In the well-known Queen song, Freddie Mercury asks, “who wants to live forever?” I’m sure some of us have mused on the answer to this question, and I apologise for the earworm I may have planted in your brain!
In reality, we all have a finite amount of time - and it’s constantly decreasing. When I look at the business I am in and the many different projects and scenarios I have worked in, all I have done boils down to creating or freeing up time; the one resource we can neither buy nor re-use.
From the latest productivity tools to AI enablement, all of this tech has one purpose: to give us time to be more productive, imaginative or creative.
Recently, I was in a meeting with a customer who had a great mission and clarity of vision, both for their customers (care residents) and their staff (carers). During our discussion, we realised that the organisation was trying to give its carers more time to deliver the core goal of its care residents: leading their best lives.
If a carer can use technology to access information with ease, and data-driven decisions present the individual with relevant, accurate information when required, they would have more time given back to them to focus on other core activities with the residents.The vast majority of these activities can’t be delivered from behind a screen or remotely - care is given up close and personal.
If we apply this scenario to other businesses, we can start to see a trend: almost any technological investment is designed to give time back somewhere in its lifecycle. Here are some examples of technology and how I envisage it helping to give back time:
- Digital Employee Experience when correctly implemented will provide:
- Proactive alerting for issues and trends, often before users are aware.
- Data provides a 'reduced time to innocence' by helping businesses to understand the cause and location of issues.
- It can also provide a reduced time to resolution, with many DEX platforms applying algorithms to perform root cause analysis of issues.
- Collaboration Tools:
- Quicker access to people by knowing their ‘presence’ status.
- Access to information in distinct channels.
- Multi-device availability. The choice of device is immaterial, employees can ring or message more quickly through a communications platform.
- Cloud-based Information Storage:
- Reliable, speedy access to the latest version of information.
- Real-time updates, enabling all to be informed immediately of any changes.
- Data processed by machine learning and AI:
- Information is processed for anomalies and similarities, then presented to allow individuals to carry out actions or apply human decision processes, without having to pre-analyse the work.
- Robotic Process Automation:
- Replace repetitive or mundane actions with automation, removing the requirement for manual intervention.
Aside from this list, there are many other examples of how technical solutions give time back, or at the very least protect it.
When making technology investment choices - even with a clear vision and purpose - we must ask ourselves what the true value is and how much time does it deliver.
Some may measure this as productivity, and we’re all familiar with terms such as Return on Investment (ROI). However, the only true way to measure ROI is by working out the cost of the time saved, in relation to investment cost and time to implement and adopt.
Stephen Covey says to “start with the end in mind”. If we follow this philosophy, we can work back through a vision and purpose to define a user experience whereby the goals are met, time is protected, and a business can focus on driving productivity.
At CDW, we pride ourselves not just on knowing and understanding the technology we can supply, but also understanding how technology choices can impact your business directly. We consider how they can be designed, implemented and adopted to provide maximum value (time) to your employees to achieve the best business outcomes.