As many as 60% of IT organisations will underperform as they fail to attract and regain the employees they will need to succeed in the digital age, according to Gartner. Few organisations are prepared for the new levels of competition, spurred by globalisation and new work-related rules in their search for and retention of talented employees.

Driven by rapid advances in technology, globalisation, major changes in work demographics and more innovative and open approaches to business practices, new rules are emerging that will dramatically change the workforce and the role of management and IT over the next 10 years, the analyst firm said.

“The search for talented employees continues to become more difficult and nothing companies have done in the past will suffice,” said Diane Morello, vice-president and Gartner fellow. “The workplace of the future will require more imagination, more commitment and more cutting-edge action than most enterprises have faced before. Doing nothing is not an option, nor is mildly incremental improvement. Talented people fuel growth, innovation and excellence.”

Workplaces of the future

According to Gartner, six new rules are emerging that will govern the workplace of the future:

  1. The quality of peers will matter
  2. The competition for qualified IT talent will be global
  3. The employment model will change shape
  4. No two people will approach work in the same way
  5. Talented people will move around
  6. gap between leaders and followers will widen.

Gartner said leaders will capitalise on individualised work patterns, such as the right to work from home and shifting social dynamics, like the tendency to communicate and learn through blogs and social networks. Organisations will also increasingly need to be prepared to source new talented employees globally as opposed to just locally, as talented people crosses borders, boundaries and organisations. Those that fail to do so will find themselves at a significant disadvantage, it stressed.

As a result, Gartner predicts that by 2015, people will spend more than 80% of their time working collaboratively, often across ten or more virtual teams. Communication and marketing about work engagements, employment opportunities and new jobs will spread primarily virally through peer networks. By 2015, more than half of the Fortune 2000 enterprises will have multisourced workforces that span the globe.

“Although the rate and scope of work-related change will vary, no organisation will be immune,” said Morello. “All organisations must get into a competitive condition. We predict that recruiting, engaging and refreshing the most talented employees and the most relevant workforce will lie at the very heart of future business success.”

At the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2007: Emerging Trends, being held 20-23 May, in Barcelona, Gartner analysts will examine how organisations build an IT workforce that can adapt to their businesses rapidly changing nature of work.