Technological advancements have transformed the way that we work, whether you are part of a small firm or a multi-national corporation. Modern technology enables greater efficiency, more flexibility, and streamlined processes. So, what are some of the key technology trends that have permanently changed our organizations? More importantly, are you taking advantage of all of them?
Decentralized Office Spaces
The availability of high-speed internet has led to increased flexibility in people’s work location and a shift in the way that people run their own companies and work for organizations. More and more people are choosing to work from home or work more flexible hours. We have seen a rise in virtual office solutions, allowing businesses to have a professional business address, a receptionist that you don’t need to pay a full-time wage, and access to meeting rooms when required.
Alternatively, you can work at a café, from your kitchen table, or on your phone at the park. You can still dial into office meetings through video and conference calls, or chat throughout the day through online tools like WhatsApp and Slack.
Enabling Real-Time Document Collaboration
Version control challenges are now a relic of the past, with work colleagues about to share a document in real time, making changes and comments without any concerns that they are not using the latest iteration. File sharing software allows you to hold files and video in a centralized online location and enable others to view or edit the information as required.
What began with the invention of the Blackberry and continued with the rollout of smartphones to the broader population was the ability to contact people by both phone and email at any time, day or night. While the convenience of being able to use your phone as a mobile office is undeniable, it has slowly, over time, created an expectation that people are readily available and will respond to communication immediately. People are having to work to create time and separation from their mobile phones and their work, with iOS and Apple incorporating “screen time” features into phones that allow users to set a daily time limit for their phone use.
Communication has changed dramatically over the last ten years. We now have cloud-based unified communications systems, chatbots that respond to customer inquiries on websites and Facebook pages, live tracking of that allows you to see exactly how far away your pizza delivery is, and marketing automation that sends customers emails based on their actions on your website without you needing to touch a thing. Social media has become an essential business tool for most organizations to conduct two-way conversations with their clients, and online profiling allows companies like Amazon to customize their customer’s website experience and provide tailored recommendations.
The exponential advances in robotics and automation are having a dramatic impact on the workforce. They have already transformed the automotive and manufacturing industry, with assembly roles previously filled by humans being automated. This has led to reduced costs, fewer errors and safer factories. It is not only manual labor that is being impacted, with robots being designed to assist law enforcement to diffuse bombs and assess dangerous situations. Robotic arms are being deployed as “surgical assistants” to perform highly precise and minimally invasive procedures. Artificial intelligence has also been used to overturn over an estimated $12 million of parking tickets, showing a glimpse into the future application of this kind of technology.
What is the top trend that is transforming your industry?