Most modern enterprises are witnessing a paradigm shift in terms of workplace requirements and looking at creating an engaging experience for the workforce. It is crucial for organizations to make workplace transformation a key focus area in the face of changing workforce demographic as well as the emergence of new, collaborative ways of working.
According to an Infosys study, the top four factors why organizations are driving workplace transformation include enhancing collaboration across teams, improving employee experience and well-being, increasing efficiency and optimize costs, as well as building a competitive advantage.
The road ahead
The continued shift to mobile access for enterprises will be augmented with the introduction of 5G and the improvement of mobile broadband services. And several connected, autonomous, and mixed reality solutions of today will be able to reap the benefits of the increased speed and lower power consumption of 5G.
Once 5G is ubiquitous and reliable, organizations will be able to exploit the ultra-low latency and hyper-flexible bandwidth that is imperative for IoT devices to collect, aggregate, and analyse the data to boost operations and efficiencies. By merging the physical and digital universes, IoT has enabled digital transformations over the last few years.
Connectivity is the bedrock of IoT solutions, and flexible infrastructure such as 5G can support expanding requirements. 5G also helps reimagine existing use cases and explore newer and transformative use cases that could not be supported by current connectivity technologies. By 2025, forecasts suggest as many as 75 billion IoT connected devices, nearly 3x the number in 2019.
Of course, like all other technologies, networks will evolve to be self-optimized with automation, analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI) working across a multivendor cloud ecosystem. Telecom providers will, therefore, need to focus their network engineering efforts on extreme agility at scale, acceleration through execution excellence, and strong thought leadership and innovation.
Essentially, IoT, 5G, and cloud technologies will play a crucial role in digital transformation of organizations across industry sectors, and move the enterprises towards Industry 4.0, a term popularized by Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, to represent the evolution of the fourth industrial revolution riding on increasing interconnectivity and smart automation. While 5G maybe the engine of this next-generation economy, it can deliver its promise only in conjunction with other technologies, such as IoT, cloud and edge computing.
A digital workplace
This giant leap—thanks to the integration of 5G and IoT—will help organizations increase their business and operational efficiencies to gain competitive advantage via increased employee and workplace productivity as well as smart collaboration solutions and automation.
A modern workplace, or a connect, digital workspace, can help in optimizing energy usage, creating an ideal working environment via climate control solutions, as well as ensuring workplace safety with improved visitor management and access control.
Other examples include aiding improvement in mobility within the organizations as employees move around with VR/AR headsets, interact with a plethora of sensors, and engage with smart collaboration devices across the factory floor or a campus. You can even have IoT-enabled conference rooms as well as a telepresence experience.
There are plenty of industry-specific use cases too where employees can rely on these three technologies to bring efficiency in their work. For instance, law enforcement officers using security cameras in public areas for facial recognition, doctors relying on robot-driven procedures for healthcare procedures, farmers using sensors in large or remote farms for data transmission, or safety of miners in underground mines being assessed using real-time video streaming.
Through connected and sustainable workspace solutions, organizations are not only looking to offer an enhanced employee experience but are also looking beyond electricity consumption and taking a wider view across the whole lifecycle. This includes looking at the carbon footprint of their products and services, workforce, and supply chains. The nexus of connectivity (5G and IoT) and intelligence (AI and analytics) helps organizations manage their infrastructure assets more efficiently to support their sustainability and decarbonization ambitions.
Industry experts tout 5G as a fundamental transformation that has been designed to support diverse IoT requirements. The key attributes of 5G, such as low latency, high reliability, support for high density of devices, positioning accuracy, high bandwidth, and data rates, will definitely accelerate IoT adoption. It will enhance the impact of existing use cases of IoT and reimagine new workplace applications to create a growingly connected ecosystem in an organization with a focus on human-centric experiences.
As Gartner quotes, “The EVP for the post pandemic workforce must orient toward employees as people, not workers; provide an exceptional life, not work, experience; and focus on the feelings, not just the features that match employee needs.”
With IoT, 5G, and Cloud, enterprises can achieve workplace transformation that enhance work experience.
The article has been written by Rajesh Varrier, SVP, Head of Digital Experience & Microsoft Business, Infosys