Workplace Innovation: Top Five Trends Transforming the Workplace of Tomorrow
What to Expect With Workplace Innovation
The world is rapidly becoming more digital, more connected and more mobile, and the workplace is no exception. From the Internet of Things (IoT) to big data and analytics, workplace innovation is driving rapid changes to how business gets done.
With 2016 just around the corner, here’s a brief look back at this year’s five biggest innovations and how they are opening new avenues and pushing old boundaries in workplace innovation.
1. Internet of Things
Gartner forecasted that in 2015, 4.9 billion connected things will be in use, up 30 percent from 2014. That will rise to 25 billion by 2020. The continued acceleration of the IoT is due to the explosive growth of smart devices alongside low-cost infrastructure, connectivity and data. Right now, however, there are still many technological and operational challenges, such as a lack of standards, privacy and security concerns and difficulty managing the large amounts of complex data generated.
Nonetheless, the IoT is here to stay. Its value, however, won’t be in how many devices are connected but in gleaning powerful insights that can drive changes to business processes. Those with the data capability to integrate and analyze the insights now and in the future will gain the most.
Businesses are drowning in data, but without the analytic capabilities to make sense of that data, it’s useless. Fortunately, this year saw advances in predictive analytics, such as improved automation capabilities that now make it easier for businesses to drive insight without all the complexity. IBM’s Watson Analytics, for example, automates predictive analytics and enables effortless dashboard and infographic creation, allowing users to gain new insights in minutes.
Outside of the workplace, social media has altered the way we communicate with friends and family. Now, social collaboration technology is entering the workplace and offering big benefits. In a recent survey by Ipsos, 46 percent of workers said their productivity has improved thanks to social media tools. Social business tools provide avenues for real-time collaboration and make it easier and faster to follow group conversations within the context of the work. This means less time spent searching for information — up to 35 percent less, according to McKinsey & Company — and more time collaborating.
According to the Radicati Group, the number of worldwide mobile users will reach over 5.8 billion by the end of 2015. By the end of 2019, the number of worldwide mobile users is expected to increase to more than 6.7 billion. The rapid growth of mobile is transforming the way people work, interact and do business.
Businesses transitioning to more mobile-enabled processes can improve employee productivity, gain insights into customer preferences and behavior patterns and better connect with employees and customers, raising the bottom line. With the use of predictive analytics, mobile data can create even more powerful insights into consumer behavior, helping to identify new revenue and growth opportunities.
The cloud is changing the way organizations operate by offering more flexibility and improved mobility. From cloud-based applications to private and hybrid cloud environments, businesses are moving away from on-premises solutions to those hosted in the cloud. Cloud technologies can increase availability to data, provide infrastructure support and even help speed up application development. Integrated with social technologies, mobile and the IoT, cloud technology is a key driver in furthering workplace innovation.
Today’s innovations are transforming the workplace into a more digital, mobile and data-driven space. But workplace innovation by itself is not enough. The key to true workplace innovation lies in the ability to integrate all of these technologies and innovations — both internally and externally — to create a comprehensive system of record. Analytics can then be applied to drive powerful insights businesses can apply for greater success.