Dramatic changes ahead for workplace, workforce and technology by 2025 — global CIOs confirm

The world of work is changing, rapidly.

You don’t have to cast your mind back that far to when the World Wide Web became publicly available on 6 August 1991 — but who could have predicted the change and transformation it would herald?

The internet’s eruption has catalysed the rapid change of both work and society, the business and the consumer. In this constantly morphing world we find ourselves in the workforce, workplace and the technologies that support them will be so different by 2025 ‘that enterprises need to provide global access and ensure continuous uptime now,’ according to research carried out by One Login.

To remain agile and relevant, enterprises must start addressing global digital transformation strategies, including unified access management.

Who says? Well, the majority of 100 CIOs from companies with at least 5,000 employees.

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The majority of the CIOs surveyed, across the US, EMEA and Asia-Pacific, agreed that the volume, complexity and pace of business change is accelerating much faster today than at the beginning of this decade.

As a result, the research suggested they ‘recognise the need for innovative solutions to alleviate the growing access bottleneck created by the convergence of ubiquitous connectivity, large scale automation, infinite scalability and artificial intelligence.’

The vast majority (97%) of the CIOs surveyed believed technology will grow in sophistication and complexity in the next six years and that workforces will be dispersed across various geographies and time zones.


● 94% agreed the 2025 workforce will consist of both human resources and bots.

● 93% said the pace of business will continue to accelerate through 2025.

● 89% agreed that high-performing businesses of the future will be required to leverage machine learning and AI to predict and rapidly meet the needs of their customers.

● 59.4% anticipated business will evolve at least twice as fast as it does today.

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Change is constant, especially at work

In this always on culture, work now occurs anywhere at any time — 58% of the CIOs said remote working will increase significantly over the next six years. And, 69% of professionals now say that workplace flexibility is a critical issue when evaluating potential employers.

This change in the workforce and the workplace supports digital transformation initiatives. But, the reality is that this digital movement is still considered as futuristic, rather than an imminent requirement.

The study showed unified access management lies at the heart of the future dynamic marketplace: it is integral to centralising the management of all users, devices and apps to provide simple and secure access to all users

“Imagine the billions of handshakes and interactions with a workforce spread around the world, requiring access to hundreds of SaaS and on-premise apps. This is where the bottlenecks are going to occur. Finding a solution will be the greatest challenge,” OneLogin chief product officer Venkat Sathyamurthy said. “And this challenge is not just because of new cloud technologies. Industry research continues to confirm that organisations will operate in hybrid environments that include on-premise technologies as well. Managing both sides are key to business success.”

Poor access management could exacerbate this bottleneck, according to 85% of the CIOs surveyed.

“In the evolving digital economy, the pace of business is critical,” Sathyamurthy said. “The challenge that we’ll face in the coming years belongs to the emerging commercial ecosystem we call the ‘Dynamic Marketplace.’ This is where the developments across workforce, workplace, and technology interact. There must be a way to manage access in the dynamic marketplace, or we’ll fail to realise the benefits it offers.”

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“Until recently, most access scenarios involved internal employees working primarily from dedicated desktop computers on the corporate network,” said Garrett Bekker, principal security analyst, 451 Research. “However, modern firms will face considerable changes in the coming years and the approaches to access control will need to evolve accordingly. For example, the user community has expanded, consisting of employees, partners, contractors, consultants, customers, and, increasingly, ‘non-humans’ like bots. Further, ‘human’ users are no longer confined to their desks, but increasingly work from a variety of locations, including home offices or coffee shops, and are accessing resources that can be located virtually anywhere. Access control solutions that fail take this diversity into account will be found lacking.”

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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