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What Does the Future of Information and IT Look Like in 2019?

Since the late 90s, when internet adoption became mainstream, there have been extensive predictions for the future of information and IT. While many seemed fantastical, space-aged imaginings of a technological culture gone too far, countless of these insights have indeed materialized, providing for a complex, yet connected world most could never have imagined. So, what does the future of information look like in 2019? Early Assumptions In a 2003 Harvard Business Review article, author Nicholas G. Carr asserted that IT had become ubiquitous and commoditized.1 In his view, IT was merely a standard cost of doing business that offered no competitive advantage. In the years to follow, cloud computing deconstructed the traditional IT organization and businesses have flocked to inexpensive or free applications as the cornerstone of their operations. With competitors mainly utilizing the same tools, the competitive advantage has shifted to other technologies. Microsoft’s Vision from 2009 Known for setting industry trends, Microsoft is often looked to when it comes to the future outlook of information and IT. In 2009, a short video called, “Microsoft Office Labs Vision 2019” was released to the public.2 The video displays a futuristic world of technology that, at the time, may have seemed improbable. Featuring innovations like touchscreen windows and a digital interactive newspaper, the video piqued the imagination and instilled within us a future of possibilities yet to come. While it’s true that a few of these technological predictions haven’t made it to the consumer level yet, today, many seem less far-fetched than they did when Microsoft recorded the video a decade ago. Accenture’s Vision from 2011 In 2011, Accenture distributed its vision of future tech, predicting technology to become fully incorporated with business trends and societal movements.3 Accenture maintained that the path of IT carries as much importance for businesses and governments as it does for technology sector. They also took note of strides in data analytics for business integration, cloud computing, a shift to service-centric architecture, social networks driving business intelligence, and a transformation in data privacy risk interpretation.  Accenture also noted that IT was no longer a supporting function, but rather a leading player in the lives of individuals.  While the report is a more matter-of-fact approach to the future of information and IT than Microsoft’s video, their intent to prophesize the direction of technology is similar. Much like Microsoft’s predictions, some of Accenture’s views have come to fruition or are still an anticipated possibility, while others have fallen short of the actual trajectory technological innovation has taken. Today’s Prediction for the Future of IT The vast array of emerging technologies today offers an even broader spectrum of possible expectations for the direction of information and IT. From automation and artificial intelligence to the internet of things4, modern technology solutions have the potential to impact every aspect of our lives and forever shape the path of society and technology. They represent significant gains in efficiency and productivity by empowering machines, and even networks of machines, to interact intelligently, learn, and improve on their own. Further, various new currencies are gaining a foothold in the economic world (i.e., cryptocurrency and blockchain technology), and their growing popularity could have a lasting impact on financial systems globally. Blockchain technology integrated into cryptocurrency promises to deliver added benefits in numerous industries as well. Regardless of what the future of information and IT holds, Omnivex is committed to staying current with both existing and emerging technologies, creating cutting-edge software to deliver complete digital communication network management solutions. Simply put, Omnivex enables organizations to improve the collection, distribution, and presentation of critical business information, ensuring our customers success.   1https://hbr.org/2003/05/it-doesnt-matter 2https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwj2s_5e12U 3https://insuranceblog.accenture.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Accenture_Technology_Vision_2011.pdf 4https://www.business2community.com/tech-gadgets/5-future-technologies-will-mainstream-2020-02006302  

