Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Greg Schulz, Liz McMillan, Carl J. Levine, Elizabeth White, Rene Buest

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, @BigDataExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Book Excerpt | The New World of Work: From the Cube to the Cloud

Part 1: Cloud technology allows companies to leverage intellectual property

Thereʼs a popular childrenʼs book called Whereʼs Waldo, in which the lead character - with his signature red-and-white striped shirt and somewhat goofy expression - is obscured by various collections of people and things. Heʼs hidden, but in plain sight (if youʼll excuse the oxymoron) and itʼs the young readerʼs task to locate him in every illustration. By the end of the book, children become adept at locating the enigmatic Waldo in a glance.

We can only hope that this instructional parable reminds us of how sometimes the simplest truth can be obstructed by our need to make things complex. And so it is with the new world of work. If you want to know where the jobs are, hereʼs a hint: Theyʼre in plain sight.

You might call this new, adult game Whereʼs the Work. And the stakes couldnʼt be higher.

The Case of the Disappearing Jobs - Or Not
In listening to politicians and pundits one might think jobs have disappeared completely. They havenʼt. Theyʼre simply hiding in plain sight where only those who can see the obvious are able find them.

For example, letʼs say a big company like IBM sets up operations in a new locale. In the past, the company would have staffed the new facility with a thousand new workers. That meant spending hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of corporate dollars on office space, equipment and infrastructure, and parking lots. No more. Today the company builds a small facility, staffs it with 100 or so managers while the remaining positions are sent to the cloud to be filled by talent around the globe. Not because the labor is cheaper...but because the labor is more talented, and more eager to compete for this work. Thatʼs right; compete for the work.

Why would a company such as IBM consider the cloud for its talent needs? Because technology and next generation work now make it possible for companies to work effectively with skeleton crews onsite and large, competent resources spread across the globe.

That brings us to an important point. Youʼre right if you think much of the "new" work has gone overseas. Work has spread across the globe because companies can now source talent easily, and the talent will compete for the work... not based on price, but on the quality of their work.

Ironically, this doesn't mean those same jobs aren't also available in the United States because they are. Itʼs just that most Americans don't realize that this work is available, and we are not prepared to compete for work in this way. Furthermore, most US companies haven't grasped how to capitalize on this new talent war, and only a handful of companies are winning the new game. You see, just as workers are competing for work in the cloud, companies now have to compete for the best talent by providing interesting projects at competitive pay.

Which is why we wrote this book. The New World of Work is both a roadmap for professionals seeking a career in this new world, as well as a compass for those responsible for developing new talent strategies for your company.

The New Revolution
Weʼre in the midst of a new work revolution and its implications are as far-reaching as those of the Industrial Revolution, which lasted from 1750 to 1850, yet impacted the way we worked for generations after. The Industrial Revolution - coupled with the impact of the Great Depression - pushed jobs from the farm to the factory. The move from farm-to-factory, and then to the corporation, resulted in a geographical concentration of workers in cities and suburbs rather than dispersed on family farms. New industries evolved, in part to match the way our society worked, lived and played. The way we worked after the Industrial Revolution ultimately reshaped our entire society.

There have been several mini-revolutions since, but nothing to match the scale of the Industrial Revolution. That is, until now.

No Boundaries: Work Has Moved, Not Disappeared
The Information Revolution, which occurred over the last twenty years and involved an almost unbelievable growth in work-enabling technology, has spawned an entirely new way of organizing work. As it relates to technology, Mooreʼs Law correctly predicted the progression. This new method is responsible for innovative business models and career opportunities, all with one thing in common: Today, there are no boundaries to work.

Mooreʼs Law continues to be undeniably accurate. As described in his 1965 paper on computer components, Gordon Moore predicted that the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles every two years. Therefore, the speed and performance of computer chips would double every two years. The faster the processing power, the more applications you can run with greater capabilities, the ultimate combination for a virtual world.

Over the last two decades the world experienced several well-publicized workforce developments. First, it was outsourcing, which led to offshoring. Today there is a ubiquitous transformation of work platforms and talent-sourcing that is revolutionizing not just how and where work is performed, but the way business is being done. The New World of Work is leveraging the Information Revolution and in the process, transforming how and where we work. Today work is certainly moving from the cube to the cloud, but in the process itʼs creating an entirely new breed of worker.

Three New-World Workforce Trends
This transformation, and thus the New World of Work, has crystallized three key trends that form the basis of this book. We will fully explore these trends and how you can profit from them later, but briefly want to introduce them here:

Work has been fractionalized - Routine work has been broken down into small tasks, and as a result, most companies will be hiring fewer full-time workers as they outsource those routine tasks as contract projects.

