The day we’ve collectively been waiting for for thirty years is finally here – today is the day Doc Brown and Marty McFly arrived at after traveling through time in Back to the Future II. There are some notable differences between our future and Marty McFly’s, for example, a deeply disappointing lack of flying cars and hoverboards, but that doesn’t mean 2015 hasn’t had its own sci-fi-sounding moments. With increasingly realistic discussions of artificial intelligence and computerized, connected, and automated everything, it’s clear change is coming, and fast
Until recent years, smart machines and the Internet of Things have been nothing but ideas, components of a far off future disconnected from our reality. Now, they’re creeping into our world and changing how we do business in ways we never dreamed of in 1985. This month, Gartner released a set of predictions that place the workplace at a state of more “sci” and less “fi” than ever before.
We’re putting more and more responsibility in the hands of technology every day, and according to Gartner, the future reflects that movement heavily. Imagine instead of having a boss, you’re supervised by software programmed to measure your performance. Gartner predicts by 2018, 3 million workers around the world will be experiencing just that, reporting to what Gartner refers to as a “robo-boss.”
This occurrence of technology completing tasks that previously required a human will expand to other scenarios too, as Gartner predicts that “50% of the fastest growing companies will have fewer employees than instances of smart machines” by 2018, and “autonomous software agents outside of human control will participate in 5% of all economic transactions” by 2020. In many cases, these technologies will act as an extension to their human counterparts, allowing us to make more informed decisions and allocate our time and resources elsewhere. In other cases, our computers could actually be the ones making decisions based on the data available, reacting on their own to trends we otherwise might not notice.
In addition to the emergence of smart machines, the cloud will also continue to become increasingly commonplace within the workplace as cloud security improves. By 2020, Gartner predicts “95% of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault.” This means it’s up to organizations to train employees now, ahead of time, in security best practices and develop policies regarding the handling of information to avoid future data heartache.
Organizations should also begin to assess their business models and processes and find the best opportunities to leverage smart machines in order to remain competitive. By striving to keep your business agile, you’ll be better prepared for both future hurdles and opportunities.
Not sure where to start on updating your business processes? Fearing you’re operations more closely resemble 1985 than 2015? Watch our Webinar Recording, “What does Paperless Really Mean – 5 Stages of Efficiency,” to learn how you can start heading in the right direction now!