Twenty years ago the “digit-” era started: Digitization, Digitalisation, Digital Revolution, Digital Transformation… Everything concerning digital is still a hot topic in 2020 (and if we trust google trends, Digital Transformation won the run). What new “digits” are we to expect in 2020 and will they generate digits for anyone?

Digital… Work?

Workplace and work relations are in for a treat in 2020. The trend towards Artificial Intelligence in HR is strong. AI finds people for companies and companies (or at least a team) for people. In addition, trackers are searching not only for your knowledge but also for proof of your skills and even of how your personality may be. As more and more people are aware of this situation, the way we present ourselves in our curriculum vitae, social media and current company profiles will change to address this trend. Knowing the words, images (!) and other data being searched for by the powerful AI engines of job hunting companies and HR Start Ups will be a valuable skill for the future worker. How can I make sure I will attract the right offers or that my application is taken seriously by the right companies? What type of information about myself are they getting out of the web and outside of my direct control? If you are not in Europe, protected (at least on paper) by the GDPR laws, these are all relevant questions.

Meanwhile in the realm of platform technology, Uber now attempts to implement its user-client linking approach to work relations via Uber Work. This thought provoking article by the DEAN of Hult Business School argues that if the trend toward freelance work at a very personalized level of job seeking and finding spreads, workers will be more interested in collecting their skills to be shown to these companies at a very fast, personal pace, leaving traditional educational models behind. The argument being that traditional education holds to curriculum that are, from the point of view of companies, bloated and too academic, whereas skills are what are sought for.

An interesting aspect that we can extrapolate from this article is whether this new market-of-skills will get a platform with enough trust to supplement the belief in the reputation of schools and universities. Will it be enough for me to show in an app I’ve a “Grad 17 Leadership Skill” instead of some famous MBA certificate? The answer is unclear. What is not unclear is that such developments will also have to deal with the heavy book of Law as well. Worker’s rights and income taxes won’t be forgotten due to these disruptive ideas.

Digital… Fogs?

When the tired worker from above comes home, she will perhaps instruct Alexa or Siri to turn on music and relax a bit. The realm of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) is a huge trend and an aspect of it is now receiving more attention: Fog (and/or?) Edge Computing. To most news readers, cloud computing is a known concept. Computers “somewhere out there” power a number of services, like the platform economy mentioned above and many IoT devices as well. That these “computers in the cloud” do the work is something easy to comprehend, but when you think a bit longer about it, you notice that a lot happens between your device home and the cloud computer.

Enormous amounts of data are generated and sent to the cloud, a lot of which is necessary only locally though or which is so personal you do not want it to go anywhere. What if we had some type of gate keeper that could hold some of that data at the border… at the edge, before it goes to the cloud? In that “foggy” area is where edge or fog computing is located. By adding this additional layer to its systems, a lot of new opportunities for efficiency. So you suddenly start putting computing power back locally, which you wanted in the cloud before and… yeah, you see where that leads, it is a very complex field. And complexity means opportunity, the market for Edge Computing is said to be on the rise. But whether that will turn true, once again the answer is unclear.

Digital… Week?

What is not unclear is that we won’t leave these and other aspects of the digital transformation in the air!

The Executive School at the University of St. Gallen is once again bringing its Digital Week webinar series to the public, during March 2nd-5th.

Registration and attendance is free of charge. Check out our webinars and find out more about the newest aspects of digital transformation in 2020!

About the author(s)

Portrait Julio Prina 341

Julio Prina Technology & Innovation Manager


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