Preface The Impact of Information Technology on the Workforce of the Future To determine the impact of information technology on the workforce of the future, I conducted a study using an historical perspective on the use of information technology in the workplace and by the workforce. This study also considered recent trends in workforce management such as telecommuting, globalization, outsourcing, and off-shoring activities. The results of this study revealed that technological advances in office equipment over the past thirty years have enabled organizations to improve operating efficiencies, improve communications, reduce costs, increase their global presence, and gain competitive advantage through the implementation of information technology systems. Additionally, the study underscored some of the issues organizations must face when implementing new information technology systems, such as the need for increased security procedures, workforce management and motivation, and managing budgetary costs in an ever-changing technology-driven marketplace. Based on this study, it appears that the workforce of the future will conduct business from a non-traditional office setting at an increasing rate. Employees will continue to become more mobile, operating from remote locations via electronic means. In order to stay competitive in an ever-changing, technology-driven business environment, organizations will frequently have to consider how information technology aligns with their overall strategy. Just as technology is making it better it is also making it worse. Technology is the artificial enhancement of human power. It should make us stronger and smarter; however our demented community is discovering that it now has the opposite effect. Nuclear power has terrified and paralysed its creators, while the improved cleverness and flexibility of our machines have caused social chaos and economic stagnation. 1. Introduction This paper will examine how innovations in information technology (IT) have impacted the workplace and workforce over the past four decades. Since the 1960’s, IT has dramatically changed the landscape of the workplace through advances in office equipment, speed of information transmission and methods of communication. From a human capital perspective, IT has allowed companies and their employees to increase efficiencies, communicate more rapidly, and work from remote locations. The ability of the workforce to perform organizational tasks from a remote location (also known as “telecommuting”) has enabled employees to improve quality of life and manage the professional and personal aspects of their lives. From an operational perspective, investments in IT by organizations willing to embrace technology have resulted in increased efficiencies, cost reductions, global expansion, improved intra-company and customer communications, improved reporting and tracking methods, and increased competitive advantage in the marketplace. Along with the benefits realized by companies from IT advances, this paper will also examine some of the issues facing organizations such as security, resource allocation, and relationship management of mobile workforce. 2. History: Information Technology in the Workplace Prior to the 1990s, workforce, in the majority of organizations, was located in traditional office settings, with mainly face-to-face communication. Office equipment included telephones, typewriters, copy machines, and early computers used for word processing. Documents and correspondence were transmitted via regular mail, with overnight package delivery coming into service only in the late 1980s.
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