The workplace has come a long way in recent years as the proliferation of emerging technologies continually evolves businesses, industries, and markets, pushing them to new heights.
The pandemic rapidly accelerated our reliance on workplace technology, firmly cementing tech as an essential part of doing business in almost every industry. With remote work now the norm for many companies, technology is the key enabler for employees and teams staying connected and engaged – across local, national and global locations.
We look at four technological shifts that are revolutionising the “office”.
Although it has been around for some time, cloud-based technology has become more commonplace as businesses streamline collaboration between teams in a secure, mobile-friendly environment. According to research by Gartner, spending on cloud services is forecast to grow 18.4% during 2021 to total USD$304.9 billion, up from USD$257.5 billion in 2020.
Cloud solutions like Microsoft Office 365 and Google Docs allow employees to work on the same document, or access the same data, in real time, from anywhere in the world. What’s more, the ability to use on-demand, scalable cloud models is driving organisations of all sizes to reassess and improve their digital business transformation plans.
Machine learning (ML) essentially refers to training a computer to analyse data and track repeating patterns – and it has major implications for operational efficiency in many industries. For example, some organisations leverage ML technology to analyse customer actions, transactions and social sentiment data to provide a better, more personalised customer experience and service.
And that’s just scratching the surface: ML is being used to create more seamless supply chains, detect fraud, automate administrative tasks and carry out many other essential business functions.
By 2027, it’s expected the global machine learning market will reach a value of USD$117.19 billion.
Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is predicted to be a USD$35.6 billion industry by 2024. At its core, additive manufacturing is the process by which digital 3D models are made into physical objects using a printer. The printer reads a file on a computer and then renders the digital representation in tangible material, layer by layer.
3D printing is revolutionising the manufacturing industry, making it possible for businesses to prototype products faster than ever before, and develop customised devices and parts through digital modelling.
Virtual reality and augmented reality
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are two different mediums but their major similarity is that both deal with virtual objects via technology.
An easy differentiator is that AR works with objects in the real world, while VR operates in an artificial world. From a business perspective, both AR and VR enable users to tap into the sensory and emotional area of the brain.
VR is already being used in video-based training, where one instructor can reach a global class. The use of AR tech can be seen in business cards that are already in circulation. Projection-based AR uses data based on your location and is widely used by smartphones.
Looking forward, Gartner estimates as many as 70% of businesses could be evaluating using AR and VR by 2022.
These emerging technologies are reshaping the way we work, and employers are looking for talent with the right technical expertise to meet the demands of the future.
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