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Four ways IoT will change the way we work in 2020

Did you ever think you’d be talking to your phone like it was a friend, asking it where to find good tapas? Or that your refrigerator would be able to talk to you and let you know you’re low on milk? We used to use watches to tell time. Now, we rely on them track our heart condition, get directions, send emails and texts and talk to our friends. The way IoT has transformed how we interact with our personal devices and how we live would have seemed like science-fiction just a few years ago. In 2020, IoT is going to revolutionize the way we work. Here are four things you can expect to see:

Work will be less of a chore

They wouldn’t call it work if it was fun. Or would they? Technology has made work more complicated and frustrating than it needs to be. Every year, companies spend billions on applications to streamline functions and processes and make work simpler. But they’ve put too many in place that are too hard to use, which has only made things worse. The devices we rely on at home to manage our lives know our preferences and modes of operating. They make it super easy for us to stuff done. “Alexa, call me an Uber.” At work, company-issued technology seems to just slow us down. On average, it takes four or more applications just to execute a single business process!

In 2020, the same technologies that have made our personal lives so easy will become pervasive in the office and turn the employee experience on its head. Tactical busy work will take a back seat to the strategic, value-creating stuff we want and are paid to do because devices will automatically deliver the insights we need when and where we need them and in many cases, just do the work for us.

Virtual assistants will ease the pain

Statistics show the average employee spends about 65% of their time on busy work and in meetings and 20% searching for information. That leaves just 15% — or roughly 1.2 hours a day — for meaningful work. Virtual assistants who know who we are, what we do and how we like to do it will give us this much-needed time back. We won’t need to go through the painful process of digging through enterprise apps to execute simple workflows, like requesting time off or booking travel. We’ll just ask our virtual assistant to do it. Beyond that, sometimes we won’t even need to ask. Sales opportunities will automatically be moved out of pipeline and into the system of record as soon as you close them. Recordings of virtual meetings will automatically be sent to participants as soon as they are over.

Technology will shadow us

The days of lugging laptops, tablets and mobile devices everywhere may finally be over as technology will follow us. Digital workspaces will deliver the apps and information we need anywhere, anytime, to any device. So, when we walk into a conference room for a meeting, we won’t have to dial in attendees on the Polycom or fire up a WebEx or Zoom session. The IoT-enabled workspace will already know who we are, the meeting we are there to attend and presentation we need and just get things started using the equipment that’s already there.

Augmented reality will redefine collaboration

Augmented reality used to be all about fun and games, but software developers have gotten serious, and augmented reality is set to transform the way we collaborate at work. We’ll see and interact with colleagues and customers around the world in new ways through smart glasses and AirPods; break the isolation of working remote and experience corporate meetings as if we were there in person; test new products as if we were in the field; learn new skills in digitally enhanced classrooms; and we’ll receive information in context and process it more quickly than ever before to make better, more informed decisions.

There are still people out there who think IoT is just for toys. And some of them thought the internet was just a consumer fad, too. IoT means business. And in 2020, we’ll see proof.

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

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