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Reputable and trustworthy authentication is a keystone of any digital transformation project. But for business to really make progress and successfully move towards remote working, passwords need to be made a thing of the past -Freepik

Even in non-Covid times, digital transformation in any organization isn’t easy. We’ve all seen how the pandemic has drastically accelerated the willingness of, and the need for, organizations to embrace new technology, but it has also added complexity.

All of a sudden huge swathes of the workforce are working remotely, and businesses have had to react quickly to support a new, more remote and more flexible workforce.

Aside from the various technical and logistical hurdles, many organizations are finding their biggest challenge is one of trust. …


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Making automation easily understandable to everyone who needs to use it is an essential part of the technology’s development — but why has this not been the goal for the beginning? — FREEPIK.COM

Automation can save the job market, if put into the right hands. Digitally transformative technologies have become widely accepted by business leaders as a means of giving us a productivity boost akin to the industrial revolution. But as AI and automation technologies have been developed by the world’s most influential tech leaders, they risk becoming inaccessible to the average end user.

Enabling real people to utilize powerful automation tools will require a different approach to the current model of making technology so advanced and convoluted that the average user will never understand its inner workings.

To get people back to work as smoothly as possible, while taking advantage of a completely restructured working world, ‘low-code’ automation could be an efficient way to get people comfortable with working alongside automation. …


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In this singular period in history, investing in sustainability could lift us out of a devastating economic crash — it’s just a matter of framing energy efficiency as an investment, not a cost — FREEPIK

The conversation around climate change has understandably taken a back seat in recent months, but as reports emerge that we have only six months to avert climate catastrophe, it is clear that the world’s pandemic recovery plan must also include drastically reduced energy consumption. Luckily, economic recovery and a healthier planet go hand in hand, despite what the prevailing narrative might suggest.

As we slowly get back to work, travel restrictions ease, and our daily lives settle into a new normal, business leaders must seize the opportunity to implement more streamlined and efficient practices and begin to see that it’s easy (and cost-effective) to be green. …


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Salary has traditionally been heavily influenced by location — but in a globalized world that is embracing remote working, why should the place you live be a deciding factor? FREEPIK

Historically speaking, where an employee is based has almost always been a prevailing factor in their remuneration. Be it individuals working for the same multinational company, or workers from the same industry operating in different geographies, conventionally, pay has very much been dictated by the local economic climate. Going forwards, however, this practice may soon be consigned to the past.

Though the way we work has changed drastically over the years, this has undoubtedly been most evident in the last decade or so. Of the key trends we’ve seen, remote work has not only been the most common, but also the fastest-growing. Before the pandemic imposed remote models on the vast majority of companies, according to Flexjobs’ State of Remote Work 2019 survey, there had already been a 159% increase in remote work in the US between 2005 and 2017. …


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Public health contact tracing apps are ambitious and already fraught with difficulties. Wearable Sensors and private contract tracing programs maybe a better solution to reaching the crucial 60% threshold for these initiatives to be effective. NEWLAB

Technology will play a huge role in the post-Covid-19 world, especially if we are to return to normality as quickly as some hope. Contact tracing and social distancing apps are already rushing to market, with many being touted as the most comprehensive solution to keep people safe, and many failing to live up to the hype after hasty rollout.

But at the same time as public entities scramble to try and put something forward, private companies are developing smaller-scale solutions that may overcome many of the inherent problems associated with public contact tracing initiatives.

Could transforming the workplace into a digital hub of monitoring and tracing fill in the gaps of public contact tracing apps? …


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Photo by Fitore F on Unsplash

Covid-19 has forced business leaders to accept that automation will arrive earlier than expected. It is therefore timely, albeit in less-than-positive circumstances, to look at which type of companies will, and will not, thrive in the future.

Many articles about Artificial Intelligence (AI) have sensationalized the effect of automation as the grim reaper of jobs. However, it will not be jobs that will be automated, but rather tasks within those jobs — in fact any tasks that can be put into a process.

The success of companies in the future will depend upon their willingness to find those tasks that can be automated. Therefore, companies will soon be defined by their level of automation combined with self-management, and will fall into one of four…


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Poring through spreadsheets and records is not exciting, but for those that understand the value of data, using AI to discover hidden gems within an organisation changes everything. — Freepik

Some technologies are inherently sexy. Take artificial intelligence. It is likely to take over the vast majority of process-driven work within the next 15 years, from driving vehicles to trading on the stock exchange. Indeed, this technology may shape the world of business and beyond more than any innovation that has gone before it, and there is a seemingly never-ending media narrative around its potential.

When it comes to technologies like this, businesses are often keen to jump on the bandwagon quickly. Leaders commit time and resources to considering how such technology can be best used to improve their organization, and certain industries like manufacturing have already adopted digital transformation and automation technology wholeheartedly. A recent study undertaken by Pod Group, a provider of platforms, software and connectivity services for the Internet of Things (of which I am Chairman), revealed that in response to Covid-19, almost two-thirds (63%) of business leaders expect their companies to speed up plans to replace processes carried out by employees with automation technology. …


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Coronavirus could mean the end of paper surveys, but companies need to measure employee engagement more than even before. With remote work fast becoming the norm, managers must walk the fine line between surveying and surveying their employees — those that get it right will thrive in a new digital workplace. Freepik

Bored kids, frustrated partners and over-watered houseplants might be our office mates right now, but the colleagues you used to share space with still exist, and so does the culture that tied your company together. Keeping that fragile and ephemeral culture alive however has become a much more daunting task, and it falls to managers and team leaders to nurture, but not stifle, culture and employee engagement in this singular set of circumstances.

Employee engagement is in a precarious position in many companies whose employees have scattered to the four winds.

Businesses that can adapt, engage digitally with employees, and promote a healthy company culture without stifling it will succeed post-lockdown, but how many will have the human skills to make this change? …


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The future of work is no longer merely a concept, but a reality — Covid-19 has made sure of that. The pandemic has accelerated workplace innovation across sectors to the point of no return, with contemporary businesses now almost entirely reliant on new technologies simply to exist.

What role, then, does artificial intelligence (AI) have to play in this drastic shift? For some time now, I’ve firmly maintained the belief that AI would take over the vast majority of process-driven work within 15 years. …


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Certain European countries that have been hit hard by COVID-19 also all have a reduced ability to recover using digital tools. AI could not only help those countries to ease out of lockdown, but build a more future-proof society in general. FREEPIK

Fitness classes are being conducted online, cafés and restaurants are stretching delivery services to their limits, and tech bosses expect that remote work will be a ‘permanent feature’ after the dust has settled. But how will countries that have been badly affected by COVID-19 recover properly without a solid digital foundation to build on?

Lost in digitization

Whilst speaking with Anders Borg, Sweden’s former Minister of Finance and Senior Advisor at IPsoft, he relayed some startling correlations between digital maturity and employment, which may be relevant to the fallout of COVID-19. “The most tech-advanced societies, like Sweden and the Netherlands, are all high employment areas,” says Borg, “the lowest European countries on that same OECD employment ranking are Greece, Italy and Spain… these countries have also been less willing to adopt technology, so it’s almost a perfect storm for them.”

About

Charles Towers-Clark

CEO of Pod Group (@PodGroup_IoT) Author of “The WEIRD CEO”. Advocate of Employee Self Responsibility, #FutureOfWork and #AI. Contributor: http://Forbes.com

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