Business Strategies and Technologies Driving the Next Generation Workforce

According to a recent Wall Street Journal report1, the percentage of U.S. workers not directly employed by the company where they work grew from 8% in 2005 to 16% in 2015. This next generation workforce is typically contracted under flexible, third-party employment arrangements.

At the stated growth rate, nearly 25% of the U.S. workforce will become “contingent workers” by 2022 and 35% by 2025. Other studies conclude that this next generation workforce is already at 30%.

There are many factors driving the next generation workforce mega trend. On the talent supply side, there is a growing desire for flexible schedules, transferable skills and more control over career paths. On the demand side — particularly with SMBs — there is a need for fixed cost flexibility, on-demand skills and a rapid response capacity for disruptive market changes.

Next Generation Workforce Technology Solutions

The rapid migration toward project-based work has profound implications for those directly affected, and for society in general. Information workers, especially, will need to embrace changes in the nature and location of their work. Society, as a whole, will need to adapt to a new definition for the term “career,” and to new, cloud-based technology solutions. Virtualized infrastructure, eBusiness platforms, virtual office environments and remote collaboration tools will be needed to make this next generation workforce effective.

These technologies should help transform a loosely coupled contingent workforce into a well-structured opportunity … both for SMBs seeking flexible talent solutions, and for the skilled workers who make up the “human cloud” of talent that fills the demand for project-based work.

Future posts will discuss the key trends and technologies that are combining to accelerate this migration:

  1. Business process outsourcing
  2. eBusiness platforms
  3. Intelligent applications
  4. Perpetual learning platforms
  5. Project-based employment, strategic projects
  6. The blended workforce, distributed teams
  7. AI computing sitting on top of big data engines
  8. Digital, on-demand marketplaces and platforms
  9. The agile enterprise
  10. Hyper converged infrastructure


1 WSJ 2/4/17 The End of Employees, Laveen Weber