Three technologies that are changing the workplace as we know it

Organisations need to adopt AI, cloud-based systems and mobile-friendly software to keep pace with digital change, writes contributor Shawna Davidsen

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Organisations need to adopt AI, cloud-based systems and mobile-friendly software to keep pace with digital change, writes contributor Shawna Davidsen

As the rate in which tech innovations increases, staying up to date about new trends and becomes more challenging – especially for organisations with limited resources. Introducing new technology often causes significant alterations to the ways you and your teams complete your work, making modernisation a risky process and difficult adjustment at times.

However, as younger, tech-savvy generations enter the workforce, organisations will need to make more of an effort to modernise their workplaces to continue to attract the best talent. Here are three critical technologies that are changing how we work now.

 

 

1. Artificial intelligence (AI)

Once a tool used exclusively by enterprise-level companies because of high costs, it is becoming increasingly feasible for small- and medium-sized organisations to use AI-powered tools. AI – also referred to as cognitive computing – processes, stores and interprets massive amounts of data far more quickly and more efficiently than humans can.

HR departments are just one area that are set to benefit from AI. Nearly two-thirds (60%) of CEOs surveyed by the IBM Institute for Business Value said they believe artificial intelligence will become a valuable asset for their HR teams. This points toward the long-term advantages of AI for organisations – and how using AI might become a necessity when competing for both new customers and talent.

But what, specifically, will your HR team gain by harnessing artificial intelligence? Because of its broad implications, AI tools can suit a host of needs and fill any productivity gaps that your organisation may be currently experiencing. From calculating the likelihood of holiday time being approved to rapidly sifting through CVs, AI has the potential to open up your schedule so you have more time to deal with high-level issues or projects. AI has also been proven to remove many biases that people subconsciously feel about others. Having an objective eye while looking through CVs and applications is incredibly helpful for HR professionals looking to diversify their workforce and hire the most qualified candidates for the position.

Read next: Three ways you can use AI in HR now

 

2. Cloud capabilities

Nothing says ‘antiquated’ in today’s workplace quite like bulky hardware or computer towers. Beyond an outdated aesthetic, hosting your servers on-site often requires IT management and makes it challenging (or impossible) to access important information outside of the office. Among other benefits, migrating your organisation to the cloud reduces the need for IT management staff, eases the difficulties of scaling and opens the possibility of creating virtual, off-site workspaces.

Although many new tech solutions come at a steep price, cloud services actually offer many opportunities for your organisation to lower overhead costs while simultaneously optimising work procedures. Voice over IP (VoIP), for example, hosts phone systems on the cloud, which means you no longer have to rely on landlines – significantly reducing your monthly phone bills, especially for international calls. Cloud-friendly document-sharing and collaboration tools such as Google Drive for business have become powerful substitutes for older options that provided only a fraction of analogous services.

Similarly, because your workforce will have access to every tool, document and resource they need for the job, cloud services make remote work more of an option than ever, allowing your company to save on office rent by eliminating the amount of space needed for on-site staff. Remote managers and their team members can use cloud chats, email and other communication channels to replicate the communication that occurs face to face.

 

3. Mobile-friendly solutions

Today’s modern workforce is also a mobile one, and organisations that cannot adapt to the mobile trend will find themselves left in the dust. Since 60% of employees already use mobile apps for work-related activity, using or creating work-related applications is a great move to increase productivity and enables your people to work on whichever device they choose.

If your organisation doesn’t have the capacity to create its own apps, the best strategy for adopting a more mobile mindset is to ensure that new software, tools and other services that you implement are mobile friendly. From HR software to cloud-based CRMs, modernising with mobile guarantees that both employers and employees have secure access to important information whenever they may need it. Couple this ease of accessibility with an intuitive user interface, and these mobile applications could result in considerable improvements in your workers’ productivity and engagement.

Shawna Davidsen is a content expert in the business space. She specialises in writing about the intersection between upcoming business and technology trends.