Top 12 Emerging Digital Workplace Technologies

October 08, 2015

Contributor: Heather Pemberton Levy

Give employees more agility by bringing these consumer technologies to work.

How employees use technology outside of work says a lot about the possibilities to bring smart tools inside the organization. The IT organization has an opportunity to lead the enterprise in boosting employee agility and engagement by drawing on what employees use in their personal lives.

In addition to looking at technologies with their roots in the consumer space, consider technologies that are likely to be mainstream three to six years out, and those that most closely align with needed business skills, said Matthew Cain, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando.

Gartner graphic Showing Top 12 Emerging Digital Workplace Technologies

The Top 12 Emerging Digital Workplace Technologies

No. 1: Ambient Knowledge

Imagine tapping the vast amount of (mostly dark) information to harness employee skills and expertise. Natural language processing and machine learning will help organizations extract information from a wide array of employee sources to gather valuable knowledge.

No. 2: Read Analytics

Think of this as the democratization of big data analytics where dashboards and analytics functions are pushed down into the employee community to drive better, data-driven decisions.

No. 3: Production Studio

Why is PowerPoint still the dominate method for making presentations in the enterprise when consumers often create videos, graphics, podcasts, and other types of media in their personal lives? Organizations can seize the opportunity to create multimedia tools and production hubs for employees to bring these rich media types to their work environments.

No. 4: Immersive Technology

Organizations can harness technology that blurs the line between the physical world and digital or simulated world to create a sense of immersion such as video conferencing with gesture control or use of augmented reality or virtual reality technologies for simulated training situations

No. 5: Bürolandschaft

This German term refers to office landscape. As more employees work remotely, organizations can develop complex scheduling software to manage office hoteling and develop a physical environment that is optimized for employee engagement, such as serendipitous collaboration spaces.

 Matthew Cain, Gartner analyst, discusses digital workplace technologies. Matthew Cain, Gartner analyst, discusses digital workplace technologies.

No. 6: Personal IoT

Workplaces can take advantage of their employees’ personal networks of beacons and sensors for scenarios such as smart badges, that show contextual digital signs; or the ability to identify people when they approach a building to schedule meeting rooms, assign desks, and order meals.

No. 7: Silo Buster

Organizations should take advantage of collaborative tools to drive ideation, crowdsourcing, hackathons, etc. beyond traditional teams and organizations structures.

No. 8: My Pet AI

Virtual personal assistants (VPA) will perform a variety of personal tasks, eventually learning from individuals to act on their behalf. For example, a sales associate could use her VPA to scour LinkedIn for leads, assemble sales materials, and conduct initial outreach before the associate meets with prospects in person.

No. 9: My Personal Cloud

Just as chefs bring their personal set of knives to each restaurant they work in, employees in the future may bring their own personal collections of internet apps and services to use for both personal and professional purposes.

No. 10 Hackers Bench

With new codeless programming tools, employees can develop and integrate their own applications. IT can lead this effort by creating a sandbox, base guidelines and communities, and provide lightweight support.

No. 11: Omni-Comms

Employees will benefit from a fully mobile suite of communication and collaboration services that will be embedded in business processes.

No. 12: My Digital University

This type of educational program will help employees acquire a wide variety of digital literacies with alternative learning methods.

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