The Importance of Digital Communications for IT

Information technology is defined as the utilization of computers to store, retrieve, and send data–while communication technology is the use of devices, such as telephones, radios, and computers, to facilitate communication between people. As technologies have continued to improve and expand functionalities, the realms of information technology and communication technology have become increasingly intertwined.  This trending convergence of information and communication technology offers tremendous opportunities for businesses, but it also creates challenges that must be met in order to realize its full potential. Because of this, the importance of digital communications as a priority for IT departments has never been higher. Digital Communications in the Workplace Access to digital communication tools in the workplace is now essential to building a cohesive and productive team. Developing relationships, sharing information, and engaging stakeholders anywhere on the planet are keys to a successful and growing business. Not only is digital communication good for business, but it’s also the way employees expect to communicate. “Digital communication in our personal lives has far outpaced the way we communicate in the workplace–so workers are now demanding better communication tools. To expect people to work any other way is a massively missed opportunity,” said Taylor Wallace, co-founder of WeVue. The benefits of digital communication are quite attractive, but there are challenges as well.  Implementing digital communication tools across a multigenerational workforce is not straightforward. People have different workplace perceptions, routines, and expectations.  Introducing new technology and ways of working can disrupt this cadence as employees adjust to the new working environment. Another potential issue is the overuse of digital communication. In some instances, workers spend more time communicating and less time working, resulting in lower productivity. A proper implementation strategy and clear communication expectations can help alleviate these concerns. Using Digital Communication Effectively Simply implementing new digital communication tools will not improve business performance. Carefully selecting the tool best suited for the business needs and developing an integration plan is absolutely essential. Implementing digital communication tools without a well thought out implementation and engagement plan will not solve organizational challenges. It is important to consider: who will be using the tools what will the tools be used for where are people using the tools located – office or remote why will they want to use the tools over traditional methods More than just office communications, consumers are increasingly making connections with businesses via digital communication. In fact, a survey by STARTEK found that 80% of consumers utilize a digital device to contact a company, while just 10% only use a phone. Even so, to be successful with digital communication, a solution must be carefully chosen and rolled out effectively. IT Must Lead the Way When it comes to selecting, implementing, and maintaining digital communication solutions, IT must lead the way and Omnivex is here to help. With powerful digital communication platforms that facilitate the collection, distribution, and presentation of targeted real-time information, Omnivex transforms the way organizations interact with their audiences.

AI: The Future of Digital Communications

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is enabling organizations to create a more personalized digital communications experience. So it is no surprise that the AI market is predicted to rise to nearly $60 billion by 2025. AI Will Provide Tremendous Growth Opportunities AI permits machines to learn from data in much the same way as the brain does and then use that knowledge to perform human-like tasks. Artificial intelligence is being used in some very exciting applications, including speech recognition, natural language processing, complex problem solving, self-driving cars, and voice-enabled digital assistants. Communications and media companies have embraced AI. Accenture Strategy research found that 63 percent of telecommunications executives believe AI deployment will drive additional revenue and growth opportunities by accelerating the introduction of new products and services. That’s why 72 percent of these same executives identify AI as a Top Three business priority currently or within one year. It’s clear that AI is the future of digital communications. AI Allows Personalization and Segmentation on a Level Never Seen Before Customers expect a personalized experience with information that is relevant to them. AI helps deliver that experience by enabling organizations to draw on the vast amount of historical data they have about their customers and their behaviors, and then leverage that information to deliver the targeted content. For example, digital signage can detect that a shopper entering a store is a female with curly hair, then use AI to immediately show her store items that customers like her have purchased. Artificial Intelligence can also be used to predict other offer aspects, like the quoted price necessary to make a conversion or which clients are more prone to making more than one purchase. Machines have the power to process huge amounts of data, quickly decide which data is most relevant, and then segment appropriately. AI Will Transform Digital Communications AI solutions for digital communications are becoming even more customizable, allowing the optimization of digital advertising and algorithm-generated content. AI-based digital signage networks, for example, are able to determine which ad to display to a customer by interpreting audience engagement levels and then comparing it to historical customer behavior patterns and data. In fact, digital signage networks that use AI are proven to increase content relevancy by up to 50 percent. These intelligent tools keep evolving and are now reaching a point in which they are able to surpass human ability in certain respects. In fact, Gartner predicts that 85% of customer interactions will be managed by artificial intelligence by 2020. Artificial Intelligence can help improve the productivity, efficiency, and profitability of your digital communications, and the time to act is now.

The workplace of the future

Human Resource departments are undergoing continuous change as both organizations and the workforce become more digital.  56% of companies are redesigning their HR programs to leverage digital and mobile tools. From implementing analytics and integrating legacy systems to new recruitment and employee tools, HR is building the workplace of the future with a renewed focus on employee engagement. Employee engagement is vital to the success of an organization and workers hired today expect digital communication. 85% of employees are performing below their potential due to engagement issues, but digital communication strategies aimed at employees can change this. HR plans that focus on innovation, digital communication and real-time information to build engagement is driving the workplace of the future, now. Watch below to learn more about the HR digital transformation.

