Since the year 2000, everybody has been wondering what a world that is run by technology will look like.

While this took a back seat for 17 years, technological change exploded in 2017 when the wheels of the Fourth Industrial Revolution gained momentum.

It was around this time that the debate around the future of the world in a technological age once again resurfaced. There are many reports which suggest that by 2025, 60% of the jobs that we see in the world today will be non-existent. The other 40% will be run by robots to a large extent.

This has forced us to rethink and reframe our reality. I came across an interesting article on which paints a picture of what the jobs of the future may look like.

Bring Your Own IT Facilitator (BYOITF)

Technology is now fundamental to any company’s success in driving massive shareholder value. As a result, shadow-IT is now official, sanctioned and, in many cases, necessary.

The article points out that the growth of shadow-IT is an immense opportunity for the IT industry to collaborate with business units and individuals who have mastered the art of working without IT.

As a key member of the IT organization, the BYOITF will promote automated self-service, collaboration and knowledge-sharing to propel user experience. The article adds that the goal of this role will be to fuse a company’s shadow-IT operations with the digital workplace strategy. They will enable the entire workforce to work better and smarter at a known level of acceptable risk.

Master of Edge Computing

The article points out that real-time response is increasingly a business must-have. The inability to respond to consumers in real time could mean loss of business. Collecting, storing, integrating and analyzing real-time data from various end-point devices is a key barrier to a successful IoT implementation.

Edge computing unleashes the potential of connected hardware devices by decentralizing them and putting computing resources closer to the data source, speeding up the analysis process and allowing businesses to act on insights more quickly.

The article adds that the Master of Edge Computing will overhaul the full-scale IT infrastructure to ensure that the new technology seamlessly interacts with legacy systems. The role will also establish the cloud-edge relationship by differentiating which types of data should be stored where, ensuring the scalability of the solution.

Cyber City Analyst

The article points out that cities are getting connected to digital systems (roads, buildings, autonomous cars, traffic signals, almost everything). As a result, municipal bodies are focusing on providing fast and effective delivery of key city services (emergency services, power provisioning and waste collection, among others) using sensor data to citizens.

The article adds that if these services fail, the city suffers. A cyber city analyst will ensure the functionality and security of the digital systems and processes that make a modern city work. The person in this role will set up and maintain electronic and IT equipment, diagnose, and fix key city support processes in addition to ensuring the steady flow of healthy data around the cities, including bio-data, citizen data and asset data.

Man-Machine Teaming Manager

The article points out that human-machine collaboration is the new hybrid workforce. Man-Machine Teaming Manager will help combine the strengths of robots/AI software (accuracy, endurance, computation, and speed) with the strengths of humans (cognition, judgment, empathy, and versatility) in a joint environment for common business goals.

The key tasks for this role will be to develop an interaction system through which humans and machines mutually communicate their capabilities, goals and intentions, and to devise a task-planning system for human-machine collaboration. The person will design flexible experiences that meet workers’ expectations, while providing simple and intuitive interaction with machines (translating consumer behaviour to business users, as well as to machines, for instance).

The article adds that the hybrid role (passion for programming and robots along with deep understanding of human neuroscience) will help shift IT’s priorities and goals from business-serving to business-changing.

Quantum Machine Learning (QML) Analyst

The article points out that quantum computing is the future of computing and machine learning is at the core of the ongoing AI revolution. When extremely fast computing is combined with self-learning algorithms, unimaginable levels of performance can be achieved and business problems solved, that are computationally intractable with today’s supercomputers.

The article adds that a QML analyst will be at the intersection of quantum information processing and machine learning to create technology functionalities that never existed before. The person will research and develop industry-specific next-generation solutions for the future by applying quantum technologies to improve the speed and performance of learning algorithms and address real-world business problems in the fastest time possible. The role also involves developing use cases about the impact of QML on important issues such as cybersecurity.

A fresh approach

It is clear that the playing field has changed. Companies cannot do business now in the same way that they did ten, or even five years ago.

The article points out that we must stop looking at humans and machines as being in contrast to each other and start imagining the new IT roles that will emerge because of automation and AI. Over the next few years, we will see a new phase develop for IT organisations, in which they are measured on a very different set of metrics than ever before.

The article concludes by saying that IT jobs of the future are likely to be those that involve understanding which systems, tools and processes will be required in the machine age, and how to create and operate them. A hybrid IT staff will act more as consulting partners, providing technical and integration services and rapid prototyping and testing ideas for the business.

Regardless of whether you are a large company or a smaller sized company, the costs that are associated with this will be high. However, this money needs to be spent. Instead of commiserating over the cost issue, companies should spend time sitting down and reassessing their business plans to see how they can maximise their return on investment. This is the true power of technology.