This IDC Perspective is a guide to the "future of work." It is designed to help CIOs understand what is changing in the nature of work and workforces, what roles they can and should play in evolving work environments, and what is needed from IT to empower enterprises in transforming the nature of work. This document also contains a readiness assessment to help determine whether IT organizations have the capabilities in place to be effective in supporting future of work initiatives. The changing work force demographic to millennials and Gen Z workers — coupled with the emergence of AI, robotics, and other digital technologies and the roiling forces of global markets — heralds disruptive change to the nature and performance of work — the future of work. As with other periods of such change, the spoils will go to those best prepared to drive that change — not simply adapt to it. That has profound implications for CIOs who will have to deal with multiple challenges, including diversity of types of work and workers, continually evolving streams of digital technologies, and the changing nature of work itself — along with human nature and resistance to change.
"The future of work can be described as the nexus of the work that needs to be done, how that work is performed, and the people and resources that are doing the work," says Marc Strohlein, adjunct research advisor with IDC's Research Network. "That nexus is the focal point for CIOs to help create and evolve the future of work."