While Michael Rogers says he wasn't a fan of the title "futurist" at first, he's come to embrace the title for himself. And he recommends that MSPs start thinking of themselves as futurists, too.
"Part of your practice going forward is going to be being a futurist," Rogers said Thursday at the NexGen 2019 Conference and Expo in Anaheim, Calif., an event hosted by CRN parent The Channel Company.
[Related: Blockchain: 5 Things The Channel Needs To Know]
"Futurist" is a useful title because it gives permission to "think out a little bit further" than usual, he said--which is something MSPs ought to get into the habit of doing, if they aren't already.
"I think there is an interesting role for futurists and R&D in your industry," Rogers said. "Because you are building the infrastructure for the next decade. I often call it the 'virtualization of America and the world'--the fact that more and more of what we do, how we learn, how we shop, how we need our mates, is going into the cyber sphere."
While many would contend that's already happened, "my argument is that it's actually just started, he said.
"We will be stunned 10 years from now by how much goes on in the virtual world and has been moved to the virtual world," Rogers said. "The winners toward the end of the next decade will be the ones who best figure out what belongs in the virtual world, what should remain in the physical world, and how you connect between them."
Rogers outlined several specific technologies he believes will be "very important in the virtualization of the world" down the road--even if they "may not play a big part now in the MSP world.
One technology is smart glasses, including devices that are starting to emerge that can project a virtual screen that can be controlled by voice (or even by hand in the air). Potential uses for the glasses include aiding with repair work in the field, Rogers noted.
Another use for new display technologies is to better enable distributed workforces--with Rogers giving the example of new systems that could be described as "videoconferencing on steroids." The systems could offer a high-res, wall-sized screen that is connected to another office within an organization.
"In the demo I saw, you walked into a coffee lounge in Palo Alto and it looked like an ordinary coffee lounge with a table, chairs, coffee maker. And then there's a full-size video screen, completely covering the back wall, on which you saw identically the same coffee lounge," Rogers said. "It literally looked like one room. And that was up in Portland, Oregon. So you'd walk into Palo Alto, a bell would ring in Portland, Oregon, to indicate someone was in the coffee lounge, and your co-worker from Oregon would come out."
Research on those offices suggested that a piece of work divided between the two sites was equivalent to work occurring in the same space, Rogers said.
Allen Falcon, CEO of Westborough, Mass.-based Cumulus Global, said this example of visually connected offices resonates, because it recognizes that the human connection is really important in work.
So if you're not going to go physically into the office, your work relationships still have to be there. And the visual component of communications, which is more than half of communication, has to be there as well," Falcon said. "And so really focusing on the technologies that let people use the network to work and live in the way they want, as a convenience, and as a way of maintaining the human connection--I think that's an opportunity for our industry."
Other examples of technologies that Rogers expects to be increasingly important going forward include blockchain, IoT and artificial intelligence.
AI, he noted, is already automating a wide range of white-collar jobs, including in sectors such as law. For instance, in just a few hours, eDiscovery applications are capable of going through evidence that previously would have taken months, he said.
"It is clearly the way forward for a lot of these white-collar organizations where work is being automated by AI," Rogers said.
