Key takeaways

  • The long-term trends of workplace shifts, technology first and purposeful resilience continue to evolve and dominate the industry
  • Recent events at Southwest and FAA underscore the value of judicious technology investments, thoughtful governance and security hypervigilance
  • Technology trends give direction but understanding impacts and customizing implementation to each segment is vital for success

Two technology-related events dominated the news in the first two weeks of January: the logistical meltdown at Southwest Airlines and the temporary shutdown of operations by FAA, resulting in huge disruptions for travelers, loss of revenue and PR debacles. The Southwest Airlines issue was a result of a lack of investment in technology while FAA mishap was caused by a corrupted file uploaded into their system. Both demonstrate the huge importance of timely, prudent technology decisions and their impact on long-term resilience.

Going back to trends, industry leaders and practitioners are bombarded with predictions around this time of year. Many extrapolate previous years’ performance, some tout science fiction-like technologies and others paint doom-and-gloom geopolitical scenarios. It can be hard to sift the truth from hype, which often lies in the middle.

Organizations continue to grapple with talent shortages, reskilling existing personnel and the changing role of middle management, all within the new levels of workplace accessibility. The careful orchestration of people, processes and technology will be key to flawless execution and deepening customer delight.

Technology trends such as AI, automation, 3D, IoT, blockchain, no code, digital-physical merge and others have been around for decades with varying levels of penetration into the business world. Certain AI applications, such as ChatGPT have matured and show great promise. Purpose-built robots have been used extensively in the automotive sector for 20+ years but are yet to make inroads into other areas. Similarly, autonomous technology like self-driving cars is at least a decade away. Lastly, cybersecurity maintains its fundamental role in ensuring physical, network, device, and data security; training and education; and regulatory and privacy compliance.

Finally, purposeful organizational resilience has never been more critical. The events at Southwest and FAA are cautionary tales for leaders to bake in resilience and innovation at individual, process and system levels. Folks, there is no other way to future-proof our organizations!

In conclusion

The long-term trends of workplace shifts, technology first, and purposeful resilience continue to evolve and dominate the industry in 2023. They represent long-term structural changes, and we will see product, market and customer shifts and consolidation around them. Call us today to understand trends and apply them to your unique situation.

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