Trends Shaping the Digital Workplace in 2018

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1. Voice-Activated Search

Tegan Groombridge is digital marketing manager with Bath, England-based Futureproof Digital Media. She said the topics of content and search will dominate digital workplace over the next 12 months, particularly voice-activated search.

“We all know that content is king, we know that our content must be optimized with good use of keywords and links for SEO purposes and most importantly we need to know if it answers our users questions. But have you optimized for voice search?” she said to CMSWire.

Groombridge cited research carried out by MediaPost and comScore, which predicted that 50 percent of all searches will be done by voice by 2020 with 50 percent of homes now having at least one smart speaker. Furthermore, it said at least 30 percent of all search queries will be completed without a device with a screen. This indicates businesses should start preparing their content for these long tail search enquiries.

2. Cybersecurity Threats Increase

Securing content will play an equally important role in 2018. Tim Roddy, VP Cybersecurity Product Strategy at Fidelis Cybersecurity noted this will be particularly important as the number of employees working remotely increases. “The compounding growth of remote workers and connected devices will see businesses face more cyber threats than ever before. The network edge is in a state of flux and so are today’s security technologies designed to protect them,” he said.

Roddy predicts 2018 will see a spike in sophisticated cyberattacks that use combinations of unusual vectors to breach company networks, reimagining the supply chain attack that is common today. Simply identifying devices through endpoint security will not be enough to truly mitigate the threats resulting from the distributed workplace next year.

3. Technology Restraints

Organizations will turn to more efficient apps and accessible apps to manage and get the greatest use of content. Rick Veague, CTO of Itasca,Ill.-based IFS North America, said limitations around workplace apps could be deal-breakers when it comes to hiring and retaining staff. Organizations will have to overcome two problems in particular in the coming year:

  • Inaccessible tools: Forty-six percent of experienced, middle-aged tech workers would consider changing jobs due to poor enterprise software usability, according to a recent survey conducted by IFS.
  • Lack of integration and collaboration: Thirty-seven percent of businesses are looking for a boost in collaboration, with finance and procurement departments reporting a severe lack of platform and application integration.

4. Rethinking Remote Work

Another profound change in the digital workplace involves our definition of “remote work.” Alex Shootman, CEO of Workfront, said the term remote will have a different meaning over the coming years.

In the next 10 years, he said, no one will use the term remote work or remote worker. Instead, people will go to work on a dynamic digital platform as a workplace. They will report to work in full, high-definition 3-D holograms and making it no different to interact with someone in person or someone projected into the workplace. Every worker will also have a personal ‘co-bot’ who will act as concierge, gofer, analyst and predictor, allowing workers to specialize in making work “human.”

5. Invisible AI

Lehi, Utah-based Workfront’s chief product and technology officer Steven ZoBell, said the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the digital workplace will also become so pervasive and ingrained as to seem almost invisible. By 2028, ZoBell continued, AI will not be something with which to proactively interact and manage, but will be so fully integrated throughout every aspect of our lives (including the workplace) that the boundary between artificial intelligence and human intelligence will become indistinguishable.