Careers have been virtualized - With cloud technology and its capacity to allow companies to leverage intellectual property, work (both contract and role-based) is moving from the cube to the cloud. Professionals can work from anywhere, and at any time.

Talent has been globalized - As noted earlier, the fractionalization of work, and virtualization of careers has made talent truly exportable. Forget offshoring; Crowdsourcing means that smart businesses can get talent anywhere, anytime.

In the New World of Work, there are literally no limits to what, how, and where work can be performed. While this is clearly an advantage for those businesses that can adapt, it is an even bigger opportunity for professionals who learn how to compete effectively for this work. And, in a world with no boundaries, learning to compete for this work is paramount. Throughout the book, weʼll show you how to use these trends to position your business or career to compete effectively in a boundary-less world of work.

Work, Work Everywhere...
In the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the hero of the poem is dying of thirst while surrounded by an endless ocean of water. The now-famous line, "Water, water everywhere, but nary a drop to drink," is all too appropriate for workers who struggle to take advantage of the new work that surrounds them.

According to the International Labor Organization, as of this printing in late 2012, two hundred million people are out of work globally, with an estimated forty million of those unemployed workers residing in advanced societies such as those in the United States, Japan and Europe. Yet at the same time, businesses in those nations lament that they are unable to find qualified workers.

A small percentage of this now-persistent unemployment can be explained by weak demand, but clearly there are bigger problems underpinning the stagnant labor market. Despite elevated unemployment levels, many jobs go unfilled in mature economies because employers canʼt find the right talent.

In 2011, when US unemployment was at 9%, an MGI survey of two thousand U.S. companies found that 30% of the available positions remained open for six months or more. The reason? Companies couldnʼt find the required talent. During the same period, 36% of European employers claimed to have difficulty filling roles, and as many as 8% of Japanese companies reported the same challenge.

While technology has enabled a New World of Work, the speed of business and technological change has outpaced the ability of many workers to adapt, resulting in a mismatch between work and the skill required to fulfill demand. So the jobs are there - in fact businesses are crying out to fill them - workers just need to gain the necessary skills - and attitude - to make those jobs their own.

Weʼll Be Your Guides
For most, the New World of Work seemed to appear overnight. As two of those who saw it early, at first even we didnʼt grasp the magnitude of the shift or understand the drivers fueling it. On behalf of those ready to embrace this fresh perspective, the new world will usher in new opportunities and new ways of approaching business.

We know that such dramatic change can feel disconcerting. Once we realized that next generation work was bigger than the cloud technology that enabled it, even we were caught off guard. You see, technology certainly has changed work. But it is a new breed of worker that is changing the way business is done. This new breed of worker competes for work anywhere in the world. They are what we call a "VirtualpreneurTM" - combining an entrepreneurial spirit with virtual work platforms that match talent to the companies who want to hire them, on a contract basis.

Thatʼs why we had to write this book. We felt compelled to explain this new world to the millions of professionals in search of work, all the while missing that the work is right in front of their very eyes. We also know that this new talent marketplace is changing the way businesses must compete for work, and in so doing, most companies are left without talent to fill open positions because the majority of qualified workers arenʼt within a 50 mile radius of their headquarters.

To grasp next generation work, it is imperative to understand what - not who - moved the cube into the cloud. Weʼll show you why itʼs inaccurate (and unproductive) to blame corporations for outsourcing jobs and ripping success from our hands. In the New World of Work, boundaries have vanished and work now moves fluidly around the globe, based on available and passionate talent. This is the effect of a new and ubiquitous trend - not the result of corporations simply trying to increase profit margins.

To truly understand the New World of Work, we must let go of the need to blame and instead grasp that something much bigger is going on. We can no longer blame corporations or the government for not protecting our jobs. Itʼs time to take advantage of the resources surrounding us, set our fears and angst aside, and prepare for the future.

The fact that youʼve chosen to read this book is a very good indication that you are ready to get started. Companies who capitalize on these trends will have increased leverage through human capital. And professionals who create new career strategies geared to the new world will find their skills to be in high demand.

In the coming chapters, we will explore new business, career, and talent models driven by a cloud-based world and a workforce motivated by its passion for the work, rather than the location of the job. The real benefit of removing the boundaries to work is that it enables oneʼs passion for work to take precedence. And companies that can capitalize on passion will take a lead role in the coming Talent Revolution created by the New World of Work.

