Krunal Patel, Director and Head of Business, India and South Asia at TeamViewer
The year 2022 will be another key driver for remote collaboration as the pandemic has required to explore new ways of work, but also the mindset for remote work has changed. Finally, technology is evolving fast, especially in the field of AR, providing a whole new work of interaction.
The era of hybrid work
Working from anywhere is here to stay. This will have a significant impact on the kinds of technologies that workers and employers depend on to remain efficient and competitive. At the same time, as workers settle into a hybrid model, where employees adopt both remote and office working practices, there is still some way to go to ensure the security, connectivity, and usability to deliver a seamless user experience. This is because there’s been a lack of strategic purchasing during the transition to hybrid work, leaving many enterprise IT infrastructures in disarray. Individuals within companies took it upon themselves to download the tools and software they needed to get by. A priority for 2022 will be reigning in these out-of-network services, and controlling ‘Shadow IT’, to ensure the security and stability of companies’ IT infrastructures. 2021 was a year of expansion and testing; 2022 will be a year of consolidation and forward planning.
The proliferation of hybrid work has also driven the digitalisation of sales. Going into 2022, employees will need to hone their sales skills in the virtual environment. Focusing on consulting and providing a complete service, rather than relying on the physical connections to close deals. This will be especially prevalent in traditional industries such as banks and insurance companies. Finally, over the next 12 months, the hybrid model will continue to impact frontline areas that are closer to the product, with new remote systems continuing to be introduced. This will change the dynamic of remote support and focus companies to adapt quickly to a remote and hybrid future.
The digitalization of the frontline worker
2022 will be the year that Augmented Reality (AR) technology will become mainstream. It will enhance the way we communicate by bringing information into our field of view in real time, providing opportunities for remote collaboration on a see-what-I-see-basis regardless of workforce location. It will, for example, be on every device and utilised in the public and private sector. Accelerating on the job training through enabling the use of wearable technology, powered by AR. This will significantly cut down on training times and have new workers up and running in minutes, giving companies the flexibility to tap into limited-trained labour, which is especially crucial in peak seasons. AR will also continue to prove its strength in reducing errors in picking and/or quality assurance due to replacing paper-based checklists with interactive AR-workflows that are displayed directly in the field of view of the workers. The step-by-step instructions will help to train employees faster for a job while improving the work life of the individual worker trough better ergonomics. In 2022, AR will ultimately alleviate the current challenges to quickly bring new employees up-to-speed, thereby providing a definitive competitive advantage to businesses who adopt it over companies that continue with traditional methods of employee on-boarding.
AI entering the game
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be a game-changer for Frontline Workers and manufacturers in 2022. As social distancing pushed companies to embrace using remote experts to guide frontline workers through wearable devices over the last 20 months, the next step in the journey for frontline workers is to have instructions that can be followed without the need of a remote expert. AI will be built into every step of the manufacturing process – from workflows, to maintenance, access management and providing insights to make critical business decisions.
In addition, wearable technology using artificial intelligence (AI) will make use of contextual, sensor and ERP data to react to the environment and guide frontline workers through complex procedures. For example, AI will be able identify certain safety elements or hazards and display a warning sign or validate certain parts of the process such as proper packaging. We have only just started to see its impact and 2022 will be the year where we see AI’s full potential in manufacturing and for frontline workers.
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