CIOs need to prepare for a radically different future where the dominant platform for staff is the app phone, tablet and the cloud.
Michael Davies, chairman of Endeavour Partners, outlines the implication for CIOs in his keynote address at this year's ITEX Business Technology Show.
By 2018, he says, the working environment will be skewed towards app phones and tablets. There will be less conventional full time routine knowledge work, but there will be more part time work opportunities.
"Automate everything or someone else will," says Davies at the event, now in its second year and attended by nearly 500 IT professionals.
The CIO also has to empower small teams. "Support the superstars," he admonishes. You should make significant investment in infrastructure which include app phones, tablets and the cloud.
This new work order also highlights the importance of connectivity. The challenge is enabling wide area connectivity, he says.
He says the workplace is now moving into a post-PC era where the PC is going back to being a work station. The only people who need them are those doing intensive knowledge work. With tablets and an app phone, staff can do "knowledge work".
He expresses what he says is a "politically incorrect" view of the new workplace.
"Only some of your people are your biggest assets," he says, pointing to the research of Robert Goffee on organisational culture. "The point is to spot them, nurture them."
The new workplace will also impact outsourcing as the shift is away from human labour. If you are doing routine work, it is cheaper to run a computer than hire someone in India, he says.
The work being done at call centres is slowing down as people are using iPhones and voice recognition technology. "These people are being outsourced to a machine."
ITEX is an annual conference for information technology professionals organised by Computerworld, IDC and Conferenz.