If 2018 became the year frontline workers achieved next-level engagement through mobile technology like team messaging, 2019 will be the year that non-desk industries witness the positive ripple effect that digital workplace investments can have on employees and customers alike. Now that the business case for implementing conversational workplace tools is a proven entity, we will witness a shift toward a more serious exploration of artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and machine learning technologies across multiple non-desk industries. In addition to AI, new generations of connected hardware and automation will catapult many arenas of service, hospitality, and manufacturing labor into new echelons of efficiency. All things considered, we are filled to the brim with optimism for the digital workplace trends that are projected to emerge in 2019. Here are three ways we predict technology will continue to transform the non-desk workforce in the coming year.
Chatbots Will Become Older and Wiser
According to a recent survey, 40% of large businesses are slated to adopt intelligent assistant tools by spring 2019. Of the companies currently using AI chatbots, 26% utilize these virtual assistance for team collaboration. For frontline workers engaged with customers or physical labor who cannot necessarily be glued to a screen during work hours, the use of chatbots and AI technology can help triage which messages are mission-critical and time-sensitive versus a message that can wait until until a worker is off the floor. As AI continues to proliferate as a digital workplace trend in the new year, triaging mobile team messaging and tasks among coworkers will gain an increasing capacity for nuance. On the customer-facing side, those in service or hospitality-based industries will be able to use chatbots to make sure that all guests feel attended to in a timely manner. This allows employees to initiate customer connections digitally before dispatching assistance physically. This allows frontline employees to “be” multiple places at once, which as any non-desk employee will tell you, is essentially the holy grail of multitasking.
Continued Enforcement of GDPR Will Encourage Companies to Double Down on Transparency and Security
As an international organization, GDPR compliance in all aspects of our product design, improvement, and data security are paramount. GDPR, otherwise known as the General Data Protection Regulation, was put into effect by the EU in late May of 2018. In essence, the goal of GDPR is to mandate that companies to be transparent about personal data usage and privacy policies. In the long run, this is an important step to ensuring that companies large and small treat personal data with care. With privacy concerns on the rise among consumer and employee populations worldwide, many companies will still face the technical challenge of proving GDPR compliance in the coming year if they wish to do business directly or tangentially in Europe. In 2019, we expect to see GDPR compliance mechanisms seep into all aspects of digital workplace and team messaging apps and mobile technology. This includes conducting in-depth security risk assessments, and making sure that you have a way to immediately detect a data breach should one occur so that you can report it to data protection authorities immediately.
Businesses Will Continue to Embrace the “Multi-cloud” Approach
Cloud-based storage, network, and security tools are slated to steal the spotlight again in the coming year. Spinning off from mounting public pressure to be held accountable for data, IT departments across many industries are realizing (or already have realized) that having one cloud service simply won’t do. So in 2019, “the” cloud will more accurately turn into “the clouds,” for businesses across the globe, making it (and, by extension, SaaS, or software-as-a-service) one of the top digital workplace trends we predict for the coming year. According to recent research, 37% of companies have already adopted a “hybrid cloud” IT strategy. A multi-cloud approach means that rather than resting all your laurels in one cloud solution, your organization would engage several at once: a SaaS cloud, a private cloud, or a public cloud. There are many reasons why businesses in non-desk industries that have already invested in mobile technology would explore a “multi-cloud” approach when considering IT investments for the year. As non-desk industries tend to have a million moving parts happening at several different tiers within the organization, adopting a multi-cloud approach to triage how workloads are distributed is highly logical for service and hospitality organizations juggling all sorts of data.
Download our “Digitization of the Non-Desk Workforce” white paper to learn more about how to best empower your non-desk workforce with communication tools to make work better and more productive.