The latest technology trends for 2019

Eduardo Aspillaga from IBM shares his tips



Smart offices are hot in 2019

As organizations adopt new and developing technologies in an effort to stay ahead of their competition, there’s been a renewed focus on turning the office of yesteryear into a modern ‘smart’ office. Eduardo Aspillaga, Digital Transformation Strategy Lead at IBM, shares his insights on the most important business tech trends for 2019.

According to Aspillaga, the rise of the smart office really began several years ago when organizations began to adopt digital collaboration tools – all in an effort to streamline business activities and increase productivity.

“The big transformation of the way we work at the office started a couple of years ago with the arrival of social collaboration tools to office environments, together with an increasing digitalization of communication tools and platforms,” he says.

But in the past 12 months, adoption of more intuitive tech has become the norm. “AI and cognitive technologies are the biggest trends that will augment the capabilities of workers and enhance their productivity.”

For example, AI is already being used for a range of business purposes like spam filters, security surveillance, voice-to-text, automated responders, automated insights and more.


Automation and collaboration are key

While automation has in the past been burdened by negative predictions – such as inevitable job losses and therefore higher unemployment rates – many experts believe automation, in tandem with collaboration tools, are crucial for shaping a completely ‘smart’ office.

“In many fields, AI and cognitive computing will allow workers to focus on the tasks they add more value to, and leave the rest to automated systems,” Aspillaga says.

But he also believes the Internet of Things (IoT) will play an even greater role in smart offices of the near future. “The IoT is an intrinsic part of AI and cognitive computing, and both technologies are transforming the experience of the global workforce by enabling smart buildings, smart office access, and multiple office services that can assist workers anytime, anywhere without human assistance.”

Research shows that seven in 10 leaders will adopt cognitive computing in the future, and the technology is already being used in business for contextual analytics, sensor-generated data, cognitive visualizations, software-as-a-service models, and more.

At IBM, Aspillaga has seen first-hand how these innovative technologies are being used to achieve business growth. “As a leader in cloud and cognitive technologies, both are present in IBM’s working environment. It’s common for staff to interact with machines to get quick and useful information and assistance in our day-to-day work.”


Solidifying the marriage between people and technology

For a truly ‘smart’ office to succeed, there must be a free flow of information – and trust – between people and their office technology. Totally embracing new solutions is essential for our continued growth, particularly in the fields such as health, legal and manufacturing.

“Office work will continue its journey to the cloud throughout 2019,” Aspillaga says. “USB drives will become a thing of the past, and we will see better platforms for remote work and teleconferencing. But the deepest impact will be provided by AI and cognitive technologies that will enhance human capabilities in essential industries.”

Aspillaga also has tips for organizations that have adopted – or plan to adopt – intelligent technologies in the near future.

“I’m convinced that technology is the means and not the end. My recommendation is to always start with the user experience – in this case, the people who work in the company. Envision the experience that would benefit them the most and then identify which set of technologies would enable that experience.”

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