The sun has now set on 2016, a year full of surprises from start to finish. We saw a huge shift in the political landscape in Europe and the USA, a changing dynamic in the way we work and significant advances in the way tech interacts and informs our daily lives.
As we look ahead to 2017, we put our heads together here at Quinyx, discussing everything from workforce management and new technologies, to see what the new year might hold.
Here are our top four things we expect to see in 2017:
1. The rise of voice assistants
If 2016 was the breakthrough year for the voice assistant, then 2017 will be the year they become more usable and intuitive while laying the foundations for them to be an integral part of our day-to-day lives.
Carl Geijer, Product Manager at Quinyx, says: “The main reason behind this is that Google are finally taking the technology seriously with their recent release of Google Assistant in their new Pixel phones. Most reviews conclude that Google Assistant is both more semantic and more ‘personal’ than, for example, Apple's Siri.
“With Amazon's Alexa in the mix, I believe the competition will really drive this technology forward at a very fast pace. By 2018 the technology might actually be in real, everyday use and it will start being incorporated in new technologies that we probably wouldn't expect. Third-party voice assistant technology platforms will become more commonplace, allowing simple integration through straight-forward APIs.”
2. The automation era
In the last week’s of 2016, Amazon successfully delivered its first package via drone in the UK. At the same time, Uber were busy conducting tests of self-driving cars in the USA. Automation will continue to grow, improve and develop in unexpected ways.
Carl adds: “There is so much in our daily interaction with technology that can be automated. At the moment, existing technology is often being extended with automation features. However, in the coming year, automation will be an obvious central feature of new apps and services that are released.”
3. Intelligent workforce management
In the past decade workforce management has developed from being a simple way of creating complex schedules to now being a solution which can help show businesses how they are performing against targets, what factors contribute most to staffing costs and what parameters affect efficiency and profitability. Put simply, the way systems can now handle and process data allows business leaders and managers to make better, evidence-based decisions and then measure the impact they have on the business.
Quinyx CEO, Erik Fjellborg, says the future of workforce management will provide businesses with an unprecedented insight into their operations and their employees.
“This is only the beginning,” he says. “We stand at an intersection of cloud computing, mobile technology and big data. Together, these three things will enable astonishing innovation and help us create an intelligent, proactive and intuitive workforce management solution which will fundamentally change the way business operate and employees interact with their employers.”
4. Millennials taking centre stage
Millennials are often accused of a having a sense of entitlement not seen in previous generations and can easily be derided as being selfish and materialistic. However, as studies have now shown, this is simply not the case.
In less than three years, Millennials will form more than half the workforce and what they look for in a job varies significantly to the baby-boomer generation. Gone are the days when the pay cheque was the important part of the job. Employees now look for companies with a strong culture, who invest in their employees and have strong social values. 2017 will see more businesses put this at the core of their offering.
What’s clear is we’re now entering a world where self-driving cars will soon become the norm, drones will run logistic services and where intelligent workforce management software is an absolute necessity for companies looking to stay ahead of their competition.. For businesses, the challenge is now to adapt or risk being left behind.
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