Image Source: Pixabay

Technologies play a major role in the evolution of business. Today, businesses operate more than by typing lists of attendance on Microsoft Word, creating rosters with Excel, and managing projects with Project. The days where everything was done on Microsoft Office have passed. Cloud-based software, iPad and Android apps, workplace bots, and Internet of Things are our present and future.

In the past, managing projects were like going through a dark tunnel, where no real-time view of the progress was captured. Front desk registration was about piles of printed paper that must be carefully filed up to ensure record and not getting lost somewhere. Scheduling employees were done on a printed Excel sheet with tiny boxes which took hours to finish with a somewhat large margin of error.

Today, from the front desk to the back office, businesses can rely on technologies that make a transaction, project management and record keeping processes flow smoothly. Various hardware and software applications have been developed for such purposes. With both desktop and tablet dashboard views providing real-time snapshot information, the management can make better, faster, and more efficient informed decisions.

A San Francisco-based visitor management iPad app Envoy is designed to “kill the lobby sign-in book.” It’s disrupting the visitor registration system with unlimited sign-in, NDA signing, photos, badge printing, and notifications via email and SMS to the employee in charged. No more messy piles of paper to file and no more “Hello, my name is” stickers on attendees’ chests.

An Australia-based cloud-based rostering software Ento allows employers to add shifts easily in seconds, complex wage budgeting calculated in real-time, and staffers are notified instantly. Integrated with HR, POS, and payroll systems, the system allows streamlined data collection and processing.

An India-based project management software Celoxis provides a SaaS platform for an integrated system where project manager and team members can continuously provide value to a fast-paced and continually changing project. The consolidated project management tool records all the latest data from various sources. This allows for a snapshot view of the project in real-time, which is important for solid decision making.

What’s the next wave of technologies? We can expect to see more workplace bots and Internet of Things.

Businesses can expect to use more robust and more accurate trackers and sensors, instead of punch cards, biometric scanners, and machine logs. Buffer app, for instance, is already ahead of time by using such technologies in their office to monitor their team members.

Privacy, as a consequence, will become a distant thing in the not-so-distant future. While it may not be favorable to customers, employers are likely embracing this trend with open arms. Employee log in and out can be monitored from afar. And employers can easily track where each employee is and what they are doing.

By “actually doing,” it refers to what people are doing. If they’re sitting, what screen they’re looking at and what words they’re typing on their dashboard. No more guessing one’s body language and typing gesture, as every single action can be turned into tens, hundreds, or even thousands of data.

Today, users are already enjoying Workplace Bots 1.0 with chatbots like Slack and WeChat. Last month, Gupshup a bot-builder platform announced a partnership with Cisco, where they connect with Cisco Spark, which is a Slack-like workplace chatbot. It’s obvious that chatbots are transforming how businesses are run, where necessary files can be delivered instantly.

And brands aren’t only publishers these days with their brand publishing and content marketing. They’re now also bot developers, like HP, 1-800-Flowers, and CNN. Users and customers can expect to see a burgeoning bot industry starting this “tipping point” year.

Overall, in the future, we can expect to see Internet of Things adding up to USD 15 trillion to the total GDP in 2020. This alone provides an unprecedented opportunity for businesses to create smarter products, enable smarter business decisions, and change their business models to include more than selling products by selling data.

In conclusion, the evolution of business is happening faster and more robust. We’re already in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and as a species, we’re already Humans 3.0 according to Peter Nowak. Where you’re leading your business depends on how you approach the present and the future. It’s better to be the first few movers than be the last one catching up from behind.