- SpaceX Is Delivering Cannabis to the Space Station - Futurism - December 13th, 2019
- Elon Musk Is Talking About Powering All of America with Solar - Futurism - December 13th, 2019
- Middle Eastern Nation First to Buy Drone Armed With Machine Gun - Futurism - December 13th, 2019
- Virgil Abloh Merges Fashion and Futurism with the Louis Vuitton Men's 2054 Collection - Ocean Drive Magazine - December 13th, 2019
- Watch Terrifying Creeps Hack Ring Cameras and Spy on Families - Futurism - December 13th, 2019
- Study: Many Extreme Weather Events Were Caused by Climate Change - Futurism - December 13th, 2019
- End of the world: This futurist has some grim news for the middle class - MarketWatch - December 9th, 2019
- Futurist Predicts "The End of the World as We Know It" - Futurism - December 9th, 2019
- Avoiding the 'Robocalypse' - CFO Magazine - December 9th, 2019
- Blockland Solutions Conference is underway at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland - Crain's Cleveland Business - December 9th, 2019
- Its 2071, and We Have Bioengineered Our Own Extinction - The New York Times - December 9th, 2019
- Young Bomberg and the Old Masters at the National Gallery: the Renaissance influences on an East End radical - inews - December 9th, 2019
- Futurist, Cathy Hackl, Named Top Voice in Tech by LinkedIn for 2nd Year in a Row - PRNewswire - December 6th, 2019
- Futurist sees the end of the world as we know it for average person - Haaretz - December 6th, 2019
- SpaceX Is Sending Super-Muscular Mice to the Space Station - Futurism - December 6th, 2019
- 19 Newly Discovered Galaxies Appear to Be Missing Dark Matter - Futurism - December 6th, 2019
- Interview: Shaping the future - The Actuary - December 6th, 2019
- 'The Future of X' Turns to Collaboration in the Workplace. Tune In - OZY - December 6th, 2019
- The inspirations of Shafi Ahmed surgeon, teacher and futurist - Director magazine - November 30th, 2019
- New Zealand Opens World's First HIV-Positive Sperm Bank - Futurism - November 30th, 2019
- Dubai is Adding Tesla Cybertrucks to its Police Car Fleet - Futurism - November 30th, 2019
- New Calculations: Black Holes Could Have Thousands of Planets - Futurism - November 30th, 2019
- Web Inventor Unveils Plan to Save the Web - Futurism - November 30th, 2019
- Can a computer have intuition? - Verizon Communications - November 30th, 2019
- Things to Do in DC This Weekend: A Jane Goodall Exhibit, Holiday Markets, and a Massive Maze at Nats Park - Washingtonian - November 23rd, 2019
- Futurist: Channel Has To Remove Friction To Cloud 2.0 Adoption - CRN: The Biggest Tech News For Partners And The IT Channel - October 28th, 2019
- Tech and futurism drive iconic car event's appeal - The Japan Times - October 28th, 2019
- This Electric Toothbrush Uses AI Because Nothing is Sacred Anymore - Futurism - October 28th, 2019
- This Rocky World With Three Suns May Have an Atmosphere - Futurism - October 28th, 2019
- This Creepy Life-Sized Doll Is a Warning About What Office Life Is Doing to Us - ScienceAlert - October 28th, 2019
- Scientists Say They Finally Figured Out How to Spot Wormholes - Futurism - October 28th, 2019
- Good News: The Ozone Hole Is Smaller Than Weve Ever Seen It - Futurism - October 28th, 2019
- The US Army Is Spending $750K to Partner With UFO Research Group - Futurism - October 28th, 2019
- Amazon Is Writing Its Own Facial Recognition Bills - Futurism - September 27th, 2019
- Yes, There's a "Pee Tape" and It's Unclear If It's a Deepfake - Futurism - September 27th, 2019
- Heres How We Could Feed a Million People on Mars - Futurism - September 27th, 2019
- Gasoline Fiends Blocked Every Single Tesla Charger in This Town - Futurism - September 27th, 2019
- Harvard Prof: The Moon Could Have Caught Alien Organisms, Tech - Futurism - September 27th, 2019
- Scarborough's South Bay observation wheel set to stay until November - The Scarborough News - September 27th, 2019
- Dozens of Countries Are Deploying Propaganda on Social Media - Futurism - September 27th, 2019
