Part 3 – Rapid Technological Advances in the New World of Work
Earlier in this series, we defined the future of work as the optimisation of work through digitisation, seamless and holistic solutions, and flexible enterprise thinking. In this article, we’ll look at how businesses are enabling the future of work through technological transformation.
Today, businesses are overcoming market challenges by harnessing cloud-based technology and integrating digital tools in their existing processes. The ultimate goal of these tools is heightened agility – it’s increasingly untenable to remain stuck in the ‘old ways’. According to Ardent Partners research, 32% of businesses have undergone ‘a true digital transformation’, with a further 45% planning to reach this point in the next two years.
The biggest obstacle to digital transformation usually lies with the inability for organisations to integrate with existing (often archaic) processes. To successfully implement automatic processes and innovation, organisations need to strategically assess the gaps they have in their current technology stack, and plan for how they’re going to roll-out future-scoped tech solutions.
Overcoming this obstacle and engaging with changes in technology is key if organisations want to reach optimal efficiency. Below, we have outlined several ways organisations are integrating technology solutions into their processes and pioneering new ways of engaging and managing talent.
The New World of Work: Enterprise solutions for online talent marketplaces
Online talent marketplaces (think Expert360, Freelancer and the like) provide a convenient solution to organisational talent needs; these platforms provide businesses with accesses to a large number of specialists, like IT or marketing professionals.
As flexible talent becomes more and more of a requirement, larger organisations are beginning to seek out online marketplaces as a way of filling workforce needs. In fact, many of these platforms are beginning to offer enterprise solutions, providing an extra layer of service.
CXC Global has recently covered the service offerings of these platforms – we’ve included some of the biggest ones below:
- com: cloud of pre-vetted professionals and project managers
- Upwork: dedicated freelancer portal, allowing organisations to track work and pay through a single platform
- twago: integration with VMS, while providing talent pool curation and automated matching of talent to jobs.
Perhaps the most significant shift that these platforms are implementing is quantifying professional work. Organisations like Uber find this easy to do – a passenger gets dropped off at a location. According to Danny Crichton of Techcrunch, “these newer marketplaces understand that professional work is often ambiguous and hard to judge for quality, and have built key product features to handle those challenges”.
The New World of Work: Augmented reality for flexible and remote workers
Augmented and virtual reality are additional technological developments shaping how we are engaging and deploying workers. This technology gives employees an entirely new dimension to work with – imagine being an architect and having the ability to walk through a virtual house, or an engineer that can work in the belly of a 747. Businesses are now starting to look beyond this kind of application and are exploring ways of using VR and AR to enable collaborative and remote work.
With the dramatic increase in flexible and contract workers globally, it’s becoming more important to meaningfully engage and collaborate with them, no matter where they are. This should come as no surprise – already organisations have collectively invested millions into teleconferencing and video technology, as well as online workspaces to facilitate collaboration.
Businesses are now starting to understand the practical benefits of augmented reality: the ability to sit down in a virtual office and talk face-to-face with colleagues is particularly attractive. Imagine rolling out a mass training course to your remote workers, avoiding enormous costs in travel and resources. Using augmented reality in the workplace, however, is still in its infancy – according to Ardent Partners, only 6% of businesses have currently adopted this technology; however, 28% plan to do so in the next two years.
The New World of Work: Advancements in Vendor Management Systems
Vendor management systems (VMS) are online applications that are used to engage and manage an organisation’s non-employee workforce.
Traditionally, organisation have employed VMS technology to manage staffing suppliers, but this has expanded to using it as a centralised platform for complete talent and contractor management. We are seeing VMS technology being used to:
- Directly source contractors in the same way as online talent marketplaces
- Provide tailored analytics through machine learning
- Integrate with human capital management systems to promote a blended workforce
- Using artificial intelligence to assess and advise on talent gaps.
We’ve previously discussed the benefits of using a VMS for a Managed Service Provider program, where an outsourced service provider manages the entirety of a contingent worker program, from supply chain management, reporting and analytics, to contractor management.
CXC Global provides an MSP model to a major insurance client in Australia, in partnership with VMS Fieldglass. Through this model, we are able to provide insight into the data to enable our client to remain compliant, mitigate risks, make strategic hiring decisions, improve the quality of their workforce and reduce costs.