It’s STILL an exciting time for workplace technology

workplace augmented reality

In July 2015, only 19 months ago, I wrote a post entitled It’s an exciting time for Workplace Technology in which I talked about the exciting technology changes that were heading our way.

I write this post in the middle of another change, as we bring together two organizations and create the new DXC. Now seems like a great time to reflect on the changes that we’ve already seen in the last 19 months and some of the things that we can see from our new horizon.

In 2015, drones, wearables, virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence were somewhere out in the future. Consider the world around you, and you’ll realize how much that has changed.

When was the last time you watched a current affairs or news program without seeing footage filmed on a drone? Around a year ago a family member was involved in a flood so we went to help tidy up. I was in the rear garden when, suddenly, the air was filled with humming. Up to that point it had been remarkably quiet, but now there were a couple of devices floating above the houses. I want out to the front to see what was going on and quickly realised that the news crews had arrived bringing with them drones equipped with cameras capturing the scene.

Wearables have come and almost gone again with some vendors already leaving the market, and others joining it. They were the big Christmas gift in 2015, but by Christmas 2016, sales growth had slowed to low single figures.

New technology often goes through a roller-coaster of popularity before becoming mainstream, and I suspect that is what is happening for wearables. They became a fad for a while, but their use will grow steadily as the technology matures and people realise the value. A number of organisations now use the technology in the workplace, particularly when employees are out in the field doing deliveries or repairing utilities.

Various forms of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) seem to be everywhere even, if many of the uses are more for entertainment rather than work. As part of the recent release of the Galaxy S8, Samsung made the inclusion of Gear VR as part of a pre-order offer in some regions. VR and AR are starting to make a significant impact on a number of workplaces, particularly in training and that looks set to continue.

When I wrote in July 2015, I didn’t talk about digital assistants, I suspect because I didn’t really see them taking off. Since then, Amazon’s Echo and Alexa have been a huge success with over 5 million sold in 2016. Windows 10 includes Cortana, Android has Google Assistant and Siri is on iOS – making digital assistants available to hundreds of millions of people.

Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana and Alexa all make extensive use of Artificial Intelligence, another technology that has had extensive coverage throughout 2016 and at the start of 2017. Artificial intelligence, particularly robots, have entered the news as people start to consider the impact they will have on jobs. The impact on the workplace has only just begun.

3-D printing has been around a lot longer than people think, but it’s now on the edge of emerging from the shadows to significantly disrupt manufacturing. There’s still plenty of 3-D printing on the horizon, and it’s particularly interesting to see the likes of HP Inc. entering the market.

Add into these technologies the continued penetration of mobile devices and cloud-based capabilities, and there’s a growing wave of change occurring. But, I’m sure many of you are thinking, “My workplace hasn’t seen any of these changes.” You wouldn’t be alone. For many, the workplace of the future is still mostly that — in the future.

You still, likely, sit in your cubicle using that Windows 7 desktop you’ve had for the last few years — and you still spend most of your life emailing around documents.

Those enterprises making changes and adopting these digital technologies are already thriving, and, as they they do so, they are learning new ways of working and new ways of creating value. These changes will impact different roles and different industries at different times, but most of what we call work today is going to be radically reshaped by the convergence of these technologies and technologies we can’t even yet see.

The opportunity is still ahead to thrive on that change.

It’s STILL an exciting time for workplace technology!

Graham Chastney

Graham Chastney is a Senior Principal Technologist in DXC. He has worked in the arena of workplace technology for over 25 years, starting as a sysprog supporting IBM DISOSS and DEC All-in-1. Latterly Graham has been working with DXC’s customers to help them understand how they exploit the changing world of workplace technology. Graham lives with his family in the United Kingdom.

Twitter: @grahamchastney


  1. Gary Beckett says:

    Great article and summary of the potential Graham!



  1. […] It’s STILL an exciting time for workplace technology […]


  2. […] It’s STILL an exciting time for workplace technology […]


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