A new year brings with it a lot of reflection on the previous twelve months, as well as plenty of predictions and planning for the future. In 2015 we saw incredible innovation in smart technology: IoT started to become more of a reality, significant investment was made into smart cities and homes, and consumer interest in wearable technology went unparalleled.
In the workplace, CIOs are increasingly witnessing a transition in the purpose of IT departments – IT is no longer just the plumbing, it’s integral for business transformation, too. So, as IT and office infrastructure become a boardroom issue, CIOs find increasing pressure applied to their departments.
To cope with this demand, CIOs should use 2016 as an opportunity to explore Connected Workplace, allowing businesses to unlock the true potential of their staff, and embark on that much desired business transformation.
The Connected Workplace, whereby all technology in the workplace is connected both in-office and out, will enable smarter, more efficient working. Whether you’re attending meetings and working out of the office or simply working from home, documents will be accessible remotely through the cloud, meaning that any location and every location has the potential to be your workplace. This means that effective working will no longer need to be confined to the four walls of an office.
When you do head into the office, your phone will alert your desktop as to when you will arrive, making sure everything is set up for you, and the documents you were working on the night before will be printed on your desk. When it comes to meetings, rooms will be booked automatically as and when your office calendar is populated with appointments, and when you walk in to said room, presentations will automatically sync from your phone, tablet or desktop onto the screen. But not just one screen, any screen - many surfaces such as table tops and windows will have the potential to be screens! And you’ll be able to use any of them for presenting, researching, and printing from the cloud.
The efficiencies this intuitive technology will make are endless. Costs will be cut when only energy that is needed for heating and lighting is used, and no time will be wasted setting up devices, or dealing with processes that could be automated. In the print environment for example, when an email comes through to your smart watch, you’ll be able to print this directly from that device, to any printer in the building. You’ll no longer need to operate from a particular device, you’ll be fully mobile, and fully efficient. Having all of your workplace devices connected also means that devices that were once redundant will have a new lease of life, and will be operated in ways that exceed the imagination! If and when technical faults occur, devices can relay these technical issues straight to technicians who will be able to fix devices remotely, saving time and money. And when supplies run low, office managers will be alerted of this on their wearable devices, enabling them to make smarter decisions that pre-empt lack thereof.
The benefits of the Connected Workplace are clearly endless, and whilst the infrastructure to support it already exists, businesses must embrace a few crucial components to get it off the ground.
The cloud is a major influence and we need to see more businesses migrating to it, and ensuring that their online security is up to scratch. Big Data and IoT have their parts to play, too, and I’m confident that these will experience rapid growth in the next few years.
So, in short, it’s a Connected Workplace that’s on the top of my wish list for 2016, and the efficient ways of working that it facilitates.
Mark Ash, Head of Print, Samsung
Image Credit: wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock