4 forward-thinking IT trends to unleash creativity at work

With all the innovation happening in IT, the ability to adopt forward-thinking IT trends is crucial to your company’s success. Even the most innovative of technologies, like artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT), are no longer out-of-reach, even for SMBs. As Forbes says, “in a world of…abundance, only creativity could ever be in short supply.” But it’s not just about innovation, it’s about the bottom line.

According to Adobe, companies that foster creativity are 350 percent more likely to experience 10 percent or higher increases in annual revenue, and 62 percent of senior managers in all departments say tech tools foster innovation and provide the means for IT to find creative solutions. But ITDMs aren’t limited to increasing innovation through technology—they should personally facilitate creativity and innovation among their teams. This series of forward-thinking IT trends are allowing ITDMs to engage their creativity while driving organizational value.

1. Digital mesh

By 2020, the average consumer is expected to own an average of 4.3 devices for personal use. This also applies to the workplace, where employees may work from a combination of company-issued and personal devices, including PCs, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and wearable tech. PC World calls this trend “digital mesh,” or a need for IT decision makers to manage a large amount of connected equipment—without getting hacked.

Today’s ITDMs have to learn to balance the flexibility of devices end users need with adequate data security. Wearables, virtual reality, and other forward-thinking IT trends can represent new management challenges—they also have huge potential for organizational innovation and creativity.

2. Information of Everything

Gartner has identified “Information of Everything” as a top strategic IT trend. As the number of connected mobile platforms and other IoT devices soars, ITDMs will have access to massive streams of data that offer both opportunities and challenges. To derive external and internal insights, ITDMs need to invest in new tools for data storage and analysis, including smarter analytics tools to identify emerging patterns.

For the organizations that manage to glean competitive intelligence from Information of Everything, there’s endless potential for strategic improvements. Information of Everything analytics could transform every aspect of your organization, including process improvements, better research and development, and an improved customer experience.

3. The liquid workforce

Adopting an agile approach to talent and skills acquisition is crucial because of increasing business competition and global economy demands. Accenture calls this trend “the liquid workforce.” ITDMs will play a key role in helping their organizations adopt more flexible operations and implement a culture of employee-directed learning.

Accenture has identified a number of technology categories that support a liquid workforce, but these concepts might not work for every organization. Massive open online course (MOOC)-inspired learning platforms, workforce management solutions, and tools to connect with global contractors are just three ways of creatively enabling flexibility. Gamification, mobile learning, analytics—all these allow teams to connect with talent—quickly and efficiently.

4. Intelligent automation

Rapid advancements in AI and machine learning have allowed organizations to implement intelligent automation on an unprecedented scale. Accenture says that machines and software are the “newest recruits to the workforce,” allowing companies to “reinvent what’s possible.” While AI has the potential to increase human efficiency and organizational productivity, it’s important to look at how it can increase your organizational capabilities.

In best-case scenarios, AI can work collaboratively with your human workers to enable better decision-making. From algorithms for better HR recruitment and retention strategies to intelligent suggestions for managerial action, IT managers can work side-by-side with the C-Suite to envision a future where their organization is able to reach new heights with intelligent automation.

For today’s ITDMs, organizational success requires an unprecedented amount of creativity. Embracing the latest IT trends can allow your company to significantly increase your revenue and improve your ability to innovate and expand. By adopting AI, the IoT, the liquid workforce, and other trends in innovative ways, you could position your workforce as a creative organization.

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