activities, I have carefully and quietly followed events and happenings both commercially and in various individual lives observing that in uncertain days like the present, creativity is edging at a peak, value and intelligence become highly symbolic leaving technology to remain an enabler which it has always been.
In not denying the fact that an avalanche of technological tools are imminent to drive human speed, commercial productivity, and personal enjoyment, it is immediately important to remind my friends that businesses drive technology and not the flipside. However philosophical, contentious, or disagreeable the above aphorism may appear, it remains a symposium discourse and not the intention of this piece.
I believe the future of work and commerce will finally set free the greatest asset we have: human intelligence. This will require systems that are smart enough to enable human critical thinking at scale. This will be manifest in various ways. Strategically, all repeatable work will be completely automated. So the roles that you and I take on will all be mission-critical because they will require the uniquely human traits of innovation and creative thinking.
Organizations will adapt with highly fluid structures. Collaborative, ad hoc teams will be formed across the enterprise to execute projects that move the organization forward. Once completed, those teams will disband to be combined into other special projects teams. There will be far fewer (yet more meaningful) meetings because mundane things like progress reports and status updates will be persistently communicated. Insights will be served to us proactively, not stored away.
I hold that the future of work will be about fostering community, and it will not matter where we are. Organizations will become adept at connecting a unified global team across all geographies and generations.
This connected community will break down the silos of knowledge found in all organizations, be those synthetic data repositories, workflows, or even human knowledge. Every individual will be able to hyper-personalize the tools they use yet still be able to tap into the combined intelligence of the entire community because all of that knowledge will have been democratized. Our connection will amplify our capabilities and accomplishments exponentially.
An obvious change that we are already seeing is increasing software sophistication. As software companies constantly re-engineer their products to make them easier to use, businesses need less technical knowledge in-house to keep them running.
For example, in the SAP business process modeling environment users can drop & drag processes such as invoices on screen and automatically decide if they want to send them by post or electronically, therefore streamlining the process and eliminating the need to pass invoices through to the finance department for processing.
Over time, software will become so simple and easily customised by the user, that businesses will no longer need a person with specific software skills for this purpose.
Changing focus:
As a result of software becoming more sophisticated, businesses will gradually stop focusing on technology and the associated skills. Instead, successful businesses will shift their focus to how they would like to run the organisation, how it can be improved, and how business processes can be enhanced or streamlined to make the company operate more smoothly.
This shift will mean that businesses will need less technical skills and therefore fewer technically-focused people to run the information services or IT environment. Instead, organisations will use business process consultants to examine how business functions can be made more efficient and compliant.
Businesses in the future will also start to look at how they package up their IT services. Already some are starting to adopt a service-oriented architecture approach and begun re-engineering their processes. Key to this will be creating reusable code or services in order to reduce software development time.

Udeze Daniel is a Public Affairs Analyst.

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