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Asia’s future workspace is closer than you think (in fact, it’s here already)

Ivan Cheung
Ivan CheungAP COO, CAP Regional General Manager and Vice President
I head up a fortune 500 company’s operations in over 13 markets across Asia Pacific, including ASEAN, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and Korea. I've been a part of the team growing our business from a Chinese based company to a truly global player. I’m always looking to work with the next generation of customers, collaborators and talented people.

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It always fascinates me how the visions of the future portrayed in science fiction movies, TV series, and PC games predict reality. The fictional Star Trek holodeck is now made real with virtual reality and augmented reality (VR and AR) advances, and the 1990 film Total Recall had self-driving cars–which of course will soon be parking just around the corner (depending on where you live).

In the workplace, a parallel development is playing out. An evolution of digital consumer and business technologies is changing our workspaces, a trend that began with mobile devices and set to continue with early implementations of technologies such as smart assistants.

In Asia, changing workforce demographics and this rapid adoption of new technologies will lead to fundamental changes in the workplace, and in how we work. This is something every business needs to be across.

Asia’s millennials will make up more than 50% of the workforce by 2020, and they will be the group most active in driving transformation in our workspaces.

At Lenovo we recently commissioned research with IDC (Enabling the Future Workspace – Agile, Intelligent and Engaging) about the trends in Asia which have already begun to have impacts on workplaces. In particular, we wanted to know what those impacts were, and what they might mean for our own business, and our customers’.


Major technology accelerators and workplace trends

The research revealed that Asia’s millennials will make up more than 50% of the workforce by 2020, and they will be the group most active in driving transformation in our workspaces.

There is an interesting dual effect here: millennials’ flair and desire for newer technologies will combine with enterprises’ quest for competitive advantage to accelerate the adoption of technologies such as AR and VR, cognitive and artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics. All of these have the potential to force innovation – which in turn will give rise to new behaviours and practices around human-device interfaces, team collaboration, talent acquisition practices, visualisation, and how organisations act on data-driven insights.


Here are five key technology trends identified in the report:

  1. By 2019, 20% of Asia’s top 1,000 companies will have a device as a service (DaaS) agreement in place, and 1% will have completely transitioned to DaaS. You can read more about Lenovo’s device-as-a-service related initiative here.
  2. By 2020, more than 20% of information workers will gain leverage from AR at the desktop or on mobile devices to manipulate digital information, interact with real-world objects, and to collaborate with colleagues. (Real-estate agents in Hong Kong are showing properties to potential buyers or renters without them having to visit the properties in person, for example.)
  3. By 2020, 40% of digital transformation initiatives will be supported by cognitive/AI capabilities, which will provide insights into new operating models and monetisation models.
  4. By 2019, two-thirds of Windows 10 devices (PCs and tablets) will be managed via unified endpoint management (UEM) platforms (an approach for multiple device management and security from a single console). And one enterprise in every three will have consolidated its desktop and mobile management IT teams into a single operations unit.
  5. Finally, by 2020, Asia’s top-1,000 firms will use open innovation to allocate expertise to 15% of new projects. This is a real shift in how we will work, as companies will aim to increase their new product introduction success rates by over 50% as a result of adopting this practice.


What your people really want: how user-centricity is important for companies

With millennials driving the use of new technologies, it’s apparent that we’re at an inflection point: business leaders need to manage this evolution, and those impacts on the workforce and the workplace. That means creating foundations for smarter workspaces to keep up with the needs of employees, while planning for future requirements.

Come 2020, millennials’ flair and desire for newer technologies will combine with enterprises’ quest for competitive advantage to accelerate the adoption of technologies such as AR, VR, AI, and 🤖 robotics .

Over the next five years, businesses in all industries will continue to invest in intelligent workplace transformation. That means offering teams the latest, regularly-refreshed devices via DaaS arrangements, along with the capabilities to sync multiple device types per employees’ preferences. And they will also invest in technologies to exploit the latest innovations, such as embedding AI and AR into marketing, pre-sales, retail environments and operations, as well as manufacturing and R&D.

For companies in Asia, it’s important to look through the lens of a “user-centric” approach to transformation when designing and providing an engaging digital experience in the workspace. Leaders need to look past the idea of a “traditional” PC, and instead look to create a mobile, smart and personalised experience for their employees.

That means mobile devices, new collaboration technologies, and different, innovative approaches to workspace design. Provide a variety of computing form factors and design choices to meet modern workspace demands, while at the same time maintaining the security and reliability of your network of devices.

The future workspace has literally arrived on our doorstep. I recommend that Asian companies take a holistic approach to creating a smarter office, take a user-centric approach to providing an engaging digital experience for employees, and think of new ways to enable more open collaboration among centralised and distributed or remote teams. In return, this will help increase organisations’ productivity, efficiency, innovation and collaboration at work, as well as attracting and retaining the talent they need to deliver great products and services.


What do you think the workspaces of the future should look like? Let me know in the comments below.

Interested in receiving a copy of the infobrief or having a discussion? Connect with me on LinkedIn with a note.

You can also connect with me on Twitter @IvanCheungHK.


Find the original article here.

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