Top 10 Technologies Driving the Digital Workplace

How ambient knowledge, virtual personal assistants and production studio technology will offer a competitive edge.

We are entering a new era of employee-facing technologies. More cloud deployments and enhanced digital dexterity within the workforce will generate a significant competitive advantage for the organizations using them most effectively.

Matthew W. Cain, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, has identified the top 10 employee-facing technology trends that CIOs will likely use to drive digital workplace transformation:

  1. Ambient knowledge is the proactive, algorithm-driven delivery of customized information based on an employee’s activities and preferences. It also acts as an in-house expertise location service. Ambient knowledge is often used in the consumer space by digital businesses such as Amazon and Netflix.
  2. Embedded analytics is contextual data analysis performed by tools that are easy to use and sometimes invisible to the user. Emerging in software as a service (SaaS) applications, these tools represent the seamless availability of analytics for automatic decision making. Enabling these analytics results in repeatable, structured business decisions.
  3. Production studio technology enables employees to package and deliver content such as sales collateral or internal presentations in new ways. In business, this means empowering employees to be more creative in their efforts to lead, sell and influence by going beyond traditional tools such as Microsoft PowerPoint
  4. Immersive technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality, are set to go mainstream in the consumer world. This will be accompanied by rapid uptake in businesses. Uses will include training and immersive conference room services. Employees will ultimately be able to use natural gestures to deal with complex processes
  5. Bürolandschaft highlights the role of the physical office in the digital workplace. 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 Internet of Things.
  6. Personal clouds are the virtual combining of apps and devices that individuals use based on their personal preferences. In a work context, these apps aren’t always sanctioned by IT and can become an unmanaged repository of potentially sensitive or confidential data. It’s better to embrace and manage these technologies securely rather than have them running unsupervised.
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  7. Virtual personal assistants (VPAs) will become more common as technology improves, and employees grow more comfortable with them outside of work. At the moment, assistants such as Cortana, Siri, Google Now and Echo are being used for data retrieval and basic tasks. This is a first step. Eventually, VPAs will become substitutes for some employees, capable of attending meetings and taking notes.
  8. Silo-busters are tools that transcend organizational boundaries. They enable teams to solve problems and generate ideas across work silos — a longstanding challenge in many organizations. Social networks will play a role, especially those widely used among employees.
  9. Process hacking is an approach to create citizen developers and integrators. It will help organizations overcome inefficient legacy processes by giving most employees tools to create solutions through process shortcuts and apps.
  10. Microlearning helps employees become more competent and skilled in the new digital workplace. This involves formal and informal training on digital literacy in the right context, and could be delivered through videos, quizzes or text messages. The shorter and more readily available the training, the more useful it becomes.

The 10 trends also have been visualized in this infographic:

Top10_DigitalWorkplace_Infographic-01

Gartner clients can read more in the full research report "Empower Employees by Tapping Into the Top Emerging Trends in Digital Workplace Technologies" by Matthew W. Cain, et al.

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