Imagine your current workplace 10 years into the future. Undoubtedly, technology will influence the nature of work, dynamics of the workforce and the idea of a workplace. If you haven’t already noticed, digital transformation is on the agenda for every business in 2021.
Digital workplace solutions are improving the way people collaborate and work in a rapidly evolving industrial setting. Innovation at scale is booming and companies of all sizes are looking to invest in initiatives that can,
- increase operational efficiency
- automate arduous processes
- and attract the right talent.
A report from International Data Corporation (IDC) stated that 55% of small businesses have already adopted a digital strategy, while 38% of traditional businesses have already gone digital.
The report revealed that top technologies applied are big data & analytics (58%), mobile technologies (59%), and embedded systems & APIs (40%). Furthermore, the continuous development of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is speeding up digital transformation across numerous sectors.
This beckons the question,
How will Emerging Technologies impact the Future of Work?
Before we explore key technologies that will transform workplaces of the future, let us explore the major shift in workplace dynamics due to digital adoption.
Emerging technologies are set to impact future workplaces in four major ways.
Smart machines can perform tasks that at one point only people could. 38% of jobs in U.S. are expected to be automated in the coming 15 years, estimated to affect 100 million workers as early as the year 2025. AI-powered technology and automation will fuel digital adoption in healthcare, education, banking, manufacturing, logistics, IT, and the services sectors.
By combining technology with human skills, jobs will become less routine as new roles emerge across organizations. The key focus will be on experience design that capitalizes on human-machine interactions for enhanced control over business processes.
Digital transformation enables enterprises with continuous infrastructural development. On-site workers, remote contributors and managed services are retained through a centralized system. Companies can gain valuable insights into the employee lifecycle to sow effective strategies that maximize skill sets, creativity, expertise, efficiency, and output for a given project.
With an approach to shape employability around the demands of a project, hiring will focus on performance driven, problem-solving abilities rather than filling in vacant positions. While machines equip enterprises with improved efficiency, human capital will have a bigger stake in providing solutions to business centric problems.
Digital workplaces and hybrid models are a way to reduce overhead costs and increase the efficiency of processes. Through AI-powered digital transformation, companies can foster a highly scalable, result-oriented, and flexible virtual work environment.
Imagine living in a world where you can work from any time zone and have enough time to focus on personal development.
A recent study by PwC revealed that 72% of business leaders surveyed said that AI empowers employees to focus on meaningful work, while 34% said that AI frees up time for more valuable work.
Unified communication tools enable effective collaboration between teams across different locations. Enterprises are investing in technology that transcends geographical limitations to employ, nurture and retain valuable talent from across the globe.
Artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), Big data and power BI solutions are streamlining business operations by reducing repetitive manual tasks and promoting strategic thinking. Communication, problem-solving, analytical skills, design proficiency and technology familiarity are gaining more prominence with the rise of digital workplace solutions.
Modern enterprises require candidates with the mental ductility to continuously learn and grow along with organizational objectives. As technology evolves, people will have to commit to a lifelong relearning and revising of applicable skills.
The best part about modernization is that the technology is built for human experiences, to encourage employees to learn more about their jobs and themselves.
5 Promising Technologies for the Modern Workplace
The idea of rapid modernization is encouraging more industries to invest in a digital strategy for growth.
IDC estimates that 40% of all enterprise spending will be dedicated to digital transformation in the coming year. What does this mean for the future of work?
It wouldn’t be fair to say that AI, Big Data and Cloud are emerging technologies, owing to the massive development and digital adoption in the last two years alone. However, a vast majority of enterprises and governments worldwide are yet to unlock the full potential of the available technology options.
Here are 5 promising technologies that will dictate the evolution of modern workplaces.
1. Low Code Process Automation
Automation is different from Artificial Intelligence. Automation is a way to maximize the adoption of new technologies for process efficiency by reducing human dependencies. By producing digital data sets, automation is, however, responsible for advancements in machine learning algorithms which contribute to AI initiatives.
By improving process efficiency, lowering costs and reducing human errors, automation reduces the amount of repetitive work, thereby encouraging more strategic and creative roles for employees.
There are two types of process automation technology:
- Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – Involves automating time-consuming and repetitive tasks like data entry, using codes and apps. Cutting costs without altering existing infrastructure, RPA boosts operational efficiency by eliminating the heavy lifting.
- Business Process Automation – Also called Business Process Management (BPM), improves end-to-end enterprise processes by powering enterprises with more effective decision-making capabilities. As the foundation to strategic digital transformation, modern enterprises are heavily reliant on accurate data-driven decisions to reform existing functions and processes.
