09 Dec Smart Workplace trends in 2020
Employee expectations are an increasingly important factor because of the differential between the powerful, user-friendly tools people use at home and the limited, mostly unintegrated, tools available “in the office”
The rise of Software As A Service (SAAS)
Employee experience takes centre stage as companies look to bring workflows together on one platform, available on any device, anywhere.
While we still talk about work–life balance, increasingly a blend of the two becomes more closely linked to our purpose, achievement and even wellbeing. Employees today want to be measured on their contribution and outcomes, not the hours they’ve worked. They expect their companies to give them the freedom, flexibility and tools to do what they excel in, conveniently, and at any time.
In order to attract the right talent through the company’s sustainability message and modern collaboration systems, it’s HR not IT that’s driving smart workplace initiatives.
SAAS unifies systems, Office365 and GSuite have collaboration tools seamlessly linked to productivity tools on the same platform, such that it’s easier to deliver the experience employees have come to expect.
The business reality in a world of connected customers.
Customer loyalty is vital in a digital world, with only a few seconds of dwell time, you need every touchpoint on the customer journey to have maximum impact.
Because it’s so easy for customers to switch providers, companies must optimise the customer journey to reduce churn and improve Customer Experience (CX) for the individual.
Unless the business is digitally born, the data needed to drive CX lies in different systems across the organisation
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
- sales & invoicing
all of which need to be brought together to create a single, connected customer journey.
The strategic priority of ‘a single source of data’.
For most companies, it’s not IT systems but internal business silos that inhibit connecting them to their customers data. The solution to a unified customer platform therefore lies in strategy and execution rather than solely in technology implementation. A critical criteria is to set the right key performance indicators at an executive level, so there’s one point of accountability for driving this in the company.
The effectiveness of the data-driven organisation.
With humans working alongside machines, a key success criteria will be the way companies visualise and use data.
A strategy to Implement artificial intelligence and machine learning will accelerate effectiveness.
To be truly data driven, start with the business problem then work down to the technology:
- where can artificial intelligence and machine learning automate processes
- improve the customer experience and
- make life easier for employees?
With the Internet Of Things (IOT) , anything that can be automated, will be and humans will only get involved when machines can’t understand the context of a situation well enough to answer a query or resolve a customer problem. Therefore Natural Language Processing (NLP) will be used in the first steps of a client interaction, while machine learning will analyse sentiments and preferences and direct customers appropriately. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will identify issues and either address them directly or alert a human to intervene.
Creating the ideal combination between what a machine does and what a human does will be critical and the foundation of all of this is how you use the data you have throughout the customer journey.
The need to drive Agile working to empower teams.
There’s a shift from individual to team productivity as digital, software-based solutions have a big impact on how people work.
As companies seek to enable cross-functional, project-based teams from different regions, there’s a greater focus on productivity and collaboration solutions that offer flexibility and support a more agile way of working. Artificial intelligence is accelerating this trend by making collaboration processes far more efficient. Virtual assistants can book venues, synchronise agendas, take notes, assign actions and set up follow-up meetings – making it easier for individuals to connect and work as teams, and enabling greater productivity.
Any productivity solution must therefore fit your processes, culture and ways of working – and be flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of work styles.