How Digital Communications Can Transform HR

  Recent advancements in digital communications are disrupting a wide variety of industries, including varied sectors such as transportation, insurance, and hotels. It’s also disrupting departments such as human resources. Once viewed as a support function that delivered employee services, HR is now poised to take a leadership position in the digital transformation sweeping organizations worldwide by exploring new applications, platforms, and ways of working. HR Leaders are Driving Organizations to Embrace Digital Tools According to Deloitte, 56 percent of companies are redesigning their HR programs to leverage digital and mobile tools, including the 41 percent that is actively building mobile apps to deliver HR services. Additionally, 33 percent of HR teams are using some form of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to provide HR solutions to their employees. Over the past few years, many companies have replaced their legacy talent systems with integrated HR platforms. Now that the technology is in place, HR has turned its focus to people, work, and platforms to create a set of practices Deloitte calls “digital HR.” This strategy has become essential to creating the systems and tools necessary to attract and retain young, digitally savvy workers who are comfortable doing things themselves and sharing information in a transparent way. This new generation of workers demand an integrated, digital experience at work designed around teams, productivity, and empowerment–and it is up to HR to deliver it. Advanced Technology is Changing the Way HR Works Despite being in its infancy, AI has already been put to use in a number of innovative ways in HR. Chatbot services, such as Wade and Wendy, and Mya, help companies acquire talent, convert job seekers into applicants, and deliver informed recommendations throughout the recruiting process. The technology does this by showing prospective employees job opportunities in the company, helping with their career strategies, and allowing them to better understand the organization’s culture. Artificial Intelligence is also being utilized in software that helps human resource professionals write better job descriptions using advanced algorithms that identify and reduce gender, race, or generational bias. In addition, crowdsourcing is being used by Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth and LinkedIn Salary to collect anonymous data on millions of salaries to allow professionals to compare their compensation package against those offered in similar jobs by city, tenure, industry, and even company. Embracing Digital Communications Can Make Organizations More Efficient Leveraging digital tools empowers HR professionals to help employees do their jobs better. Digital signage can be used to enhance employee experience by providing real-time information about Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), highlighting vision and organizational goals, and sharing relevant news, weather and safety information. Mobile apps enable organizations to stay connected with employees out in the field, providing them with relevant company information and access to necessary tools. Integrating digital signage and mobile apps also provides a new way to tackle onboarding, training and coaching across a dispersed workforce. The workplace of the future is digital – HR teams that embrace digital communications will transform their organization, enhancing employee experience and creating competitive advantage.

How Digital Maturity Is Affecting Core Operations and Value

Regardless of your organization’s industry, the digital space that you work in can be overwhelming. New digital trends, such as big data, AI, mobilty are having a huge impact on both organizations and individuals. To survive, organizations must employ digital communication strategies to meet the growing demands of the business to remain digitally mature. In other words, they must be able to adapt and compete in a constantly changing digital market. Every company can take steps to become more digitally mature. Doing so can create competitive advantages and increase market share. Adept Companies Adapt There are several key factors that help identify digital maturity. One aspect is the ability to adapt to increasingly digital environments. Another is implementing digital technologies to improve operations. According to a 2017 digital business global executive study and research project from Deloitte Insights, more than 70% of respondents from digitally maturing companies say their organizations are increasingly organized around cross-functional teams versus only 28% of companies in the early stages of digital development. Clearly, there is a fundamental shift occurring in the way work is getting done, a paradigm change that will significantly impact organizational behavior, corporate culture, talent recruitment, and leadership tactics. Working on Your Core Having too many competing priorities is often the biggest barrier to realizing digital maturity. However, to achieve it, companies must fully commit to making digital communications a core part of their organization and business strategy. Leaders must not only emphasize that digital maturity is of paramount importance, but use that focus to transform the business, customer experience, and the bottom line. To truly drive digital success, this level of commitment may require major changes within an organization, including reconfiguring of the leadership team, organizational structure, workforce, and culture. Monumental changes such as these are no longer optional, but essential to survive. The Long View Digitally mature companies take the long view. These companies utilize longer strategic planning horizons than those employed by less digitally mature organizations. In fact, almost 30% of these organizations plan five or more years in advance compared to only 13% of the least digitally mature organizations. In addition to the long view, their digital strategies focus on both technology and core business capabilities. They are also open to organizational change and flexibility, providing them the ability to adjust more fluidly in rapidly changing digital environments. It’s Time to Assess Your Digital Maturity The good news is, every company can take steps to become more digitally mature. Omnivex has created a digital maturity assessment tool to help organizations see where they stand, compare themselves to industry peers, and evaluate how they can improve. Curious about your own organization's level of digital maturity? Use the digital assessment tool to learn more.

