The future of work. We all talk about it and we all know it’s coming quickly. For some, it conjures images of humans and robots working side by side. For others it might be the end of the physical office as we know it or even meeting customers in a Virtual Reality (VR) world.
These all seem eye-opening, but – whatever the future holds – there’s a long way to go to bridge today with tomorrow and it’s important that the process starts now.
Businesses are becoming increasingly digital-based, with transformative technologies opening up new ways to communicate with customers and colleagues, new ways to innovate based on data and insights, and even enabling new business models. However, knowing where to begin can be difficult.
Here are three key technologies that are set to shape the future of work
Data analytics will fuel your business
For years, businesses have spoken about the potential value that data can bring to an organisation yet data analytics is just finally coming into its own. This is mostly due to cloud as well as next generation ERP embedded services.
Companies can shape the way they do business by investing in cloud tools – MS Azure, Amazon Web Services, or Google Cloud Platform for example – and other technologies – that by default offer real time processing of data to give insights. These insights may span areas as diverse as product development, sales/marketing, office productivity, supply chain optimisation, expansion, and more.
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Here, it’s critical to not invest in data analytics without first thinking about and framing its application in an organisation. A data strategy must be created – particularly in light of the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation – that outlines what the purpose of data is, how it is collected, processed and stored, and why.
This is not a quick process, but it’s vital to get right to realise value and avoid future problems.
Collaboration tools to make things happen
According to IDC, the workplace collaboration market grew 13.6% from 2015 to 2016 and is expected to be worth more than $22bn by 2021.
Why? Businesses are increasingly focused on improving collaboration and breaking down silos. Traditional businesses have long operated with siloed and non-communicating divisions as well as teams. In recent years many successful companies have prided themselves open cultures which foster deep collaboration; Google is perhaps the best-known example of such.
Collaboration tools are part of how companies make this happen. Microsoft leads the way in this space with 36.8% market share and its powerful suite of productivity tools across Microsoft Office. Again, cloud versions set the pace with Office 365 dominating.
It’s vital to invest in tools that give your employees the flexibility and freedom to get work done on both their terms and the company’s. Not every employee works the same way nor from the same place. The best tools enable this flexibility, without compromising on security, reliability or functionality.
The work we’ve done with Kellogg’s , a global food manufacturing company, is a great example of successful collaboration. By implementing a range of new devices and services, we’ve helped the company create a flexible modern working environment that is both more productive and secure.
Artificial Intelligence will unshackle your workforce
There is a lot of speculation around the impact that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will have on the workplace. Science fiction literature and films often depict images of humans being overrun by countless machines yet this is doubtful. A more realistic and positive vision is far more likely. AI – at least for now – is more about automating repetitive tasks than intelligence.
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These tasks are often the less creative ones that many people don’t enjoy doing. Thus automating has two business benefits – the first is far greater operational efficiency as machines carry out these tasks more quickly and accurately. The second is that companies will be able to reallocate these workers to carry out more creative and rewarding work which is differentiated, rather than imitating others. In fact, in our latest research, we found that over a third of business leaders cited AI as the most beneficial tool for customer services.
With Gartner believing that AI technologies will be in almost every new software product by 2020, it’s time for businesses to think now about how AI might change their organisations.
A productive future
With powerful advances in technology and a more strategic approach to its implementation, businesses have the opportunity to transform the way they work. Workers can be more productive and freed from the monotony of repetitive tasks, customers can benefit from more personalised and personal interactions from companies, and organisations can benefit from the insights that data has long promised.
Now is the time to invest.
Sourced by Mike Guggemos, CIO at Insight.