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Topcoder 2020 Predictions: What's ahead for 2020 and beyond

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

By Michael P. Morris, CEO of Topcoder

What's ahead for 2020 and beyond

Technologies like AI, Blockchain and quantum will hit their stride as we head toward 2025. Tech leaders will expect them to deliver on promises to drive digital transformation and solve society's biggest challenges across industries. Standardized DevOps processes and tools, along with the ability to quickly set up talented agile teams that work from anywhere, will also fuel the adoption of advanced technologies. Taking a hard look at whether or not IT teams have the right skills to make that happen will be an emerging factor, too. Progressive leaders will accept that there's really no war for talent, but rather that enterprise has had a ‘persistent blind spot' in talent acquisition. Companies will start to figure out how to find, attract and connect the millions of talented members of the global gig economy with organizations that need them most, and then create project opportunities too attractive for them to pass up.

And some further thought re: quantum...We know the promise of quantum is slow to develop because only a handful of companies in the world can afford a quantum computer, but the real question is how will those companies actually get the most from quantum when so few in the IT workforce even know how to use it? 

One of the critical components to being a leader in quantum computing is cultivating off-the-charts data science skills. The US is taking steps to invest in IT education, but it'll take time. Companies like Topcoder and Fujitsu aren't waiting -- they're training, developing and finding those IT and data science "high potentials" who possess the capacity for quantum. Fujitsu partnered with Topcoder because the Topcoder Community (1.5M+ global developers, designers, data scientists and testers) offers access to some of the most advanced mathematical/algorithmic minds on the planet who know how to take an obscenely complex problem (e.g. analyzing gene sequences for predictive medicine), think about how to solve it and then develop the code "quantum style" to make it happen. 

So what's the future of work? It's the passion economy: Forget the set-schedule work week--the future of work will be driven by the "passion economy," especially in the tech world. As the prevalence of open workforce models grow, freelance designers, developers and data scientists will shift loyalties to the work that's out there, rather than a specific company. In order to recruit and retain people with coveted tech skills, companies will need to provide interesting projects for the freelance community that challenge and inspire them. The future isn't about WHEN you work and from WHERE, but WHAT you work on. This spirit was recently alive and well at the annual Topcoder Open and Innovation Summit, where hundreds of talented gig economy techies came together from around the globe to compete in the world's largest live programming competition. The energy in the room from the Topcoder Community, as well as the IT executives hoping to get to know and understand them better, was infectious and created a truly memorable experience.

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About the Author

Michael P. Morris, CEO of Topcoder | Global Head of Crowdsourcing for Wipro

Michael Morris 

Mike Morris is the CEO of Topcoder (the world's largest technology network and on-demand digital talent platform with a global community of 1.5M+ design, development and data science experts) and Global Head of Crowdsourcing for IT-services leader Wipro. Second only to his commitment to family-and perhaps waterskiing-Mike has served in leadership roles at Topcoder since 2002. A gig economy expert, he speaks worldwide about cultivating a passionate workforce to drive the transformative nature of digital innovation across every industry imaginable.

Previously a GM|SVP at Appirio, Mike led its crowdsource offering (Cloudspokes) through the acquisition of Topcoder, and then managed customer, sales and services teams to solidify the Topcoder brand as the largest open workforce provider in the world. He was an integral part of Topcoder becoming a Wipro company through the acquisition of Appirio in 2016.

An active Boston College alumnus; guest lecturer at institutions like Harvard University, MIT, New York University and University of California Berkeley; and an engineer at heart, Mike continues to lead the open workforce revolution by empowering organizations with limitless software development possibilities and unprecedented access to Topcoder's talented multinational technologists.
Published Friday, December 06, 2019 7:31 AM by David Marshall
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