Omnivex Digital Maturity Assessment

No matter how good an organization is at capturing data, it needs a strategy for finding and delivering that data in a form end users can easily grasp. The best way to develop that strategy, or to improve the one you already have, is to compare it with what similar companies are doing. Omnivex now offers a free assessment tool to assess how well your existing communications tools are meeting your information-sharing needs, provide benchmarks for comparing your results against other organizations’, and suggest areas for improvement. Watch the short video below to learn more. Take the Omnivex Digital Maturity Assessment!

Communications Tools: A Key to Better Business Performance

How Real-Time Access to Information Boosts Engagement and Personalization Most organizations today understand the importance of gathering data to inform decision-making, but collecting data is only half the battle. After all, data has value only if it’s used—and using data to run a business more effectively means getting the right information to the right people at the right time on the right device. A recent IDG survey of digital trends and business challenges indicates that communications tools have a critical role to play in leveraging valuable data for business advantage. Read the whitepaper to get more information on the survey results and learn how: Using big data is a big issue but not the only one Many business challenges involve sharing information Organizations are considering an array of communications tool to solve their business challenges   Communications Tools: A Key to Better Business Performance Whitepaper

Digital Communications Help Protect the Public

In the movies, every hero needs a partner to help them fight crime. It’s no different in real life! But rather than calling upon a single costumed crusader, law enforcement and government officials increasingly depend on digital communications. Digital display technology helps distribute updates, alerts, and critical information to the public to help prevent crime, apprehend persons of interest, and improve safety. From individual neighborhoods to cities to states to the country as a whole, digital communications provide a platform for sharing real-time information on any type of screen. Digital Communications Can Help Protect the Public The primary mission of law enforcement is to protect and serve, and digital communications are a powerful tool police have in their arsenal to help protect the public. For example, in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing a partnership between the FBI and digital signage operators along the East Coast of the United States extended the bureau’s reach as far south as Washington D.C. In addition, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency joined forces with Clear Channel Outdoor to broadcast public safety messages on seven digital billboards along major highways in the Boston area, helping keep the public out of harm’s way. Similarly, digital billboards and other networked digital screens have been used to share real-time updates and important evacuation information during severe weather conditions like hurricanes, fires, blizzards and tornados. Digital Technology is a Powerful Crime Prevention Tool Although digital communications can help police catch criminals after the act, they also play an essential role in helping prevent crimes and tragedies from occurring. Public service organizations are increasingly harnessing the power of digital communication to inform and educate the public. Recent public awareness campaigns have included texting and driving, speeding, and vandalism. In addition, digital communications are used to rapidly issue AMBER Alerts for child abduction cases and Silver Alerts for seniors suffering from Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or other mental disabilities who have gone missing. The FBI Depends on Digital Communications to Help Locate Their Most Wanted Every law enforcement officer knows that when it comes to locating and catching criminal suspects, fugitives, and persons of interest, time is of the essence. Since seconds often mean the difference between life and death, the real-time capabilities provided by digital technology can help prevent a crime from being committed and save lives. That’s why the FBI has been using digital communications to publicize wanted criminals, fugitives, missing persons, public safety issues, and law enforcement initiatives for over a decade. Success stores are not limited to the FBI, however. News stories of digital technologies helping local law enforcement, the private sector, and the public work together to bring criminals to justice are becoming more common in the information age.

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