Though technology has played a critical role in day-to-day business processes for quite some time, the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly accelerated digital transformation over the past 18 months.
During this time, many organizations were forced to adopt a work from home model, and therefore, had to embrace new technologies and digitized processes that could support a remote workforce.
Though these can be considered workplace trends, they’re likely here to stay, since 48% of employees will work remotely some or all the time post-COVID-19 according to Gartner.
While there are several emerging technology trends in today’s rapidly-changing business and IT environment, this blog is going to take a look at some of the most significant trends in the workplace and how they’re impacting organizations.
Cloud computing solutions serve as the cornerstone of any modern digital workplace and offer organizations increased flexibility, accessibility, and scalability, among many other benefits.
Virtualized IT infrastructure and cloud-based applications are essential to employees who work remotely, as it is through these mechanisms that they can access relevant business data and collaborate with coworkers which allows them to be productive from wherever they are.
Cloud services will become even more essential in a digital environment as companies look to improve collaboration, incorporate new applications into their technology stack, and securely store data.
With employees focusing on achieving a work life balance, cloud technologies becomes even more important with the shift in remote working.
Communicate and Collaborate Tools
Collaboration tools should be a major consideration for companies that operate remotely, as they reinforce employee connectivity and productivity across an organization.
Popular collaboration platforms include Microsoft Teams and Zoom for video and teleconferencing capabilities and real-time chat and Microsoft SharePoint for document collaboration and file sharing. While these are some of the most common tools businesses use today, the idea of smart workspaces has recently garnered some attention in the marketplace and is a tool that business leaders should consider.
Smart workspaces are high-performance collaboration platforms that aim to connect teams so that they can work collaboratively – anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Microsoft Modern Workplace, Google Workspace, and Amazon Workspaces, and even DropBox are a few examples of smart workplace offerings. Even the Microsoft 365 platform coupled with Windows 10 can act as the foundation for a business’s modern workplace initiative.
Regardless of which platforms and technologies are used, companies must be sure they are providing access to the data, applications, and tools their employees need to be productive.
In a post-COVID-19 world, workplace flexibility is a key trend to examine. In 2019, Gartner predicted that by 2023, fewer than one-third of digital workers would select the corporate office as their preferred place to work.
It is no secret that today’s workforce desires flexible schedules and working conditions. Organizations that oblige tend to see a higher level of employee engagement and satisfaction. Some companies are taking this a step even further by offering resources and paid time off for mental health days.
Although many corporations have recently made the switch back to the office, the number of remote workers could drastically increase with President Biden’s recent announcement that large companies must mandate COVID-19 vaccines or regular testing for employees. At the very least, many businesses will find themselves offering hybrid working schedules for their employees to remain competitive.
Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) allows employees in an organization to use their personally-owned devices for work-related activities. Sometimes referred to as bring-your-own-technology, BYOD is a digital workplace trend that should absolutely be included in every organization’s IT strategy.
Some common examples of BYOD include laptops, smartphones, and tablets. With BYOD, users can leverage these technologies and more, leading to an improved employee experience. Furthermore, BYOD allows employees to remain productive from their physical workspace, home, and even while on the move, increasing flexibility and heightening an organization’s productivity.
It is important to have a well-defined BYOD policy that outlines the risks and benefits of BYOD for your organization. Keep in mind it is also best practice to add a layer of security on personally-owned devices by deploying multifactor authentication or mobile device management software.
While we hear the term “automation” frequently used when talking about the modern workplace; however, automating an enterprise today is reaching beyond just task automation and is now more focused on hyperautomation.
Gartner defines business-driven hyperautomation as “a disciplined approach that organizations use to rapidly identify, vet, and automate as many business and IT processes as possible and involves the orchestrated use of multiple technologies, tools, or platforms.”
The goal with hyperautomation is to combine as many technologies as possible so they work synergistically to enable your workforce, improve digital agility, realize ROI, and more. As technology continues to advance, the idea of hyperautomation is something businesses must take a close look at.
In today’s workforce, full-time employees are not the only people needing access to a company’s technology and applications; seasonal workers, contractors, call center employees, and more are becoming part of regular operations for many businesses, too. However, these types of employees may not necessarily require the same technology or may only need it for a specific amount of time.
Desktop-as-a-Service – or DaaS – allows businesses to assign a virtual desktop to an individual or specific group of people based on their job requirements. When their tenure comes to a close and they no longer need access to your company’s data, permissions can be quickly and easily revoked.
DaaS is also an incredibly scalable solution, so user workstations can be easily added when needed.
End User Security
End user security is becoming an increasingly important component of a robust digital workplace strategy. That is not surprising when you consider that human error is a major contributing cause in 95% of all data breaches.
Knowing this, it is more important than ever for businesses to provide their users with security awareness training. Doing so offers many benefits, including reducing threats, increasing uptime, ensuring compliance, and more.
It is often said that a company’s first line of defense is its employees, and this could not be more true when it comes to preventing cyber attacks and other security threats. By adopting a security awareness training program, you will minimize risk to your business and enable your employees to make better and more informed decisions.
Embracing Modern Workplace Trends
Gartner predicts that over the next several years, the greatest source of competitive advantage for 30% of organizations will come from their ability to creatively exploit emerging technologies like artificial intelligence.
Buchanan Technologies can help you establish a modern digital workplace through cloud enablement, end user services, infrastructure support, and more. Contact us today to learn more.