- Visual Effects Society Names Acclaimed Visual Futurist Syd Mead A Keynote Speaker at 2017 VES Summit - SHOOT Online - August 25th, 2017
- Residents 'Happy' With Futurist Development - Yorkshire Coast Radio - August 25th, 2017
- THE FUTURIST: Economic and existential concerns cloud the future - Sarasota Herald-Tribune - August 22nd, 2017
- New series of The Futurist Report explains effects of AI - IT News Africa - IT News Africa - August 22nd, 2017
- What is the Future of the Human Resource Function ... - August 20th, 2017
- Utah Futurist Rebrands NewVistas Effort - Valley News - August 20th, 2017
- AT&T Foundry, RocketSpace and Ericsson Release a New Series of ... - Al-Bawaba - August 20th, 2017
- Universal Basic Income Examined by Futurism Blog - Basic Income News - August 20th, 2017
- Renowned futurist to speak at SA top 100 event - InDaily - August 18th, 2017
- Acclaimed Visual Futurist Syd Mead to Deliver Keynote Address at 2017 VES Summit - Animation World Network (press release) (registration) (blog) - August 18th, 2017
- The CIO's broadening role: Business strategist, futurist, change agent - CIO New Zealand - August 16th, 2017
- Popular Futurist to Discuss the Future of the Hospitality Industry - Digital Journal - August 15th, 2017
- The Futurist: Technology as the key to HR - Human Resources Online - August 14th, 2017
- Yorkshire Coast Radio - News - Next Step In Futurist Demolition - Yorkshire Coast Radio - August 14th, 2017
- Transportation Futurist Simon J. Anderson to Speak Today on the Future of Trucking - Digital Journal - August 14th, 2017
- Cliff-top Scarborough residents say theatre demolition could destroy their homes - ITV News - August 11th, 2017
- The Futurist: Creating a positive candidate experience is fundamental - Human Resources Online - August 9th, 2017
- Israel and Kazakhstan's futurist vision for Eurasia - The Jerusalem Post mobile website - August 8th, 2017
- The Futurist: Fishing for the right talent - Human Resources Online - August 3rd, 2017
- Anders Srman-Nilsson (LLB/EMBA), global futurist, speaker and author - InvestorDaily - August 3rd, 2017
- 4 Big Trends That Will Shape CRE: A Futurist's Guide - Commercial Property Executive - August 3rd, 2017
- Futurist | Definition of Futurist by Merriam-Webster - August 1st, 2017
- FutureWorld - Is your business FUTUREPROOF - July 31st, 2017
- The Futurist: Why human resources is a people's job - Human Resources Online - July 31st, 2017
- Marty Sklar, Disney Legend And Futurist, Dies At 83 | Gizmodo ... - Gizmodo Australia - July 31st, 2017
- Professional futurists converge on Seattle to pick up hints about what lies ahead - GeekWire - July 29th, 2017
- Geek of the Week: Futurist author Richard Yonck helps us better prepare for a rapidly changing world - GeekWire - July 29th, 2017
- A futurist tells us what life will probably look like in 2040 - New York Post - July 29th, 2017
- Marty Sklar, Disney Legend and Futurist, Dies at 83 - Gizmodo - July 28th, 2017
- How Clothing Made From Milk Became the Height of Fashion in Mussolini's Italy - Atlas Obscura - July 28th, 2017
- Mark Zuckerberg Is A Bad Futurist - HuffPost - July 27th, 2017
- Here's what the Lime Street facade will look like - including Futurist memories - Liverpool Echo - July 26th, 2017
- Neo-Futurists' new show serves up plenty of 'Food' for thought - Chicago Sun-Times - July 26th, 2017
- The Futurist: Future by design - Human Resources Online - July 26th, 2017
- New 'Star Trek: Discovery' Clips Show Off Beautiful, Retro-Futurist Tech (Including a New Phaser) - Outer Places - July 22nd, 2017
- New York Neo-Futurists to Offer 'Fundamentals' Workshop This Summer - Broadway World - July 22nd, 2017
- Paramount Pictures Just Hired a Futurist in Residence to Guide the Future of Film - Futurism - July 18th, 2017
- Futurist: 'I Am Concerned for My Two Young Daughters' - Inverse - July 14th, 2017
- Ted Schilowitz Named First 'Futurist In Residence At Paramount Pictures - Deadline - July 14th, 2017
- The Futurist: A vision for the future - Human Resources Online - July 13th, 2017