The way we work is changing fast, and so is IT. That’s only natural; in this two-way relationship, evolving work styles drive technological innovation, which in turn empowers people with new and better ways to get work done.
You can see that dynamic at work in the digital workspaces at the core of modern IT.
People need to be able to get work done anywhere, at any time, using any available device and network. IT responded with a fully portable digital workspace that provides a single view into their complete work environment, from email and business apps to file sharing, wherever and however they work.
We’ve seen a similar evolution on the back end in the way these digital assets are delivered. Hybrid cloud is now the norm, as companies blend their own on-premises resources with public and private cloud services to meet that same need for mobility, flexibility, and agility. Where complicated business processes and custom apps were once seen as a badge of distinction, showcasing IT’s unique intellectual property, it’s now understood that simple-to-use, standardized apps with SaaS subscription pricing are better for IT and users alike.
And we’re also seeing new thinking about cybersecurity—a top concern for every organization in a global landscape rife with breaches and bad actors.
Years ago, some companies hesitated to move to the cloud for fear of losing visibility and control over their systems and data. Now, many perceive the cloud as the more secure option, as giants like Amazon and Microsoft fortify their services using resources well beyond the reach of most companies.
The shape of things to come
It’s a cliché to say that the only constant is change, but it’s also a fact of life for IT. We’re already seeing voice interaction making its way into the workplace, as sophisticated machine learning algorithms make querying enterprise data as simple as ordering a toaster through Alexa or asking Google for driving directions. Make no mistake—voice will soon enable profound changes in the way we interact with virtually every application and service.
The Internet of Things can bring to mind a panoply of clever gadgets in the home and workplace, but pull back to see its full implications: there will soon be 50 billion connected devices around the world.
That poses an incredible challenge for basic network connectivity. In a nice twist, the regions best able to adapt may well be less-developed places like Sub-Saharan Africa and Pakistan, which are unburdened by legacy infrastructure and well positioned to take advantage of next-wave technologies like 5G cellular networks.
Meanwhile, that digital workspace we were talking about won’t stay static either. Millennials and Gen Z have their own way of doing things (Email? What’s that? Send me a Snapchat or a WhatsApp about it) and their own understanding of the relationship between life and work. It’s on IT to stay ahead of the curve and continually innovate to deliver both physical and digital workspaces that meet their needs and expectations.