How is digitalization allowing us to change the way we work? Someone who grapples with that question for a living is Ryan Purvis, a digital workplace strategist at a global bank, who sat down with us to discuss the current state of enterprise user experience on the latest episode of the Lifeguard IT podcast.
Throughout our discussion, Ryan presented a pragmatic, yet optimistic, vision of the future of work. Part of this vision includes greater prevalence of bots and AI, an area where Ryan offered advice that could apply to any young person starting out in his or her career: "I had a discussion with my niece recently—she just got an accounting degree—and she asked what she should do next and I said, 'Learn Python.' Because if you don't know how to process data or understand data, you're going to suffer because some bot will be able to do that… And I also think with AI and some of those sort of things, you're going to need to be able to talk to a computer to train that computer to do some of the stuff that you don't want to do."
At work, Ryan develops ways to improve IT processes in support of on-the-go users across the world. One strategy he mentioned was making IT more transparent by allowing users to participate in improving their experience through gamification—an approach he likened to self-check-outs at grocery stores. Users are given visibility into a score that shows how well their systems are performing in addition to suggested steps they can take to improve their scores. This strategy has encouraged better technology citizenship amongst users and has allowed IT to focus on higher-level issues.
As a global business with branches in the EU, Ryan shared his experience with preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Although data protection isn’t a new conversation at his organization, Ryan said that GDPR has required greater IT involvement than previous regulations. For those still familiarizing themselves with the legislation, check out our quick guide to GDPR compliance.
Ultimately, our conversation turned to speculation on how technology may alter the future of work—a topic that’s starting to seem less and less like science fiction thanks to the rise of digital workplace technologies. Here’s one vision Ryan shared: “The idea of being able to do a whiteboard conversation with someone in another country—I think that's a dream that a few people have. Proper brainstorming without having to fly 10, 12 hours to get there. And it may be even to the point of avatars and holographic conferencing where you're in your pajamas, but you look like you're in a suit.”
That’s a future worth working for.
Heather Bicknell is the product marketing manager at Lakeside and host of the Lifeguard IT podcast.