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Industrial Trends

Technologies from AI to cryptocurrency and online shopping are changing how we live and what it means to be human. CIOs and IT leaders must help their organizations adapt in this changing world.

In Japan, one restaurant is exploring artificial intelligence (AI) robotics technology to enable paralyzed employees to remotely pilot robotic waiters. JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft and Ford are hosting virtual career fairs tailored to the needs of neurodiverse candidates. Enterprise Rent-A-Car integrated braille-reader technology into its reservations system for blind employees. 

Using AI to increase accessibility at work is one of the Gartner Top 10 strategic predictions for 2020 and beyond. The predictions examine how technology is changing the definition of what it means to be human, and IT leaders must be prepared to adapt in a changing environment.

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BYOD becomes BYOE

Through 2023, 30% of IT organizations will extend BYOD policies with “bring your own enhancement” (BYOE) to address augmented humans in the workforce.

For IT, the temptation to assert control might increase as human augmentationtechnology becomes more prevalent, but the business opportunity lies in exploiting increased interest in BYOE. Currently, industries like automotive and mining are using wearables to increase worker safety, while travel and healthcare are using wearables to increase productivity. As these technologies evolve, organizations will begin to consider how physical augmentations can be leveraged in personal and professional lives. Balance security with the organizational benefits of BYOE. 

AI increases accessibility world class

    By 2023, the number of people with disabilities employed will triple due to AI and emerging technologies reducing barriers to access.

    In the U.S., only 30% of labor force participants with disabilities are employed. This represents a huge untapped talent pool during a time when hiring managers are warning about the availability of talent and its effect on the future of organizations.

    Necessary changes will range from the cultural (i.e., removing the term “stand-up” meeting) to the technical (i.e., adjusting legacy systems to be more accessible.) Organizations that actively employ people with disabilities experience 89% higher retention rates, a 72% increase in employee productivity and a 29% increase in profitability. Plus, added diversity means added perspectives. Employees with disabilities bring a new lens to product development, increasing the potential for a product that appeals to a new client base. 

Online shopping identified as addiction

By 2024, the World Health Organization will identify online shopping as an addictive disorder as millions abuse digital commerce and encounter financial stress.

With the increasing availability of consumer data, marketers are able to pinpoint exactly which consumer will buy their product and at what point in the buyer journey. As technology grows more sophisticated, marketers will be able to more accurately predict what consumers want, how to price products and where to position them. 

But this comes at a price. As consumers purchase more products they don’t need and can’t afford, businesses will need to take responsibility to warn potential buyers, similar to how U.S. casinos must promote responsible gambling. Businesses may also see increased pressure by governments and consumer groups to take responsibility for exploitative or irresponsible practices. 

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