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The One Thing that May Finally Make the Virtual Organization a Reality

The concept of the "virtual organization" has been around for quite a while now, however few organizations have fully embraced the concept. While remote workers and virtual workplaces are a growing trend, the overall number is still quite small. According to a recent Gallup poll, while a greater percentage of U.S. workers now telecommute more than in the past, telecommuting is still more the exception than the rule.

But this might be changing, thanks to millennials.

As millennials grow in the workplace ranks (millennials are expected to account for 75% of the global workforce by 2025), they are turning the workplace on its head. Their ideas of how and where work gets done is vastly different than previous generations; according to a recent survey by accounting firm Ernst & Young, millennials highly value flexible work arrangements.

One need only look at companies such as Uber -- the world's largest taxi service which has no vehicles --to understand how companies and work as we know is changing right before our eyes. 

Business brick and mortar barriers are giving way to a new highly distributed global virtual workforce model - a "decoupling from cubes and campuses" of devastating proportions. And with no geographic constraints regarding talent, organizations will no longer compete solely against organizations in their local geographic regions for talent -- or locate offices in "target rich" talent zones. A full 50% of the U.S. workforce is expected to be freelancers by 2020. Today's technology enables individuals to contribute information, ideas and intelligence from anywhere; this has put candidates in the drivers' seat - creating a virtual network of workplace opportunists, where organizations must now compete to attract and retain their skills and talent.

To this end, organizations are needing to make crucial adjustments. First and foremost, they need to ensure virtual worldwide talent pools can effortlessly engage and collaborate. Sitting at the intersection of workers and systems to unite information and execution, next-generation ERP solutions play an important role in attracting, connecting and empowering the next-generation workforce via cloud, mobile, analytics and other enabling technologies.

As well, ERP also plays a vital role in reducing complexity, enhancing productivity, and in freeing staff from mundane tasks - a key objective identified by executives in our most recent global growth survey focusing on Human Capital Management and Growth . What's more, a concentrated focus on technology today to meet the needs of workforce of tomorrow will ready organizations to win the global talent war - a critical factor to fuel growth.

Posted by Celia Fleischaker, CMO, Global Marketing at Epicor


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