Low code process automation refers to the development of cutting-edge software using existing code, knowledge banks, predefined UI and pre-sets which ensures fast project development and execution.
According to a study by Gartner, more than 65% of application development activities will be based on low-code approaches by the year 2024.
Using low code, no code platforms, companies can automate business processes in just days as opposed to the months or years in the past, thus refining legacy processes.
2. Cloud Communication Platforms
Cloud-based technologies allow for Unified Communications (UC) which results in improved remote workforce management and collaboration. Streamlined workflow, effective collaboration, increased efficiency and location independence are all benefits of cloud communication technology.
Leveraging real-time collaboration and communication through video, voice, instant messaging, file sharing, screen sharing, centralized repositories, etc., cloud allows enterprises to manage a global workforce better.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous organizations in 2020 and 2021 utilized the benefits of Cloud Communication technologies to employ a hybrid workforce model.
Cloud-based Unified Communications and Collaboration platforms provide a secure environment to create a digital workplace hub, that offers immense flexibility to employees and improved asset management for enterprises.
3. AI-Powered Technologies
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a vast field with deep learning, machine learning, natural language generation, NLP and other cutting-edge technology under its hood.
Considering that most people use social media or even smartphones, it’s likely that we depend on AI daily. If you have ever used predictive text when texting on WhatsApp, that’s one example of how AI has many everyday applications.
For digital workplace solutions, AI is a game-changer.
AI lets enterprises extract and interpret business intelligence for improved performance. The combination of AI and automation can help businesses forecast market demand and assess the overall performance of their activities in real-time.
Paired with machine learning, AI enables futuristic process automation where machines do all the complicated work. AI can process Big Data from multiple streams and extract crucial insights that help businesses get organized and thereby focus their efforts on growing.
Additionally, by streamlining business functions, employees have more time to constantly upskill themselves with technology. AI makes work more fulfilling and enjoyable by changing the role of knowledge workers to a more creative and problem-solving function.
With AI-powered insights about workplace performance, employees are offered a way to grow on the job. This makes skilling for the future an easier task.
4. Digital Talent Platforms
Talent models of enterprises are changing due to the widespread use of Digital Talent platforms. Business leaders can access a global talent pool equipped with a variety of work arrangements, gathering specialized insights into the employee lifecycle in real-time.
Digital Talent platforms also encourage HR departments to study hiring trends, employee experiences, attrition, engagement and payroll.
Keka HR is an example of a digital talent platform, used by 6500+ HR leaders across 30 countries. The platform helps in people & data analytics, hiring & onboarding, payroll & expense tracking, performance, culture & employee engagement.
Leveraging digital talent platforms lowers the risk of hiring unskilled labor, forecasts the availability of talent, manages employee experiences and helps coordinate with a digital workplace across different locations.
Companies are thus shifting from hiring for job roles to talent and skill-based hiring to meet project specific requirements.
5. Quantum Computing
According to Forbes, “Quantum computers will be able to simulate the natural world.”
Quantum computing refers to systems that can process data thousands of times faster than any of the silicon-chip-based computers. The key differentiator is that they use significantly much less power.
With a colossal computing capacity, it is thus possible to operate AI-driven applications built on complex code effortlessly. Using quantum computers, AI can learn from large sets of information and execute commands much faster.
Quantum computing is currently used for data analytics and modelling, which enables enterprises to optimize their Big Data handling capabilities. Quantum computing supports any type of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) applications. They enhance the accuracy and efficiency of diagnostic and training processes which leads to faster and improved IT development. Furthermore, Quantum computing reduces IT costs, improves cybersecurity and protects sensitive enterprise data.
Persistent development in the field of Quantum Computing will enable smarter and more powerful technology for the digital workplace of the future.
The impact of emerging technologies has already transformed bottom line efficiency for businesses of all sizes.
By improving the nature of work, the workforce dynamics and the idea of a workplace, more enterprises will resort to digital workplace solutions and hybrid workforces.
Digital transformation strategies in enterprises should involve pragmatic but visionary approaches that incorporate emerging technologies for enhanced industry-specific functions. The benefits of technology-enabled workplace solutions go beyond short-term metrics like cost and efficiency. Change management is the top priority and businesses are adapting to evolve with the new tech.
The possibilities are limitless, and your enterprise needs to rely on solutions that can create meaning and value for end users.
Companies should align their organizational structure, leadership and workforce, to a vision for sustainable innovation through digital transformation.
If you would like to know more about modernizing your workplace, read the blog Modernize your workplace with Digital Transformation.