Just 10 years ago, things we now use daily—like Slack, WhatsApp, Uber, Stripe, and Kickstarter—didn’t exist. Now, these and other digital tools are driving how we communicate, stay informed and build relationships across our workplaces. Not surprisingly, this is transforming how we work and increasing the speed and transparency of communication between employees and importantly with our customers. Let’s take a look at just three of these trends:
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
According to Forbes magazine, AI is already part of 80% of businesses. Many aspects of artificial intelligence - the technique of training a machine to learn in a way which resembles a human being - may not be entirely new, but with the increasing availability of relatively cheap and flexible computing power, this technology is becoming far more accessible. AI is being used by companies to create their own intelligence services, allowing them to rapidly adapt to changing business needs, in part by integrating apps to collect and interpret data.
Carnival cruise line has used AI to predict water usage on their ships, allowing them to accurately gauge and predict their water usage and storage. By optimising their water consumption each Costa Group ship could save more than of $200,000 a year. These water optimisation measures also contribute to the company’s continuous goal of reducing CO2emissions.
Organisations are increasingly using digital platforms to generate revenue, reduce costs, support innovation, connect with their employees and get products to targeted markets more quickly. PayPal Australia used LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator to convert a $10,000 investment into $300,000 of new business in a year. (Yes, that means a digital platform used another digital platform to generate revenue!)
Freelancing and Telework
Whether an organisation wants to access a pool of talented freelancers or boost employee productivity and satisfaction through telework opportunities, apps, platforms, and new technology are making these trends possible. When output was measured, teleworkers for American Express were deemed 43% more productive than on-site employees.
Digital trends are facilitating rapid growth and increasing revenue. However, let’s not lose sight of the value of digital in building meaningful relationships. Workplaces need people, and people need each other. Employees need to be recognised for their accomplishments, they need ways to connect with networks in their industry, and they need to build meaningful relationships with their managers.
There’s no question that the new digital world in which we live, is bringing about constant change and providing us with opportunities never before seen. Those organisations willing to adopt and experiment with these technologies, will be at the forefront. So understand the opportunities, plan well, and be ready to experiment with all that comes your way.