The workplace is more dynamic now than ever before, with technology impacting massively on business practices, employee working patterns and customer communications. Organisations that outperform competitors are usually the same ones that embrace technological changes and use new developments before others in their sector do.
Gigaom have used their crystal ball to peer into the near future and see what technological changes will mean for business in 2015. They conclude technology will bring in new ways of understanding business data, increase information relevance and cause companies to introduce culture management changes.
Understanding business data
Algorithms and AI will give organisations more power to mine their business data and understand important trends such as which sales channels have the best ROI, or which customers are more likely to order extra services. Decision making is also boosted as better, relevant, information can be quickly retrieved from data silos in the business.
Employee attitudes towards the technology they use in work is changing. Advancements like being able to use personal phones (and other equipment) in a work setting (the whole BYOD movement) and the use of the cloud to facilitate anywhere working means people see technology in a more personal way with the distinction between 'office use' and 'home use' becoming blurred.
The rise of chat services in business environments is also part of the personal technology trend. People use instant message and chat services regularly in their own time, and introducing similar, business-ready services (such as Microsoft Skype for Business, available on our Office 365 Business plans) give employees improves office talk and helps attract the next wave of employees who expect those services to be part of the communication fabric at work.
People are happier using their own technology, which creates more productive work patterns along with a shallower learning curve for new employees.
Happy employees are productive. This is something businesses are becoming increasingly aware of, which leads to the final trend identified by Gigaom. Culture management is used by bosses to prevent workplace disengagement and make sure people continue to support business objectives and stay productive.
In 2015, Gigaom see technology potentially leading to improved employee relations and better data analysis tools. As ever with change in the corporate world, it will be those organisations which respond first that are best placed to reap the rewards of increased efficiency, better customer relations and make themselves more attractive to the next wave of employees entering the workplace.
As the report concludes:
We believe that 2015 will see more companies wising up to a basic new reality: Accomplishing more and becoming more flexible and agile means that everyone in the organization must assume as much autonomy as they can handle. Decision-making should be pushed out to the farthest edges of the company. This means that everyone in these “new way of work” companies will find work more personal and involving greater responsibility and a correspondingly greater sense of purpose and meaning.