The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here, and it presents enormous opportunity for ANZ businesses willing to embrace the opportunities technology provides and build a future workplace.

Be a disruptor, or be disrupted


There is an incredible wave of technological innovation that’s reshaping our lives, business models and workplaces. With this innovation comes change, and change can be difficult for people. But, it’s happening, whether we like it or not, and it’s dangerous for any business’s focus to be on the fear of disruption, rather than on being the disruptor themselves.

The workplace is evolving incredibly quickly, but ANZ businesses are in a great position to be on the front-foot of this revolution. As a region, we are generally quite adaptive and pick up on trends quickly – a playbook that will no doubt stand us in good stead.


New ways of working


A critical step in building a workplace for the future is to shake up current ways of working, big and small – for example, the days of attaching things to email are definitely short-numbered. Throughout this period of radical change, cloud technology will underpin a business's ability to pivot and reinvent itself as the market requires. It will provide the flexibility and agility needed to create a future workplace and set employees up for success. Failing to use cloud economics will be a huge missed opportunity for any business.

The world is increasingly digital, and customer expectations have changed as a result. Customers expect experiences that are superior, personalised and immediate – and you have to have great technology to be able to meet those expectations.

"It’s dangerous for any business’s focus to be on the fear of disruption, rather than on being the disruptor."


And it’s not just customer expectations on the rise – employees are equally expecting a better, more connected workplace experience. They want their employers to provide them with the same level of technology they’re used to in their personal lives. Outdated technology not only impacts productivity and engagement levels, but it also hinders your ability to attract the best talent.



Partnerships are key to future tech capability


Technology partnerships are going to be essential in creating an agile, future workforce. This is the great thing about the way technology has evolved – organisations no longer need to build large internal IT armies. They can rely on open platforms and technology partners to do the heavy lifting, and achieve the required customer outcomes much faster and without the hassle of managing infrastructure or overinvesting in training new staff.  

When Fisher & Paykel wanted to shift to a customer-centric rather than product-centric model, it turned to tech for help with field service and has transformed the service experience for customers, who no longer need to waste time repeating themselves or waiting for technicians. As a result, the company’s customer satisfaction scores skyrocketed and it has seen efficiencies in infrastructure management and training time.

“By changing our processes to work with the platform – rather than the other way around – we can ride that wave of innovation and maximise its value,” Fisher & Paykel IT General Manager Jon White said.  

"It’s not just customer expectations on the rise – employees are equally expecting a better, more connected workplace experience."


Improving the customer experience went beyond technology though – it also required new processes and training, and this is where the positive impact of partnerships on efficiency is clearest. Operators can use the same processes to service customers from all over the globe, reducing training from an average of nine months to just three weeks per operator, and saving an average of $40,000 per operator in training costs.


A war for talent


On an individual level, technology is also creating a world of career opportunity. For example, there aren’t nearly enough data scientists and computer engineers in the world for future needs.

There’s a war for developer and coder talent already, as Salesforce CMO Stephanie Buscemi told Dreamforce audiences in September, and it’s only going to escalate – it’s up to everyone to keep up and learn the skills that they need.

Employers, too, need to be empowering employees to go out and learn these skills that will help propel businesses for years to come. Industry must provide relevant, accessible education and training – like our own Trailhead!

Ultimately, the wave of technological innovation represents incredibly exciting opportunities for the individuals and businesses who are willing to embrace it.  

Ride the wave of technological innovation by learning from the best! Watch videos of industry expert sessions from Dreamforce, and start blazing your own trail with Trailhead.