Science & Technology in Action

12th Edition

The Future-Ready Workforce

Dell EMC

Over a relatively short period of time the Information Technology (IT) industry has emerged as a significant influence on a changing workplace. This lesson discusses some of the features of this change such as mobility, remote working and technologies driving these. The concepts ‘Bring You Own Device’ and ‘Activity Based Working’ are also explained.
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Contains the full lesson along with a supporting toolkit, including teachers’ notes.

Lesson excerpt

Ready for the changing workplace?
Social history clearly illustrates how technology has influenced the way work is organised and carried out. Many of the things we take for granted were novelties in previous times. For example, the Industrial Revolution gave rise to a new experience for thousands of people. Each day, they left their homes to gather in a special building to perform specific tasks, often using newly invented machinery. These buildings were called factories.

In latter times the most powerful infl uence on change has been the computer. Over a relatively short period of time the Information Technology (IT) industry has emerged as a significant force and it continues to change at a rapid pace. Even though it is a relatively new industry we are now hearing about ‘traditional IT’ and the ‘New IT’.

What is the New IT?
The term ‘New IT’ refers to the technologies that are emerging as a result of a variety of signifi cant developments. There is much debate about the type of development that can be regarded as a component of the New IT. In this lesson we will refer to some of the most recognisable, namely mobility and remote working, the cloud, devices and apps. Reference is also made to the Internet of Things (IoT).

Who are the Millennials?
Social scientists often use particular labels to identify different generations. The computer arrived as a consumer product in the 1980s. Hence, the generations born just before 1980, and any time after, are familiar with computer technology since their early youth. Members of the first of these generations are known as the Millennials. If you are a second level student now, you are a Millennial, or a member of Generation Z, ― generations that are very comfortable with technology.

You probably have a smart phone, are familiar with many apps and use social media. You take these technologies for granted and have developed expertise in using them. This experience will affect your assumptions and expectations about working and about the workplace. This is why employers and career advisors are giving so much thought to these topics. In particular they are very interested in the work preferences that recent generations hold.

Quiz questions

  1. The mobile phone has had no influence on work false
  2. Millenials were born in 1970. false
  3. The Industrial Revolution had a big impact on social organisation. true
  4. Nobody uses more computers at home than at work. false
  5. Broadband services will not get any faster. false
  6. The Internet of Things is likely to include many household devices. true
  7. A Bring Your Own Device policy can be a serious threat to data security. true
  8. Technology will eliminate peoples’ need for face to face contact. false
  9. The ‘open office’ is the best design for the workplace. false
  10. Social change will never influence technology false

Glossary of terms

cloud
refers to online computer resources
broadband
a high-speed, high-capacity data transmission system that can operate over telephone lines, but is not confined to them
WiFi
a wireless protocol devised around 1991 as a basis for wireless computer networking
app
abbreviation for smartphone applications
activity based working (ABW)
working conditions in which the workspace is designed to fit the work being done
BYOD
Bring Your Own Device
collaboration
working together
curriculum vitae (CV)
summary of education, training, skills and work experience
Internet of Things (IOT)
the networking of devices fitted with smart technology
Millennials
generally understood to refer to people born between 1980 and 2000
New IT
technologies that support mobility, remote working, the cloud, smart devices and apps
productivity
the effectiveness of production, especially in industry and services sectors
Industrial Revolution
a period in history from about 1760 to 1840; a period of rapid application of mechanisation in industry
traditional IT
geneally used to mean computer technology prior to the widespread use of the cloud and New IT