The future is optimistic for workplace tech, but what can we expect to see in 2021? We have already made our predictions specific to service management, but there are five trends to watch for in regard to workplace tech initiatives and digital transformation in the coming year.
Important Workplace Statistics from the Past Year
Before we dive into trends to watch, we should first take a look at a few interesting statistics from the past year. As we dive into the new era, these previous trends can inform the future.
90% of the world’s data was generated within the past two years alone according to IBM Smarter Business Review. Why does that matter? Because all of that data means more people are using tech than ever before – which can mean more tickets for the service desk (among other things).
AI augmentation will produce $2.9 trillion in business value, according to Gartner. Gartner also predicted in the same article that AI will boost productivity by 6.2 billion hours by 2021. In layman’s terms: AI is big business and is here to stay… and grow.
On the topic of artificial intelligence, Gartner also predicted that AI technology will generate 2.3 million jobs in the US 2020. This matters because there is a common idea that jobs will be lost due to AI, not gained. And while that is true to some extent (Gartner predicts it will wipe out 1.8 million occupations) it will create more than enough jobs to offset those it eliminates.
On the topic of jobs: 42% of the US workforce works from home permanently, according to Stanford Research. Some researchers have even predicted as many as 80% of office jobs will shift to permanent remote work in the future. This means that tech will play a bigger role than ever in the workplace, and gone are the days of hardcopies.
Top 5 Trends to Watch in 2021
With an idea of where we have been, it is easier to predict where we are going (no matter how unpredictable 2020 was). These trends go beyond IT service management software and are predictions for the coming months and year of digital transformation.
1. A Greater Focus on Agile in the IT Department and Beyond
If you had to choose a buzzword of the moment, it would be agile. 2020 showed us just how important agility in is. An agile organization is designed to be resilient, quick to adapt and able to pivot – exactly the traits needed to weather something as unexpected as the COVID-19 crisis. In fact, companies who outperformed their peers and ranked higher in managing the impact of the COVID-19 disruptions were also those with agile practices deeply embedded in their operating models, according to recent research.
There are a lot of areas of agile that we can expect to see becoming the norm, but the biggest is the continual cultural shift required of an agile mindset. Agile values individuals over processes and tools, and this shift helps refine overly cumbersome processes, which is what we can expect to see in the future of workplace tech.
2. Automation in Unexpected Places
As in the recent stats, we saw a boom in AI technology, and that will only grow with automation. This will take the form of more than just a chatbot, for example, we will see an increase in ITSM automation which will impact KPIs in a number of positive ways.
We will also see a boom in workflow automation, which will help businesses expand in the digital era in a seamless, multi-experience, and customer-focused manner. You can read everything you need to know about workflow automation in this blog post.
3. People-Focused in the Digital-First Era
The future of workplace tech isn’t actually tech at all: it is people. Putting people first seems counter-intuitive to a technologically advanced organization, but when people are considered first it is simpler to find the right technology to fit their needs and create an environment in which technology augments them, leading to a higher user adoption and in the end a higher employee engagement on both the agent and customer side.
We dive deeper into this idea in our recent webinar, but the important takeaway is that the trend to watch is greater appreciation and attention to both employees and customers of the IT department, where tech is an enabler, not a replacer.
4. IT Tools Expanding Beyond IT
Tech trends in the workplace are not limited to tech available to the IT department, although that is most certainly where most tech initiatives begin. Tools commonly available to the IT department will be implemented and adopted in various other departments to improve the customer experience.
An example of an IT tool being used for greater digital transformation in other departments is the use of ITSM processes and software for other teams, also called enterprise service management. For example, an ITSM tool that helps facilitate building workorders. You can find more examples in this recent guide, but this is something we can expect to see often in 2021 and beyond.
5. A Boom in Digital Collaboration Tools
Collaboration is key in a mostly remote or blended workforce. But how do remote teams collaborate across cities, oceans, or continents? With collaborative support and tools, which will continue to evolve and grow in the new era.
These tools can be as simple as ticketing software or as complex as a self-help solution. No matter how simple or complex, we can see these tools rising in popularity over the next decade as the remote workforce continues to grow and employees find new ways to support one another.
Find the Right Tools to Enter the Next Era
To keep up with the trends of the future, it is crucial to have the right tools and a solid strategy to implement them. As we enter 2021 and say goodbye to 2020, we can take what we have learned from the past unpredictable year and apply it to the future to create a more sustainable workplace with the help of technology.
To learn how EasyVista can help you enter the new era, request a demo!
Nancy Louisnord is the Chief Marketing Officer of EasyVista, responsible for the company’s global and regional marketing programs and product marketing strategy. She has more than 14 years of global leadership experience in the ITSM software industry, bringing numerous software companies into new markets. She is a sought-after presenter at conferences and contributor to several leading industry publications. Before joining EasyVista, Louisnord served in leadership roles with TOPdesk and Daffodil Consulting. In addition to her expansive experience in the B2B software industry, she has a proven record of creating and executing digital marketing strategies and improving the customer service experience.