In the past 10 years a prominent feature of enterprise working environments has been wider coverage. With network and communications technologies headquarters and branch offices are communicating across vast distances using email and instant messaging as well as teleconferencing and videoconferencing products. Enterprise offices have expanded from the physical world to a broader, networked world.
What Will the Digital Office Space Bring to Enterprises?
Competitive business environments over the next five to ten years will be focused on the need to get the right people together in the right way to quickly and efficiently complete related tasks. Agile responses to customer requirements will be the most important capability for the next generation of enterprises. However, elevating productivity and performance to a new level depends on enterprises providing the hardware-based working environments that enable the ‘soft power’ of effective collaboration for their employees around the world. The digital revolution is taking place in, and changing, enterprise workspaces. This revolution will enable more intelligent communication, interaction, and cooperation among employees, and ultimately promote innovation throughout the organization. Specifically, digital workspaces will bring the following significant improvements to enterprises:
• New media technologies enable all-digital communication and collaboration models that will cause exponential growth based on the connectivity index of collaboration efficiency between enterprise employees, that is, communication frequency and the amounts of information exchanged among employees. Team members will not only share electronic documents, but also digital information flows for their complex or unintuitive innovations.
• Workspace processes will perceive and learn user behaviors and intentions to dynamically coordinate the use of public resources to deliver better services.
• New natural language-based Human-Machine Interfaces (HMIs) will simplify the use of the tools that allow employees to communicate and work more efficiently.
• Mobile office capabilities enable employees to be online at any time. Because the workspace is no longer limited to a physical office employees can communicate with other team members through mobile phones to stay informed and participate with business processes in real time to ensure that all important activities will be handled in a timely and effective manner.
• The digital office can eliminate the sense of distance between employees. With no geographical limitation for staff recruitment or organizational interaction, there is no need to limit future recruitment based on work location.
Four Aspects of Enterprise Workspace Digitalization
The following four aspects are key to enterprises transforming their network-based workspaces into digital workspaces:
Use Cloud Computing Technologies to Build Agile ICT Infrastructure
In the traditional closed architecture, siloed enterprise IT systems hinder communication and data sharing which make it difficult to meet the increasingly diversified requirements of business departments. Hybrid clouds are important tools because enterprise businesses benefit from the flexibility provided by cross-cloud and multi-cloud operations where core information assets are based on private clouds for the sake of security and privacy. By contrast, public cloud services are more suitable for building enterprise communication collaboration capabilities. Public clouds, free of devices, maintenance, and private lines can use such advantages to help enterprises greatly reduce costs. On top of this, the one-point access and global coverage features of public clouds enable enterprises to build teams without regional restrictions.
New Communication and Collaboration Tools Will be Used to Build Activity-based Workspaces
You will not see a mess of computers and cables in future workspaces. In fact, workspaces in the future are more likely to be divided into functional areas based on specific office activities, such as dedicated work areas, idea discussion areas, open conference areas, collaborative design areas, business meeting areas, and training areas.
When focused on a particular task, you may prefer to work in a private, quiet desktop workspace. At the same time, you will need matching communication collaboration tools to interact with other individuals. Instant communication via soft clients and lightweight integrated desktop hard terminals will enable this kind of on-demand communication and collaboration.
Small, medium, and large video conference rooms can be used for collaboration with remote teams. In particular, low-cost integrated terminals will quickly transform small conference rooms into remote collaboration spaces. Electronic whiteboards are indispensable for team brainstorming. PC or mobile device content can also be shared in wireless mode.
Team training may require the use of larger spaces that need multi-view access terminals to display the presentation and main site interactions for remote participants. Mobile access capabilities are important because team efficiency should not be limited by the presence of members located in fixed facilities.
Use Smart Terminals to Build Mobile Workspaces
Ideal implementations of mobile office environments are not just about migrating enterprise office applications from computers to mobile devices. It is also important to think about how applications are developed to transform mobile devices into mobile workspaces with a unified user interface.
First, this requires the convergence of basic communication and collaboration capabilities, including instant messaging, voice, group conferencing, and email. The goal is the ability to contact team members in any office area, anytime, anywhere.
Second, the enterprise Information Technology (IT) and Office Automation (OA) systems must be integrated to support service processes such as daily schedules, attendance check-in and check-out, business management resources, and process approval functions across all devices, whether fixed or mobile. When based on a flexible and open integration framework it is possible for all users to add, delete, or update business processes on their local devices.
Third, self-improvement can be performed beyond fixed workspaces. Through digital workspaces, users can obtain enterprise documents, blogs, information, and training courses in a one-stop mode — including the ability to watch live videos using built-in applications.
Finally, users can connect various devices for flexible device control or business management activities by scanning a QR code to schedule or join a group conference, or share the desktop of their mobile phone.
Use AI Technologies to Create a Smart Collaboration Experience
Conference rooms are strong candidates for the use of AI technology to deliver intelligent collaboration experiences. Through voice control users can ask the virtual assistant to control and manage conferences, including conference scheduling and initiation, participant invitations, and even automatic climate control for crowded rooms. During conferences, intelligent cameras can track the speakers and display speaker close-ups with an electronic nameplate to encourage audience attentiveness and interaction. To eliminate obstacles in multi-lingual communications, intelligent conference rooms can display real-time multi-language subtitles, and following the conclusion of the conference, a record of the event can be generated automatically.
Past practices would employ full-time secretaries only for high-level leaders in order to strike a balance between efficiency and cost. Now, virtual assistants can provide similar services to improve the efficiency of all employees at a lower cost. Virtual assistants can help employees arrange personal schedules and schedule team meetings and, with the addition of self-learning capabilities, virtual assistants will communicate with other personal assistants to complete simple tasks.
Redefine Enterprise Workspaces and Employee Working Modes
Enterprises are continuously accelerating digital transformation, including production and manufacturing, sales and marketing, product delivery, and services. Against this backdrop, the work environment that supports an enterprise’s production and operations also needs to be digitalized. By using disruptive technologies such as cloud computing, next-generation communication and collaboration, mobile offices, and AI, Huawei enterprise communications solutions redefine the enterprise workspace and employees working modes. These solutions are being used by governments and enterprises around the world today.