Not all trends are fleeting. On the contrary: some trends can have an impact to last decades. In this blog, we’ll discuss several trends that shape the way we work, now and in the future, and therefore (will) also shape the adaptive workspace.
Accelerating digital transformation
A no-brainer to include in this list, but important nonetheless: digital transformation is here to stay. Due to the rise of SaaS, many organisations are going through a transformation right now, making big changes to improve the way they work. But will it end here? No.
Digital advancements are succeeding each other more and more rapidly, which means that every day, it’s easier to fall behind. Today, the IT department already deals with one or two large IT projects, 2-4 mid-size projects and countless of reactive purchases at a time. And now they have to pick up the pace. Will they be able to handle it?
To keep up, organisations need to alter their technology dependence, making it easier to switch between and upgrade their software, and offer it to their employees in a way that’s consistent and easy to use. You can do this with an adaptive workspace.
Artificial Intelligence in the workplace
Will robots take over the world? Who knows, however that’s generally what people think of when they think of Artificial Intelligence. But that’s not what we mean when we’re talking about Artificial Intelligence impacting the way we work now and in the near future. To start, it’s good to know that when we’re talking about AI, we’re basically talking about software, created by humans, that’s able to recognise and complete certain actions. It’s also important to understand that there are three different types of Artificial Intelligence: Narrow AI, General AI and Artificial Superintelligence. Let’s briefly look at what each one of them means:
- Narrow AI: this is currently the only kind we have actually achieved. This kind of AI is focused on completing one single task. Think of the Amazon Alexa or Siri, Spotify music preferences and Google Maps route suggestions. It’s basically every ‘smart’ machine that surrounds us today.
- General AI: it will probably take us a while to get here: computers that perform any intellectual task a human can. And perhaps more importantly: they’re self-aware, likely even emotional. It’s what you usually see in Sci-Fi movies and closes the gap between what makes human ‘superior’ to computers. When achieved, computers are expected to autonomously learn and solve problems. Many A.I. researchers expect that this will be possible by 2060, although no one is sure when it will be possible, some even expect it to be possible in 2030.
- Artificial Superintelligence: If a General AI could rewrite its own programming, improving itself and gaining intellect, there would be a point that it would surpass its General AI status. No one exactly knows what this, for one, would actually look like, let alone the effect it may have on humanity.
Narrow AI: the most important (workplace) trend
Narrow AI is not just a gateway to eventually get to General AI. For now, Narrow A.I. is the most important trend to influence both our present and near future. It already plays an amazingly valuable part in our work and lives today, unburdening us from time-consuming and routine tasks and helping us to make better, quicker and data-driven decisions. And there is still much to gain. Think of all the tasks we can still improve and streamline using Narrow AI. It’s here to stay and will likely only have increasing impact.
Since 2010, we are working on a cloud-based workspace. In the beginning, we had to convince people of the concept of ‘cloud’, and there were people who told us that ‘cloud’ had no future, was futuristic and not secure. At the same time, these people used Hotmail, Facebook, YouTube and other cloud services.
The same is now happening with AI; people may not be aware, but they already encounter it on a daily basis. The Netflix videos that are recommended, the order messages are shown to you in LinkedIn, the best route to take to work. AI is already a part of the choices you make daily, which saves you time and stress over making choices.
Artificial Intelligence in the adaptive workspace
For the aforementioned reasons, we are already using AI in the adaptive workspace: Conditional Access so that Workspace 365 automatically recognises who you are, on what device you’re working and from which location, in order to offer you the correct applications and information. And with Single Sign-On, for example, we enable you to automatically login to applications from your workspace, since they already ‘know’ who you are.
These are not futuristic solutions. It’s already possible and is being used every day by thousands of organisations.
At the moment, we are researching several methods to integrate AI into the workspace, so that smart choices can be made in the background, to help people and enable them to work even more productively. Also, Workspace 365 will be focusing more on creating Micro Apps.
Quickly perform tasks with Micro Apps
Very simply put, Micro Apps are applications that focus on performing one task, and performing it well. That doesn’t mean they have only one functionality, just that generally, all functionalities are aimed at completing a singular task.
Same as Narrow AI, you’re probably using them already. Think for example of weather forecast apps or Facebook Messenger. It’s kind of a countermovement on the large enterprise software: one piece of software, containing dozens or even hundreds of different processes and functionalities. Many of them people don’t even use. Micro Apps allow you to complete specific tasks more quickly and easily, especially when you integrate them into one workspace, enabling you to unite only the Micro Apps you need.
Micro Apps in the adaptive workspace
While Workspace 365 already allows you to integrate a variety of applications, in the very near future, we’ll be taking this to the next level. There are already Micro Apps within the workspace itself for several business processes, such as invoicing, project management, registering mileage and requesting work attire, allowing you to connect the information within these apps to documents, emails and more.
Additionally, Workspace 365 has already taken information from external applications, and incorporated them into Micro Apps within the workspace itself, such as Microsoft To-Do, TOPdesk and ConnectWise. With a team in place dedicated to creating these new applications and integrations, you will soon start to see more Micro Apps being available in your workspace, including apps based on third party data.
The rising importance of employee experience
Basically every employer understands the value of their employees. But more and more employers are also beginning to understand the importance of the employee experience for retention, and that the happiness of their employees is determined by more than just salary.
One of the causes of this, are the Millennials making up a larger and larger part of the workforce. And they don’t care about money alone. Millennials search for companies whose values and culture match theirs, they want to feel like the work they’re doing is valuable and contributes to something bigger.
Another factor that contributes is that a happy employee is up to 17% more productive and up to 22% more profitable. So there’s more benefits of a great employee experience to an employer than just employee retention and attraction.
Your technology, however, can get in the way of this. If you’re still using old software, outdated systems and burdensome processes, it can heavily affect the work satisfaction of your employees. Therefore, digitally keeping up influences more of your organisation than you think, and is of the essence for your business in several ways.
Keeping up with and staying ahead of trends with an adaptive workspace
Though we’ve already established that many trends are not fleeting – they are evolving. So keeping up with them isn’t just a one-time action: it’s a continuous process. Also, new trends that have irreversible influence on the way we work are emerging all the time. So it’s important to enable your organisation to be adaptive, to get and stay ahead of the curve. Workspace 365 enables you to do this – with an adaptive workspace. We give you that flexibility and adaptability you need to keep up. As we strive to stay ahead of new technological developments, we allow you to adapt to these changes at your own pace.
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