If youʼre ready to exploit next generation work, and plot a new career strategy for yourself or a talent strategy for your business, then this movement is for you. Welcome to the new world of work.


This is an excerpt from The New World of Work: From the Cube to the Cloud by Tim Houlne and Terri Maxwell. Republished with permission. Copyright © 2013 by Tim Houlne and Terri Maxwell

More Stories By Tim Houlne

Tim Houlne is a visionary whose longstanding, futuristic predictions about the virtual workforce is now a reality. He recognizes and understands trends, and uses that unique knowledge to transform industries across the business landscape. His understanding of the virtual workplace is unparalleled, and his drive to uncover new concepts is matched only by his passion for growing profitable businesses. Tim holds the position of CEO at Working Solutions, a premier virtual agent and technology solutions provider in Dallas, Texas.

Tim has authored multiple articles and white papers covering a wide-range of subjects including Top Traits of High Caliber Agents, Platform as a Service, and Contact Center Security – Moving to the Cloud. He is a highly sought-after speaker for industry conferences, business summits, and schools. His passion is helping others embrace new concepts and ideas that improve the lives of working professionals while ensuring excellent bottom-line results.

More Stories By Terri Maxwell

Terri Maxwell provides game-changing insights that transform businesses, people, and industries. She is an impactful, passionate leader known for simplifying formulas for success and igniting potential. In a career that spans more than 20 years, Terri has put her talents to work for large and small companies, and is a well-known consultant to small businesses and entrepreneurs seeking to accelerate growth.

Throughout her career, Terri has delivered sound solutions to large and small companies, producing unprecedented results and igniting growth. She has launched more than twenty start-up brands, built numerous successful companies, and created a well-known and highly respected business incubator, Succeed on Purpose, Inc. in Irving, Texas. She is the author of Succeed on Purpose: Everything Happens for a Reason, a book teaching how to use lifeʼs challenges to uncover your purpose.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
When building large, cloud-based applications that operate at a high scale, it’s important to maintain a high availability and resilience to failures. In order to do that, you must be tolerant of failures, even in light of failures in other areas of your application. “Fly two mistakes high” is an old adage in the radio control airplane hobby. It means, fly high enough so that if you make a mistake, you can continue flying with room to still make mistakes. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee A...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
“We're a global managed hosting provider. Our core customer set is a U.S.-based customer that is looking to go global,” explained Adam Rogers, Managing Director at ANEXIA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, director/senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
910Telecom exhibited at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which took place at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, in November 2016. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and exchanges.
As software becomes more and more complex, we, as software developers, have been splitting up our code into smaller and smaller components. This is also true for the environment in which we run our code: going from bare metal, to VMs to the modern-day Cloud Native world of containers, schedulers and micro services. While we have figured out how to run containerized applications in the cloud using schedulers, we've yet to come up with a good solution to bridge the gap between getting your contain...
Niagara Networks exhibited at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which took place at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, in November 2016. Niagara Networks offers the highest port-density systems, and the most complete Next-Generation Network Visibility systems including Network Packet Brokers, Bypass Switches, and Network TAPs.
Zerto exhibited at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which took place at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, in June 2016. Zerto is committed to keeping enterprise and cloud IT running 24/7 by providing innovative, simple, reliable and scalable business continuity software solutions. Through the Zerto Cloud Continuity Platform™, organizations can seamlessly move and protect virtualized workloads between public, private and hybrid clouds. The company’s flagship product, Zerto Virtual...
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, looked at differ...
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service. In his session at 19th Cloud Exp...
"Plutora provides release and testing environment capabilities to the enterprise," explained Dalibor Siroky, Director and Co-founder of Plutora, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Security, data privacy, reliability and regulatory compliance are critical factors when evaluating whether to move business applications from in-house client hosted environments to a cloud platform. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Vandana Viswanathan, Associate Director at Cognizant, In this session, will provide an orientation to the five stages required to implement a cloud hosted solution validation strategy.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place in November in Silicon Valley, California.
The security needs of IoT environments require a strong, proven approach to maintain security, trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
Wooed by the promise of faster innovation, lower TCO, and greater agility, businesses of every shape and size have embraced the cloud at every layer of the IT stack – from apps to file sharing to infrastructure. The typical organization currently uses more than a dozen sanctioned cloud apps and will shift more than half of all workloads to the cloud by 2018. Such cloud investments have delivered measurable benefits. But they’ve also resulted in some unintended side-effects: complexity and risk. ...