Imagine a meeting where the first five minutes are not wasted because the conference line, video and meeting agenda are all ready to go, thanks to a virtual personal assistant (VPA) in a fully digital workplace. The average work day is becoming filled with employee-facing technologies that are transforming how work gets done. Organizations that help their employees become more agile, inclusive and engaged are in an excellent position to use emerging technologies to drive competitive advantage.
“ Competitive advantage for 30% of organizations will come from the workforce's ability to creatively exploit emerging technologies”
In fact, Gartner predicts that over the next several years, the greatest source of competitive advantage for 30% of organizations will come from the workforce's ability to creatively exploit emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and augmented analytics. Matthew Cain, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner, has categorized the top employee-facing technology trends that CIOs will use to drive successful digital workplaces over the next decade.
Trend 1: New work nucleus
The tools that underpin digital dexterity will change dramatically and constantly with a move to software as a service (SaaS) portfolio. When organizations ran software on-premises, major changes occurred at the rate of every 3-5 years, but with SaaS, the rate of change is constant. The traditional on-premises work nucleus includes tools like Microsoft Office, local drives, email and instant messaging. The cloud-based new work nucleus includes tools such as collaborative work management, workstream collaboration, smart meetings and smart drives, all of which foster agile behaviors and a digital dexterous workforce.
Trend 2: Talent transformation
Digital workplaces are composed of “digitally dexterous” individuals, which are employees who have the ability and ambition to apply existing and emerging technologies to drive better business outcomes. According to Gartner, only 9% of the current workforce could be considered having a high degree of digital dexterity.
“ Engaged employees with an open mindset are more likely to be digitally dexterous and, in turn, generate business value”
Future HR-centric strategies and new roles will be designed to boost employee engagement and further digital dexterity. Technology acumen is only one part of digital dexterity. Engaged employees with an open mindset are more likely to be digitally dexterous and, in turn, generate business value in digital initiatives. An emerging HR capability that will contribute to digital dexterity is internal talent marketplaces. They are algorithmic-driven platforms that enable organizations to match employee attributes and competencies with new projects and teams, creating a more agile approach to new business initiatives.
Read more: 4 Ways CIOs Can Foster Digital Dexterity [Infographic]
Trend 3: Evolving workplaces
The physical work environment will pivot from a fixed location to an ever-changing variety of workspaces, increasingly imbued with IoT and other smart capabilities. Immersive technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality are ready for mainstream businesses for training and immersive conference room services. Employees will ultimately be able to use natural gestures to drive complex processes. Office space configuration is important, especially when supporting a mobile workforce. CIOs will need to work with the facilities department to enact change. This can also mean developing more “smart” workspaces, leveraging the IoT.