Disruption is the new normal, and companies know that strategic tech innovations will help them develop the kinds of workplace solutions that elevate the business and enable it to stay competitive in today's market.
A recent study from Gartner projects that IT budgets will increase by 3.6 percent — the highest year-over-year growth rate in more than a decade. By staying on top of office technology trends, businesses will have a better chance of keeping up with accelerating digital workplace needs.
Artificial intelligence (AI) will give businesses the agility they need to navigate rapidly changing conditions during the pandemic and well into the future. According to 451 Research, more than 95 percent of enterprises surveyed consider AI technology important to their digital transformation efforts.
AI is a versatile technology that plays an essential role in enabling all the other tech innovations listed here, especially hyperautomation and decision intelligence. AI can also streamline workplace collaboration. According to TechTarget, AI in videoconferencing is improving the remote meeting experience through innovations like closed captioning with real-time translation, automated note-taking that captures action items for later review, and even chatbots that schedule meetings and book the appropriate resources for them.
Businesses must be nimble enough to scale on short notice in the new landscape, and hyperautomation can give them this crucial ability. According to Gartner, hyperautomation is a business-driven disciplined approach that organizations use to rapidly identify, vet, and automate as many business and IT processes as possible.
Businesses use hyperautomation to perform these tasks on a continuous basis, taking advantage of the capacity they've created to automate other processes in turn. As they do, they can take time-consuming and tedious tasks off their employees' plates, giving them the opportunity to take on more engaging projects. Hyperautomation also enables more efficient remote business operation and allows companies to navigate business model disruption more effectively.
As companies have experienced time and again during the pandemic, sudden disruptions can force the business to make critical decisions on the spot. As Gartner notes, decision intelligence can support and enhance human decision-making and, in some cases, even automate it through the use of augmented analytics, simulations, and AI. Unlike its predecessor business intelligence, companies can make decision intelligence available throughout the entire organization.
This means that not just executives but also employees at all levels of the company can access contextually relevant insight that supports their decision-making processes and collaborate more effectively with one another where appropriate. For example, a recommendation engine can suggest an optimal staffing schedule for an organization with a hybrid workplace or predict which products consumers will prefer. Decision intelligence is flexible, allowing business users to customize it to support their own use cases and make adjustments as conditions change.
Given the ongoing IT talent shortage, during which experienced data scientists are in short supply, it's all the more important for businesses to have technology solutions that enable better decision-making without having to hire experts with advanced data analytics skills. Decision intelligence can give companies a path to accomplish this goal, empowering employees to make important decisions more quickly, easily, and cost-effectively.
Businesses have long understood that the customer experience (CX) is a competitive differentiator. Now that the pandemic has permanently transformed the way work gets done and the Great Resignation has led to hiring shortages in many industries, companies are also beginning to prioritize the employee experience (EX). In truth, these seemingly different experiences have been converging — particularly from a technology perspective — into a unified concept called the total experience (TX). This trend will have significant implications for the workplace of the future.
According to Gartner, total experience is a business strategy that integrates employee experience, customer experience, user experience and multiexperience across multiple touchpoints to accelerate growth. One way to accomplish this goal is by ensuring a consistent and smooth experience across all apps, devices and platforms. Although companies already knew they needed to guarantee such a seamless experience to their customers, they are also increasingly understanding its importance for the employee experience — and the intersections between the two experiences.
Businesses that successfully leverage office technology to improve the employee experience will have a better chance of excelling at the other experiences. For example, by adopting conferencing solutions that empower employees to collaborate well wherever they are, companies can increase internal productivity and serve customers more effectively. Some businesses are also integrating their unified communications systems with their contact center solutions, enabling effective internal collaboration and high-quality customer care.
Companies know that strategic tech innovation is essential to their success, and they are increasing their IT budgets accordingly. As they evaluate which investments to make, business leaders should keep a close eye on technology trends such as AI, hyperautomation, decision intelligence, and total experience.