We have recently launched a new project on “Future of Organizations”, through the Gartner Fellows program. We would like to share the concept with you and seek your input. Please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me at @rajeshkan. We would love to get your input on this. Here is the concept:
Every industrial revolution has dramatically transformed how we humans organize ourselves into groups for work and there is no reason to believe it will be any different in the digital era. A critical mass of digitization (with ubiquitous intelligence computing, connectivity, and digital data) across the world will spur furthermore digital technologies, open up new markets and enable the creation of new forms of digital organizations. This research posits that we are at the cusp of a significant leap in the evolution of what an “organization” is and how it achieves its objectives, thanks to such a new set of digital technologies. We will soon see algorithms that can function as divisions (and some as organizations) – ones that can sense, analyze, make decisions, transact, and seek economic or other gains. They can be ephemeral, create new markets from inefficiencies everywhere, place new demands on how humans work with computers. We will need to think differently in how such future organization will evolve – this will not be achieved by incremental and isolated investment on each of the underlying technologies. Imagine a couple of such scenarios below.
- Scenario 1 – Transient Market for Product Shipping: The CEO of Future Corp, a logistics company has increased revenue and margins, thanks to an autonomous software program that identifies and exploits transient market opportunities. The autonomous software program scours the internet for mismatches in demand for product delivery and supply (drivers, vehicles, driverless vehicles). Every time it finds one that suits its market entry and risk parameters, it negotiates contracts, purchases insurance, manages delivery logistics and completes work.
- Scenario 2 – Automating the Audit Function: The CFO of Future Corp. was glad she dismantled the audit department and promoted employees into other crucial areas. The prevalence of smart contracts in their industry, the use of process mining for their enterprise operations, and “black boxes” on all the air conditioners they sell make the audit department unnecessary. Ironically, they’re doing way more audit than ever – she’s never had this much trust in her books. It’s just that there isn’t a team of people doing it. The audit is built into every contract, customer interaction.
We will need to develop new systems and thinking that will require us to codify rules and parameters on how we want them to be created, operated and retired. The current government and regulatory frameworks will be grossly inadequate to foster them, monitor them or control them. Ownership and economic gains will have to be managed very differently.
How do you think such a future organization will look like in another 20 years? Does this alter markets radically? What does that imply for work and society? We would love to get your thoughts and look forward to hearing from you.
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