For many months, the media discussed the tenuous link between bots and humans at workplaces. Some predicted the demise of humankind, and others talked about the upcoming wars.
But a new IDC InfoBrief, Powering Intelligent Enterprise Transformation, shows that in reality bots and humans need each other if companies want to realize their digital transformation ambitions.
Changing Market Environment
Commissioned by Lenovo, the study examined how bots and humans are shaping workplaces in the Industry 4.0 era, and is leading to the way we look at work.
The call to evaluate the human-bot relationship at the workplace comes as the tech-savvy millennials will make up more than 50 percent of the Asia Pacific workforce by 2020 and are forcing organizations to re-evaluate their view of workplace design, said a joint IDC-Lenovo press release.
Companies understand this. The IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Future of Work 2019 Predictions showed that many are collaborating and in startups, helping them to reinvent their core business and diversify their revenue streams.
This investment fundamentally changes how companies make money through direct and indirect talent investment. By 2023, IDC predicts 30 percent of G2000 companies will generate at least 20 percent of their revenues outside their core industries, using crowdsourcing and agile aggregation models to source talent and business capabilities.
The role of data within workplaces is also changing. The IDC FutureScape report noted that 90 percent of large enterprises would generate revenue from data as a service by 2020, up from nearly 50 percent in 2017.
Meanwhile, the global shortage of talent will see more companies embracing automation and automation-enabled IT workflows to free more human and capital resources for more strategic tasks. In turn, IDC expects these solutions to create “a smarter and more efficient future workplace.”
IDC forecasted that 25 percent of IT development and operation processes would be automated in 2019, resulting in a 15 percent gain in IT productivity and requiring IT to redefine skills and manage digital workers.
The Human Factor
The IDC InfoBrief report urged companies not to ignore the human side for digital transformation. It asked companies to adopt a holistic approach to workplace transformation. Such a strategy leverages digital technologies across three areas – workspace, work culture and workforce.
“Technology today is changing at a breakneck pace, and it will continue to evolve and drive productivity, collaboration, and efficiency in many new ways. However, technology is only an enabler and Future of Work transformation should not be confused with just automation or technology upgrade drive,” said Avinav Trigunait, research director, IDC Asia Pacific.
Lenovo is using the report to emphasize on employee experience (EX).
“Investing in technologies such as Device-as-a-Service, AI, and AR then becomes critical to keep up with end-users’ expectations of mobility, flexibility and augmented experiences connectivity. In turn, this empowers enterprises to improve their employee experience by creating a smarter, more secure, productive and collaborative workplace,” said Ken Wong, president of Lenovo Asia Pacific.
Talent pressure is also making more companies to examine the human side of transformation, and how bots and new working arrangements can empower them. By 2021, IDC expects the demand for top talent will result in 65 percent of G2000 companies offering co-working and remote work options that “leverage pervasive access to enterprise and collaboration applications.”
“There are many moving parts here from multi-generational workforce to advent of AI, change management, as well as compliance, privacy and security issues that enterprises need to consider. Therefore, organizations that focus on holistic transformation and develop an experience-centric model — front, back, and center — along with highly agile structures that can constantly adapt to rapidly changing technology and consumer preferences will be the ones leading in the industry 4.0 era," said Trigunait.
But Asia Pacific companies should not expect a smooth transformation. IDC noted that “60 percent of organizations in Asia Pacific are struggling to achieve enterprise-wide digital transformation because of multi-faceted challenges such as looming trade tensions, security and identity, privacy and data sovereignty, and taxation and IP protection.”