Yorktel, Workfront Discuss the Importance of Workflow
The words automation, collaboration, and digital and unified communications are used a lot in tech and telecom these days. But, what they’re really all about is productivity and working smarter.
Yet, productivity has actually decreased in recent years, Chris O’Neal, product manager of Workfront, said in his ITEXPO presentation today. Until 2010, he said, the U.S. had seen 2-3 percent labor productivity growth. But since 2011, productivity has been below 1 percent, he added. And he noted that while the wide array of digital communications channels and options promised greater productivity, there are now so many of them they can actually be a barrier to getting work done.
Because a strong share of U.S. employees today are knowledge workers, we need to create an “assembly line of knowledge work,” he said. Creating this assembly line and turbo charging work, he added, calls for companies to bring together the ability to plan for, perform, and assess work.
To do that, businesses need to understand their existing workflows – including what they’re doing and why they’re doing it; create visibility – so they understand who’s doing what and why; and establish a pattern of automation – so artificial intelligence can handle mundane tasks while humans do more value-added work.
The idea of bringing together work planning and actual work, and enabling real-time communications and collaboration, while also tracking workflows, was also a theme of Vishal Brown’s ITEXPO presentation today.
He noted that Microsoft is working to migrate its Skype for Business customers to Microsoft (News - Alert) Teams. And he explained that while tools like Skype for Business support real-time interactions, when those chat or video sessions are done, that’s usually the end of that conversation.
But Teams, he said, looks at things from a workflow perspective. It keeps the conversation going. And it makes available all applications, files, and tools via a single pane of glass. So businesses and their employees can easily access what happened before, during, and after the meeting.
This more holistic way of communication, collaboration, and work seems to be the way things are headed.
Edited by Mandi Nowitz