Examining consumer interactions in 2030
FutureConsumer.Now is a look at customer experiences and how they will evolve and transform our world over the next 12 years. If you don’t think it will be dramatic, take a look at the changes over the last 12 years and know the rate of transformation will compound exponentially due to innovation and new technologies.
Through research and interviews with global innovators, futurists, business leaders and EY professionals, we’ve identified over 150 drivers that could shape the future consumer. We used those drivers to create eight powerful hypotheses, each of which relates to a key aspect of the future consumer: how people will shop, eat, stay healthy, live, use technology, play, work and move.
We then held a series of innovative hackweeks, or workshops, around the world to explore these hypotheses further and to model the kind of future worlds they might create.
With FutureConsumer.Now, EY is helping industry leaders anticipate the implications to their business and make their organizations fit for a very different future, by thinking differently about the future.
Technology, Media and Entertainment and Telecom companies will play a significant role in shaping the lives of consumers in 2030. At the forefront of innovation, TMT companies will enable new technologies, new forms of content creation, consumption, distribution and infrastructure to enable rapid change across the 8 Driving Forces of the consumer in the future. EY’s TMT sector has identified a number of trends based on these driving forces that companies must be prepared to embrace and address the evolving consumer of the future.
How will you build your corporate culture when you don’t employ your talent?
Consumers in a gig economy will find work via ‘cognitive platforms’
These virtual intermediaries will match our skills and performance with projects that provide the development, reward and social interaction we specify. Cognitive computing and advanced analytics will enable employers to rapidly and accurately match individuals to their personal and professional needs as well as to the needs of companies. By 2030, employment will be based more on a cultural, personality and style fit compared to purely functional domain skills.
Work and personal experiences will continue to blur
A new generation is entering the workforce and the traditional assumptions of work/life balance will evolve in new directions. At the same time, organizational communities and employer-employee relationships will become inherently more flexible. New technologies will provide a deeper, almost effortless understanding and identification of the right hire, whether it’s for short-term or long-term employment.
Employers will have access to a pool of workers that is more robust than ever before
Employers will be able to leverage and analyze massive amounts of data in real time from various digital platforms for recommendations and reviews on potential employees to make their decisions. While increasingly frictionless and dynamic recruitment processes signal an upside for enterprises, this may also spell anxiety for employees. Many will seek stability in their roles and functions, while organizational and employee mindsets will take time to adapt to this new normal.
The role of governments, unions and professional communities will change
Their role will both reflect and influence changing labor market dynamics as various stakeholders seek a balance between increased productivity and protection for workers.
Human interaction will always be important
How work actually gets done in the future will utilize emerging technologies including virtual reality, augmented reality, collaboration platforms and virtualization tools running on 5G networks with high speed bandwidth. However, human interaction will not be entirely removed from the process. Individuals will still be needed for more essential discussions, versus perfunctory administrative tasks, while face-to-face interactions will retain their primacy in many scenarios.
A new career approach for the gig economy
The long term impact of the gig economy will be imperative to maintaining corporate culture and building employee loyalty.
In the US, workers between ages 18 to 50 hold approximately 12 different jobs in their adult life, and nearly half of these jobs are held before age 25. Today, the average tenure at a job is approximately 5 years. By 2030, the gig economy will make the duration of employment shorter as workers shift from a career mentality to a project mentality. The worker of the future will also have significantly more jobs over their careers with a lower tenure than they do today.
This fluidity between employees and employers will be based on factors including corporate culture, the level of transparency and the work that is done. In addition, employers will need to develop new knowledge retention programs to capture and transfer intellectual property and best practices to an increasingly fluid and temporary workforce.
Employees who spend a relatively brief amount of time with an employer will have a substantial influence in the market. Real-time reviews of job satisfaction, work environment and corporate culture will ultimately be a driving factor leading an employee to, or away from an organization.
Today, workers often search for contract projects via agencies or through their personal networks to look for new opportunities a few months before their current job ends. This process will become more intuitive as personal and professional networks broaden and the ability to assess and decide on future projects becomes enabled in almost real time.
The hiring process will benefit in much the same way, as employers gain richer and more actionable insights on potential employees. Yet employers will have less success hiring top talent if they are not seen as favorable by other employees, challenging businesses even more to be recognized as an attractive place to work.
A step-change in employee retention strategies will also be required, as organizations compete to retain the best talent and skills in a more fluid labor market.
More transparency, choice, and accountability for both the positive and negative aspects of the employment environment will include more than just financial compensation, as project challenges, and personal and professional growth opportunities occur on a much more accelerated basis. TMT companies will need to think predictively as personal and professional lives become almost indistinguishable and a strong corporate culture based on mutual trust emerges.
While technology innovation and new models to engage and retain talent will be the initial driver of change, the need to address the long term impact of the gig economy will be imperative to maintaining corporate culture and building employee loyalty.
What are tech companies saying?
Employers across the Technology sector will need to redefine what it means to work for their company in both the short and long term.
By 2030, technology companies will assess and hire employees based on their “learning agility” – the ability to continuously learn and change to keep pace with shortening technology waves. The cycle of technology waves is rapidly shrinking with disruptive changes happening in 1 to 2 years compared to 10 to 20 years in the past.
In the face of this rapid technology change, those entering the workforce in the next few years will be applying for jobs that do not exist today. In addition, a growing number of jobs will be replaced by automation.
As a result, skill sets in the Technology sector will become more specialized and dynamic. The ability and desire to continuously learn will be just as, if not more, important as possessing technical skills. While employers will still focus on more complex skills, more emphasis will be put on how they think, learn and are willing to adapt.
Today, employers must also decide if they will protect the job or protect the worker. The only way to protect the worker is to teach them new skills.
With almost immediate transparency on the workforce, some individuals will rise to the top of the talent pool as providing consistently reliable, high quality work and will be able to charge a premium for their service. This will make for a more competitive job market for Technology companies within the gig economy.
Companies will be able to seek out those with the best reputation and those individuals will be in high demand and able to charge a premium for their services.
How Technology companies retain their workforce will be essential in this new future of work. Entitlement, bonuses, goals, and other compensation elements will lend themselves to gamification driving more purpose for employees. As industries move closer to a short term workforce, business will need to build loyalty with employees to create stickiness.
While they may not be a permanent employee, an individual may be employed by a company on and off for a decade. Employers across the Technology sector will need to redefine how they are perceived in the market and what it means to work for their company in both the short and long term.