There are few places left that are untouched by globalization’s ever-expanding reach. In 2018, business never ceases and is conducted both around the clock and the globe. This fast-paced environment has through automation reshaped numerous industries across all continents. Forbes notes that automation has upended or supplanted countless manual processes on which businesses once relied, making conducting business 24/7 not only a possibility, but an expectation; both businesses and consumers want (and expect) to have goods and services made available to them as quickly as possible—and automation is largely meeting those demands.
Ever-Changing Business Models
It isn’t just business’ rapidity that is remarkable; it’s its ability to develop or change entire industries and livelihoods. The United Nations stated that, “These trends have presented a wealth of opportunities. Globalization and increased economic interdependence have accompanied—and facilitated—rapid economic growth in many countries and regions, helping world GDP grow from around 50 trillion USD in 2000 to 75 trillion USD in 2016.”
Here are four trends that are reshaping business automation in 2018:
Millennial Workers Expect Responsive Technology in the Workplace
For better or for worse, millennials have grown up with their eyes on screens and their thumbs on keyboards. They spend much of their personal time utilizing a seemingly infinite number of savvy apps and site that improve (or streamline) their lives, as well as connect them with friends and family across the globe—and they expect the same technology to be utilized in the workplace. For employers who wish to continue to attract top millennial talent, they would be wise to offer the same technological infrastructure and UX experiences with which millennials are accustomed.
New Apps. Faster, and with Greater Frequency
Much like millennials in the workforce, businesses are seeking faster, sleeker solutions to their application needs. Rather than relying on the traditional approach of seeking weeks- or months-long IT solutions, businesses are utilizing citizen developers, or people who aren’t formally trained as coders, but can offer basic workflow and integration services to businesses. While this spells a potential sea change for standard IT services, it may also spell a new wave of application development that is spread farther, wider, and offers new workflow applications faster than ever before.
Data is as Good as Gold
It would be difficult to imagine any business that makes major moves without first having data to support its initiatives. This is increasingly true as Big Data has become the norm. Organizations now value proprietary data above nearly all else, as it allows them to make educated decisions, and to measure their efforts in real-time. As this trend continues to gain traction, employers should expect that employees’ expectations of real-time data are some that will become increasingly common.
Productive, Remote Workers are Becoming More Common
A cornerstone of globalization has been its ability to allow for remote workers to thrive. Technology now facilitates remote working. For example, if there’s an internet connection and organization-specific apps, a Denver-based company can allow a copywriter to work remote in Vietnam, or a designer to work in Germany. This flexibility has prompted many to ask: are remote workers more productive? There’s mounting evidence that suggests that they are. But it’s also changing the game for short-term remote working; a CFO who’s on a flight from Los Angeles to Shanghai may be expected to make real-time decisions from 30,000 feet above the Pacific thanks to the plane’s in-flight Wi-Fi.
With these changes in workplace automation, employers are both ushering in and reacting to new technologies that impact worker productivity, provide real-time data, and employ remote workers. Many of these changes could affect just how heavily organizations rely on IT departments, as well as how in-house application development is replaced by citizen developers.