Could immersive collaboration tools optimise public sector work?

New survey data released this week has confirmed the growing demand for modern, advanced collaboration systems – technology that the public sector is widely adopting.

Defined as a new method for visualising and interacting with data through immersion, advanced collaboration platforms allow users to escape the confines of computers and traditional tools to boost efficiency and streamline processes.

The results of the survey, conducted by US-based collaborative tech specialists Oblong, highlight how the adoption of more interactive and disruptive technologies is being used to reduce challenges that hamper office productivity. Issues can range from passive engagement, which occurs when employees are not sufficiently able to interact with shared content, or more technical delays created by blending disparate information sources. Such occurrences may seem benign on a micro-level but when measured as a macro issue they prove to waste significant time and resources.

These challenges are fuelled by a transitioning workforce that consists of a growing number of millennial users who possess higher baseline proficiency for technology and tend to multitask while engaging with information from multiple data sources. The trend will only continue to increase over time with Millennials and ultimately, Generation Z inheriting the workforce.

Despite evolving demographics, the tools and technologies used for collaboration remain virtually unchanged and are often a by-product of past generations.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Two significant challenges of meeting technology can be traced to the quality of the systems, 50% of respondents cite passive engagement or technical delays as obstacles for collaboration.
  • Sixty-six percent of respondents report immersive collaboration technologies, defined as utilising spatial, multi-dimensional or interactive components would help them overcome complex workplace challenges.
  • As Millennials enter the workforce, technical proficiencies aren’t the only consideration when investing in advanced meeting technologies. Of those surveyed, 80% of respondents cited work-life balance and establishing an energised workforce as agents of change that impact collaboration and productivity levels.
  • The data shows an almost universal mandate to upgrade or replace current collaboration technologies. Twenty-five percent of those surveyed stated an intention to augment current collaboration systems, whereas approximately 38% will replace these tools entirely within the current fiscal year. Of those planning to upgrade, more than 60% of respondents anticipate investing in technologies geared for smaller meeting space or huddle rooms.
  • Fifty percent of respondents cited the ability to maximise the benefits of collaboration or the sharing of resources the most compelling factors for upgrading or replacing existing systems.

The response overall points to growing demand for the adoption of advanced collaboration systems that create a more robust and immersive user experience. To pique productivity and maximise collaboration, employers would be wise to proactively invest in technology that best aligns with the predisposing tendencies of the workforce. The conclusion of the study calls upon the business community to modernise systems that establish a more collaborative, efficient work environment.

“Any organisation that can see value in a streamlined approach to teamwork will also recognise the return that advanced collaboration systems bring,” said John Underkoffler, CEO, Oblong Industries. “As these surveys suggest, the race is now underway: companies must actively mind the technology gap to stop it widening into a chasm between an empowered workforce and the tools they need and demand for success.”

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