It seems that every time we look up there’s some new breakthrough that will change everything, some new research, new product or service that’s completely changing its industry. While the way we work is far more technologically infused than it was 20 years ago, recent research shows that we’re not really keeping up with where technology is going. According to the Meeker’s report, we’re already at a point where there is a gap between where our abilities are and where technological progress is going.
The amount of money that is invested in the R&D of new business solutions speaks for it self. In its 2016 report “The Top Emerging Technologies To Watch: 2017 To 2021” that cognitive computing technologies, or platforms based on AI, will be worth as much as $1.2 trillion by the year 2020.
On the other hand, as the market becomes increasingly cluttered, personalization and data collection will be the key ways companies differentiate themselves to not only consumers, but their employees. While everyone is chasing new markets and cost reductions, we seem to forget how low employee engagement and collaborative date affect businesses as well. According to a report made by the Harvard Business Review, employee disengagement can cost employers anywhere from $450 billion to $550 billion every year.
What many are left wondering is:
How can companies, and people in them, adapt to these new circumstances? Is there a way to bridge the gap?
One way of solving this is by creating more user-friendly solutions that at the same time collect data and easily educate people further. If I know how to use it today and have a benefit right now, then it’s much less of a problem to incorporate it with my everyday activities. And if all the data in the back is processed to give additional value in the future, well than that’s a plus all around.
The first problem that this could solve is knowledge management. Losing valuable team members can have crippling financial implications for any organization, no matter its size. The cost of an employee leaving the company can be as high as 33% of their annual salary. For the high-level positions, the numbers are even worse: A CAP study found that the average cost to replace highly educated executive positions is up to 213 percent of their annual salary. Having the ability to store knowledge within one system can then create a comprehensive knowledge base for organizations to use in the long run.
This benefits employees in 2 ways:
- they have this resource at their disposal to guide them
- the companies are more wiling to invest into their education
There are obvious benefits for companies as well. They have a safety net for all their investment into their team and a great resource for the future.
The next in line is optimization of operational and collaborative activities. No one likes writing reports, forwarding senseless email over and over again or dealing with a delay that could have been handled if anyone was actually responsible for it. While all this creates lover engagement and dissatisfaction, it also creates direct costs too. Having a single system where this could be managed, reduces the number of possible errors and frees up the time so that people can focus their attention to better things.
Building this type of a bridge is a necessity if we want to truly make progress. Optimizing our quantitative data is great, but the collaborative side shouldn’t be left out of sight.
To sum it up, the most important benefits that this approach could bring are:
- investing in employees will be less of a risk – all their decisions will be stored and used for future guidance
- delegation will be automatized and optimized based on workload and capabilities
- human errors will be reduced
- employees will have more time to focus on building strategies since there will be less operational work
Optimized costs shouldn’t be the only thing we look forward to in the future, but a better work environment that shifts the focus from just operational to strategic and encouraging.