With a new year comes new beginnings. As we wrap up 2022, it’s time to resolve and reflect. For us, that includes reflecting on the Unisys blog.
We’re proud of how our content has evolved over the past year, allowing us to share our points of view with those who know Unisys well, those who are relearning who we are, and those who are new acquaintances. After reviewing our blog posts from 2022, we curated the following list of what we believe offers the most compelling — and we hope useful — posts you may have missed or want to read again.
Looking ahead, we’ll give our blog a new name in the new year. In keeping with our new brand identity, the name will reflect our commitment to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible to initiate real change. We’ll share strategies, trends and stories that inform and inspire so your organization can reach higher and achieve more.
The way people work has changed. After the events of the past couple of years, the hybrid, flexible model is likely to stay. To lure and retain top talent, organizations are setting up flexible work policies that create better work experiences for employees. These workers want positive onboarding experiences, ongoing support, the right tools to complete tasks and a consistent, secure digital connection.
The companies most successful at delivering superior employee experiences:
- Take a proactive approach to end-user experience management, combining real-time monitoring and analytics to ensure all workplace technology works effectively
- Adapt and shift expectations, starting with their strategic roadmaps for implementing new technologies and tools and providing ongoing digital training
Organizations are tackling a typically neglected area within the digital workspace to get ahead of an economic downturn: collaboration governance. This challenge can be divided into focus areas such as managing digital sprawl — the staggering amount of data and documents that businesses produce daily — and setting strong yet flexible governance policies that don’t hinder productivity. Neither of these areas should be neglected if organizations want to encourage a productive and positive end-user experience.
Strategies for tackling digital sprawl include setting permissions on who can create teams or channels and performing workspace audits. When setting governance policies for workplace configuration:
- Consider enforcing proper workspace naming conventions
- Ensure that each workspace has at least two owners — but not so many that no one steps forward to actively oversee the workspace
Configure the workspace in all the ways that make sense, including designations of private or public access, team membership and content-sharing policies and expected topics of discussion
Most hyperautomation initiatives — business process automation harnessing advanced technologies — aren’t delivering the value or total cost of ownership (TCO) that companies expect. In “Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2022,” Gartner predicts that “by 2024, diffuse hyperautomation spending will drive up the total cost of ownership 40-fold, making adaptive governance a differentiating factor in corporate performance.”
Keep in mind these dos and don’ts as you form your hyperautomation strategy:
- Understand the big picture before jumping into a hyperautomation project
- Create teams of business and IT representatives to define goals and take steps toward achieving them
- Engage IT to provide the guardrails and governance to ensure process scalability, technology reuse and enterprise-grade security and compliance
- Create shared KPIs to monitor, measure and reward people’s efforts
While digital transformation has radically increased organizational speed, agility and competitiveness, it has also created more complex IT environments that are harder to monitor and manage. Traditional IT monitoring tools can’t handle these environments, but artificial intelligence (AI) can give organizations an intelligent early-warning system designed for this modern IT infrastructure.
When IT and business data are combined and fed to an AI model, this technology can detect anomalies, correlate business and technical data to assign meaning to these events, make recommendations and trigger preventive actions based on these correlations. Unisys has applied this technology to solve several challenges for clients, including a mining company’s routine IT outages — including one that cost the business $10 million in penalties and lost business — and a transportation company’s frequent outages and transportation disruptions due to weather.
Deriving value from hyperautomation initiatives appears on our list for a second time. The focus this time is on filling open roles with talent across the career spectrum. At one end, you need to fill knowledge gaps left by a retiring workforce. At the other, you are trying to attract top new talent in a hypercompetitive job market. Underlying it all is the need to control costs.
Despite these issues, what needs to be done on any day remains unchanged or increased. What can change is how you attempt to solve the problem of getting the work done. Instead of focusing only on finding, attracting and retaining people, consider ways to eliminate the need for as much human labor, such as by automating processes.
Hyperautomation enables organizations to rapidly identify and automate processes using robotic process automation, artificial intelligence and other technology. Hyperautomation can help streamline business processes, gifting them with several capabilities, including moving a record through a process with minimal intervention and validating and meeting compliance requirements, including those related to data storage and validation.
For years, people have been anticipating quantum computing advancing to where it’s capable of solving complex business problems that are insurmountable for traditional computing. But are there business challenges that can be addressed before that happens? Yes – with a catch that it needs to be the right problem and managed in the right way on the right kind of quantum computer. Namely, the right problem should be similar to the challenge of a salesperson calculating the most efficient route for visiting customers in multiple cities and returning home.
Thankfully, many closely related optimization problems in business could benefit the organization when solved. These include:
- Home delivery logistics
- Airline scheduling and planning
- Financial services portfolio risk management and optimization
- Haulage scheduling and planning
- Pharmaceuticals/new drug discovery and testing
Before bitcoin miners arrived, the energy cost in the small town of Plattsburg, N.Y., was one of the lowest in the U.S. After thousands of crypto-mining machines were set up in strip malls, electricity prices spiked for residents. The city’s infrastructure struggled since one bitcoin transaction uses the equivalent power of what an average U.S. household consumes in 52 days.
Bitcoin illustrates how technological innovation can have unintended consequences. Anyone pushing the bounds of technology must do so responsibly, especially since many innovations that mitigate environmental issues aren’t free from environmental costs. Examples include blockchain, AI and machine learning. These can boost sustainable practices but use a significant amount of compute power.
Cheers to more technology stories and strategies in 2023!
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