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Digital workplace
trends: Three
workplace trends
accelerated by
the pandemic

Author: Satta Sarmah Hightower

A lot has changed over the last year—especially how we work.

While physical work environments have been transformed, so have the technologies organizations need to enable productivity, efficiency and collaboration. Several digital workplace trends are reshaping the future of work, including cloud services, an increased focus on workplace security, vendor integrations, and the increased need for network transformation as organizations use more connected devices and applications to facilitate remote work.

Here are three digital workplace trends accelerated by the pandemic and how your organization can leverage them to create new growth opportunities.

The top three digital workplace trends

1. Cloud transformation

The pandemic has shifted organizational priorities. In a recent Frost & Sullivan survey of IT decision makers, 31% of IT decision-makers said key organizational goals included "improving customer service and satisfaction," while 28% said "improving operational efficiencies" was a top priority. Also, 32% of respondents said that "digital channels and technologies will be their top investment priority in the next two years."1

No digital technology is likely to be more essential to driving a better customer and employee experience than the cloud. The cloud serves as the foundation for flexible, scalable solutions that services organizations can adopt to enhance their operations, including unified communication and collaboration tools, digital workspace platforms, videoconferencing and instant messaging technologies, and 5G network connectivity and mobile edge computing (MEC) that drive better speed and performance and lower latency when transferring data from one source to another.

During the pandemic, we saw the power of cloud services. They enabled employees to work from anywhere and access the information they needed at any time. As the world returns to a new sense of normal, more organizations may shift from on-premises or hybrid environments to full-scale cloud infrastructures that allow them to be more nimble and agile in a distributed work environment.  As shown in the 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, however, this cloud-based environment could open up businesses to breaches.

2. Increased vendor integrations

In 2021, integration is key. Organizations are steadily moving away from non-interoperable, custom point solutions and are embracing deployment options such as multi-vendor communications solutions that integrate with one another.

In recent years, a thriving application programming interface (API) ecosystem has emerged to facilitate greater integration between different vendors' solutions. Software providers are also creating unified platforms that connect all their solutions in one place, which streamlines IT management for organizations.

IT decision-makers are increasingly focused on scalability, reliability and low initial setup costs when it comes to their technology investments. With a range of deployment options now on the market, organizations can speed time-to-value by implementing these solutions more quickly. They will also have more flexibility to adopt a range of solutions and digital workplace trends that meet their evolving business needs.

3. Improved network insight and control

With remote and hybrid work likely becoming the norm even after the pandemic subsides, organizations will need greater visibility and control over devices and applications connecting to their networks.

To reduce their business risks and increase productivity and efficiency, organizations plan to invest in several technologies. Of the IT decision-makers surveyed, 77% said artificial intelligence (AI) "is a medium or high investment priority over the next two years," while 71% "are currently in AI trials or early implementation stages."

Other investments include big data analytics and data visualization tools, all of which will help organizations enact the network transformation necessary to build a secure remote work and communications infrastructure that enables them to deliver a better employee and customer experience.

Digital workplace trends and the future of work

The pandemic has accelerated these shifts in the workplace. These digital workplace trends just showcase how much the nature of work has changed.

Organizations that want to build or maintain their competitive advantage will need to keep an eye on these digital workplace trends and use them to inform their strategic planning and future technology investments. The pandemic may have generated massive disruption across industries, but our current position offers an invaluable opportunity for companies to drive growth and innovation.

Discover how the future of work is connecting companies with their customers in new ways.

1Frost & Sullivan, 2021, Top Predictions for the 2021 UCC Market