Technological innovations are only going to speed up—is your office ready for the onslaught?

impact on technology, boss magazine

Not since the Industrial Revolution has changing technology affected the workplace as profoundly as today. What was almost unthinkable two decades ago is now taken for granted: mobility means people can work from anywhere at any time and still collaborate effectively. Work is no longer a destination but an activity.

Mobile technology advances, internet-based applications, and the rise of secure cloud platforms have seen workplace expectations evolve, resulting in the evolution of workplaces themselves. Fixed office locations are becoming irrelevant as technology brings employees closer together no matter where they are.

The culture of collaboration is arguably the heartbeat of any successful organisation. As new technology becomes more integral to today’s business landscape, communication and collaboration between companies and their employees will become increasingly mobile. Distances will no longer be a barrier to workspace capabilities.

To make these new technologies work in their favour, organisations must invest in the right infrastructure, platforms, software, and devices or risk becoming disconnected in an increasingly connected world.

impact on technology, boss magazine1: Unified Communications

Unified communications (UC) technology is emerging as a critical element of more efficient workplace collaboration. It should be a focus area for companies looking to save money while increasing productivity.

Videoconferencing infrastructure is now commonplace for many workplaces, and teleconferencing devices are ubiquitous. The unprecedented reach enabled by mobile communications demonstrates how constrained the workplace was when such systems were purely office-bound.

Organisations stand on the cusp of a new age in workplace mobility and connectivity. New products and services let them tap into enterprise-grade technology that not only connects them to anyone from anywhere, but also facilitates real-time online collaboration between employees, partners, and customers, even over vast distances.

At the same time, market pressures are seeing many organisations downsize and consolidate their existing infrastructure, even as they face rising expectations from the companies and individuals with which they do business. The companies that embrace innovation are more likely to keep their competitive edge in the new market environment.

A combination of factors has driven UC uptake. Businesses require enhanced
productivity and quick technology deployments and are demanding cloudbased solutions and interoperability. At the same time, market trends such as an increasingly distributed mobile workforce and smart mobile devices, broadband growth, and data security and privacy are creating a need for infrastructure that can support these emerging technologies.

New products and offerings being introduced into the local market, such as the Ricoh Unified Communication System, will let businesses communicate and collaborate from anywhere. Its subscription-based user model lowers the purchase barrier for cost-conscious companies.

impact on technology, boss magazine2: Automation and Acceleration

Automation and acceleration are core themes for C-level executives looking to remove excess costs from internal systems, and to leverage new solutions and innovative technology for greater productivity.

Many organisations are acutely aware of the challenges they face, but struggle to find the budget and resources to fully embrace the technology that will help them achieve these goals.

Businesses are constantly on the lookout for cost-effective technology that will help them lower operational overheads. This is reflected in the rising trend of companies increasingly choosing managed services for many of their systems and operations, while also moving to subscription-based models for software and infrastructure to help lower capital expenditure overheads.

It is no surprise, then, that the Australian market is now awash with managed service providers delivering cost- and time-saving technology, such as unified communications.

impact on technology, boss magazine

3: Third-platform Technology

Many of the managed services that are becoming so popular with organisations working to streamline their operations and modernise their infrastructure rely heavily on so-called third-platform technology: mobile, social media, cloud, big data, and now also the Internet of Things (IoT).

In December 2014, IDC predicted that third-platform technology will account for one-third of global IT spending and 100 per cent of spending growth.

A greater reliance on mobility, managed cloudbased services, and IP-based interaction internally and externally will see diminishing on-premise infrastructure, a greater occurrence of BYOD, and an increasing reliance on remote collaboration and conferencing platforms to help keep large distributed and mobile workforces efficient and productive.

impact on technology, boss magazine4: Flexibility for Both Businesses and Workers

IT infrastructure is moving out of the building and into the cloud. Employees are as likely to use their own devices as company-issued hardware. Office-bound videoconferencing equipment is making way for mobile systems that can be set up anywhere to let employees do their work from the road.

The flexibility offered by these third-platform services will let business rapidly scale their operations up and down as demands dictate and leverage existing resources for greater productivity and agility.

impact on technology, boss magazineThis will be reflected in the workplace by a greater occurrence of softwaredefined networking, hotdesks, real-time processes, and more flexible, fluid, and modular workspaces.

The unprecedented reach enabled by mobile communications demonstrates how constrained the workplace was when such systems were purely officebound. The new collaborative workplace environment will open up a whole range of possibilities and organisations that prepare for this emerging trend will reap the benefits.

Stuart Hammond is an experienced IT professional with over 20 years in the industry that covers a broad range of accomplishments spanning from managing Fortune Global 500 customers, an executive leader for Enterprise Print Management Solutions, building complex back-end operations, influence technical designs, extensive knowledge of document workflow, and executive consulting through change management.

Stuart currently manages Ricoh’s senior product team with primary responsibility for solutions development and portfolio management for all services, software and hardware offerings, related pricing strategies, customer experience, market insights and analysis, as well as brand stewardship and lead generation using all appropriate marketing communications and digital strategies.