No one could have predicted that 2020 would have turned into the roller coaster it has.
For all its painful moments, 2020 has been a year of great development and growth for many of us. We’ve dug deep and showed resilience in ways we never thought possible, we’ve found new ways to connect, and we’ve been driven to think about what is truly important.
The pandemic has also ushered in a new era for work. An era that calls for innovation like never before and one that puts an increased focus on adaptability.
More than ever, businesses need to start experimenting with technologies that can uncover new opportunities for growth, increase collaboration, and future-proof their operations.
AI is just one such technology that can add value and make businesses more resilient. Those companies that have already started bringing their AI plans to life are driving incremental revenues and transforming operational costs, by delivering new products and services or by making how they operate vastly more efficient.
To future-proof your business you must now ask yourself: what is the most fragile corner of my business? Where is the weak spot which could prove detrimental if faced with a challenge like the coronavirus pandemic again?
Once you’ve identified this, you can strategize and take action to remove that fragility and replace it with a resilient solution - not just in the short term, but for a longer period.
Building a Future-Proof Approach to Work
One of the key learnings from the last months is that we need to create a hybrid physical/digital future for the workplace - and we need to do it now.
A completely physical world, with fixed offices and inflexible processes is not sufficient, but neither is a completely digital one, where the human connection, which is so important for doing meaningful business, is often lost.
The future is a mixed reality world, which allows for the flexibility and adaptability of remote working. But our ability to shift to this new reality, and do it successfully, is dependent on the tools and services we make available to our employees.
Going forward, these are the top three areas to invest in to ensure long-term success:
1. Secure, Stable Video Conferencing
For work, social, school, virtual events, doctor visits — video conferencing is now the most critical application for many people. More than 30 million web meetings take place every day.
Tools such as Zoom enable colleagues to meet, face to face, from home, from an office, from anywhere in the world. Such platforms allow for connection and collaboration to continue in a way that feels even a little familiar.
But video conferencing is not without its flaws. Around the world, many have been left frustrated with the classic cases of unidentifiable background noise from someone who’s kindly unmuted themselves. Or frozen frames just as the presenter is getting to the crucial point of their pitch.
To improve this experience, many are now applying AI to tackle the common faux pas of video conferencing. NVIDIA’s own Maxine, a cloud-native streaming video AI platform, for example, can reduce the bandwidth consumed by video calls by a factor of 10, dramatically improving the quality and stability of video conferences, as well as features including autoframe, background denoising, and virtual backgrounds.
“One of the key learnings from the last months is that we need to create a hybrid physical/digital future for the workplace - and we need to do it now”
2. New Collaborative Environments
Before numerous lockdowns, we might have told our colleagues that we’d be WFH, or working from home, as an exception to the rule. Office lingo, however, may now start shifting to reflect the new reality, where being at the office isn’t necessarily the norm. From now on, we’ll announce we’re going to the office, ‘GTO.’
But how can you foster collaboration, when team members are scattered and our ability to come together in a physical location is restricted?
It is clear that more and more, work will take place in a hybrid of office and home, physical and virtual reality. New collaborative tools and upgraded infrastructure will be key to making this possible.
NVIDIA, for example, has created a platform called NVIDIA Omniverse that lets colleagues working in different places and with different tools collaborate in real time.
As IT seeks to fully realize the power of virtualization with a software-defined approach to data center infrastructure, end-user computing has remained a stumbling block. Addressing the challenges of virtualization is more important than ever, as an increasing amount of our workforce moves to flexible, remote workspaces.
Many knowledge workers can work virtually with ease. But it’s more complex for those working with graphics-intensive applications across the architecture, design, manufacturing, media and entertainment, and oil and gas industries, as well as those working on scientific visualizations.
Virtualization is a key tool to address this challenge, offering a great user experience for employees logging in from home, while ensuring sensitive data is kept safe.
Though virtual desktop infrastructure was once considered a low-quality option, the virtualization of GPUs has made remote workstation and server-class performance a reality for even the most compute-intensive workloads.
Virtual GPU (vGPU) software enables IT teams to help remote employees stay productive, even when they’re working on sophisticated graphics applications or AI and machine learning workloads.
Focussing on these three areas will help you to encourage collaboration, improve flexibility, and build resilience in uncertain times. Start adding value to your business today by looking to the workplace of tomorrow and identifying any weak spots. It’ll be worth it.