After mechanization, mass production and automation, the economy is on the threshold of the fourth industrial revolution. Driven by the internet, real and virtual worlds are converging into an Internet of Things. Yet what should not be lost sight of is the workplace of the future!
Industry 4.0 stands for the fourth industrial revolution, in which production is interlinked with state-of-the-art information and communication technology. The driving force behind this development is the rapidly increasing digitalization of the economy and society. It has a lasting effect on the way we will produce and work in the future. Those who are not prepared in this respect will not be able to compete, according to the Federal Association of German Industry ( BDI).
Digitalization has long since ceased to be a future scenario. Bit by bit it changes our everyday life, our leisure time and above all business life. Every company, whether large corporation or SME, must change – in almost every area of the business. We believe that, in all these considerations, the digital workplace must also be taken into account. After all, the Internet of Things ( IoT) and the digitalization of many processes and procedures are also changing the working world. Or to put it more clearly: Industry 4.0 even makes the digital workplace indispensable!
The digital workplace of Industry 4.0
Software and communication solutions that are accessible from all corners of the world thanks to the cloud make it possible that the ”modern employee” is no longer tied to their desk. Ever-more intelligent applications that we work with and that include more and more functions make it possible for us to do more from home or on the road than just checking e-mails. For instance, the sales employee can check how much of the ”XY” product is still available and when the customer to whom he is currently traveling last ordered what quantity of it.
The digital workplace thus allows employees to access all relevant information and resources within a central environment – regardless of time, location and device. As the digitalization of industry progresses, cloud-based business applications, such as those of market-leading cloud communications solutions provider BroadSoft, will increasingly act as intelligent information tools that provide useful information for research and contact calls.
A digital workplace solution is also very attractive for the employer because it promises:
- increased employee productivity
- promotion of new working models
- increased flexibility and agility
- improved access to existing knowledge
- promotion of joint decision-making
- increase in employee satisfaction
- and much more
What will the workplace of the future look like?
The advanced workstation enables the barrier-free and easy use of the various applications. In today’s and tomorrow’s job market, there are more and more potential employees who are very skilled in dealing with the digital world and who are not afraid of it. At the same time, this new generation of employees expects more meaning and independence in their work. ”Companies must now think very clearly about how to stay ahead in this rapidly changing environment. Existing employees must be retained, new employees must be attracted and at the same time the way of working must be changed in such a way that the ultimate goal of a digital enterprise becomes attainable”, warned Hanns Köhler-Krüner, Research VP with the US-American market research enterprise Gartner, already two years ago in Computerwoche, a weekly periodical for CIOs and IT managers.
What a comprehensive digital workplace needs to do is summarized by Salesforce, an enterprise cloud computing solution provider, in five points:
- IT integration: Business-relevant applications and collaboration functions are merged. Data from all software systems used (e. g. ERP, CRM, BI etc.) are brought together in a central platform, i. e. a portal. Through his browser, the user has access to all applications intended for him.
- Mobile access to business applications: Mobility management gives employees seamless access to business applications from anywhere, anytime. This increases productivity and collaboration with colleagues, partners and customers. These applications also support virtual teams in a coherent and efficient collaboration. They provide them with the right information when they need it. Knowledge management software and collaboration platforms are crucial for this. They are used to store project documents centrally. Team members can access, read, modify, and collaborate in real time at any time.
- Suitable access devices: Employees must have the best access to their digital workplace anywhere, whether via smartphone, tablet or PC.
- Powerful communication infrastructure: Connectivity, both in the office and on the road, is crucial for the functionality of the digital workplace. The functionality of communications technology as well as business and collaboration applications are crucial. Enterprise networks must be able to handle simultaneous voice, video and data transmissions both in and out of the enterprise.
- Data security: The convergence of cloud computing, social media and mobile computing has put the issue of data security on the global agenda. However, modern technologies meanwhile allow secure storage of company data in the cloud and secure mobile access to it.
What are you waiting for?
The workplace of the future is not a revolution, but a fusion of many individual wishes and objectives in a company that already exists or will exist in the future. Whoever wants to prepare for the Workplace 4.0 should therefore definitely focus on the (careful) planning of the digital workstation. Because the changes that are coming not only harbor challenges, but also immense opportunities. A blog article on agile-unternehmen.de gets to the heart of the chances of the digital working world – in terms of automation, innovation and a better work-life balance as well as more fun at work.
Conclusion: The digital workplace cannot wait any longer! For further orientation you will find our ”Digital Workstation Toolbox”. You will also learn about the benefits of our cloud-based digital workstation solutions.