With good reason, respondents of the ISS 2020 Vision: New Ways of Working survey, see technology development as the most important megatrend influencing the workplace towards 2020. But which impact is technology most likely to leave on our workplaces in the years ahead of us?
Continuous technology developments affect workplaces in all industries and sectors. While manual labor is growing extinct, replaced by machines that work faster, error-free and never get tired – data grows bigger, faster and more complex.
Frequent market demand shifts require organizational flexibility
As markets shift with higher frequencies, companies will increasingly rely on technology to adapt to new demands. Consequently, workplaces will become more agile – and the typical workplace will no longer be typical. To remain competitive or regain a sustainable competitive advantage, more companies will try to integrate all their data sources to build more efficient business intelligence systems. Towards 2020 increased flexibility will simultaneously be expected from the employees, and they will be productive no matter if they are home, at their desks or on the road.
With its combination of mobile computing devices, high-speed wireless connectivity and various applications, ubiquitous mobility will complement this development and remove many of the prevalent frustrations working remotely, including slow connections, and dropped video and teleconferencing connections. As the office experience gradually will become more about a network of people and places, and less about one or two central locations – the focus will be on developing standardized, seamless experience of organizations.
Cloud technologies will enable greater interoperability
Just as businesses needed to evolve by the introduction of the PC or the internet, the cloud represents another decade defining shift of evolution.
Towards 2020, cloud technologies will break down barriers within and among organizations by leveraging internet – based services that can be accessed from any device, anywhere.
This will give rise to new business models and ways of managing IT that are more asset-light, highly mobile and flexible. Companies are especially attracted by cloud computing’s ability to, among others:
- Cut ICT – related labor costs by as much as 50%
- Allow access to information anytime, anywhere and from any device
- Provide companies much better management and control over their data
- Ease collaboration internally and externally by getting back-end integration issues
- Improve efficiency by removing power costs
- Enabling greater interoperability and transparency
Data intelligence will be critical to grow competitiveness
A recent GE & Accenture Industrial Internet Insights for 2015 study reveals that there is a growing urgency for organizations to embrace big data analytics to advance their business strategy. Despite, less than one-third (29 percent) of the executives surveyed for the study are using big data across their company for analytics or to optimize their business. Two-thirds (66 percent) of the executives surveyed across eight industrial sectors believe they could lose their market position in the next one to three years if they do not adopt big data. As a result, 88 percent stated that big data analytics is and increasingly will be a top priority for their company to retain their competitive advantage in the future.
Towards 2020, it will be critical for workplaces to resolve, how right data can be identified, collected and actionable decision-ready analysis developed. Both terms are increasingly important to understand customer, market and workplace dynamics but also the ways, how processes and networks can be improved both internally and externally.
To which extent does your organization embrace the new technologies and which impact does it have on your workplace? Please share your comments below.