New Dell Technologies Research Reveals a Divided Vision of the Future


Global business leaders forecast the next era of human-machine partnerships and how they intend to prepare…

We’re entering the next era of human-machine partnerships with a divided vision of the future, according to global research now available from Dell Technologies. Half of the 3,800 global business leaders surveyed forecast that automated systems will free up their time, while the other 50 percent believe otherwise. Similarly, 42 percent believe they’ll have more job satisfaction in the future by offloading tasks to machines, while 58 percent disagree.

The quantitative research conducted by Vanson Bourne follows Dell Technologies’ seminal story, “Realizing 2030: The Next Era of Human-Machine Partnerships.” That study forecasted that by 2030, emerging technologies will forge human partnerships with machines that are richer and more immersive than ever before, helping us surpass our limitations. Business leaders agree: 82 percent of respondents expect humans and machines will work as integrated teams within their organization inside of five years. 

“You can understand why the business community is so polarised,” comments Jeremy Burton, chief marketing officer, Dell Technologies. “There tend to be two extreme perspectives about the future: The anxiety-driven issue of human obsolescence or the optimistic view that technology will solve our greatest social problems. These differing viewpoints could make it difficult for organizations to prepare for a future that’s in flux and would certainly hamper leaders’ efforts to push through necessary change.” 

Given the promise of monumental change – fuelled by exponentially increasing data and the applications, processing power and connectivity to harness it – 56 percent speculate that schools will need to teach how to learn rather than what to learn to prepare students for jobs that don’t yet exist. This thinking corroborates IFTF’s forecast that 85 percent of jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet. 

Furthermore, many businesses aren’t moving fast enough, and going deep enough, to overcome common barriers to operating as a successful digital business. Only 27 percent of businesses believe they are leading the way, ingraining digital in all they do. Forty-two percent don’t know whether they’ll be able to compete over the next decade, and the majority (57 percent) of businesses are struggling to keep-up with the pace of change. 

Leaders may be divided in their view of the future and facing barriers to change, but they’re united in the need to transform. In fact, the vast majority of businesses believe they’ll be well on their way to transforming within five years, despite the challenges they face.

The research explores the changing relationship between technology and people, emerging technologies’ impact on business and the way we work and how business leaders and CIOs plan to succeed over the next 10 to 15 years.