Konica Minolta identifies five important trends that will shape and influence the Digital Workplace in 2024

| 4 December 2023

The ongoing evolution and expansion of the Digital Workplace has been highly evident throughout 2023. It has continued to play a pivotal role in successfully enabling remote working, transforming the modern office into a geographically dispersed yet unified space, and thus powering the hybrid working trend that continues to support many sectors. Broader factors, including the global Climate Emergency, the escalating Cost-of-Living Crisis and inflation, along with geopolitical conflicts and wars, will exert their influence on the Digital Workplace throughout 2024 as well. As organisations and businesses strive to remain cost-effective and competitive while addressing evolving employee expectations and needs, alongside the persistent challenges of skill shortages, the significance of Digital Workplace technology will continue to grow. Additionally, its role in ensuring employee satisfaction, retention, and talent attraction will become increasingly vital.


Trend 1: Intelligent use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning for the automation of suitable tasks
By using automated systems that utilise AI or machine learning, laborious or time-consuming and repetitive tasks can be automated, giving workers more capacity for more productive tasks. The market for AI will grow globally from $298,246.87 billion US dollars in 2024 to $1,847,495.6 trillion US dollars in 2030. Nearly half of workers (45%) predicted AI would cause a “significant” change to their jobs in the next year, whilst more than a third said they felt overwhelmed and worried by these changes.[1] Therefore, the deployment of automated systems needs to be done intelligently, ethically, sensitively, and carefully to ensure it enhances the productivity of workers whilst respecting their rights, and the wider opinions and concerns of society.
 
Konica Minolta is currently working on integrating more AI into its Intelligent Information Management solutions. The aim is to enable even more automation to relieve employees from arduous, time-consuming tasks, for example in the document capture process, where zonal OCR (Optical Character Recognition), which first requires extensive training, is to be replaced by AI, which no longer requires any training to extract information from documents. Konica Minolta is also currently working on individual OpenAI services for Summarising, Synthesising, Coding and Excel spreadsheet analysis. These can be used, for example, to automatically summarise documents, provide support in the brainstorming process or make forecasts.
 
Trend 2: Data privacy and security
The EU's NIS2 Directive (Network and Information Systems Directive 2022) came into force on 16 January 2023 and is to be enshrined in law in all EU member states by 17 October 2024. It aims to strengthen the cyber resilience of European operators of critical infrastructure and essential services. In view of the continuing threat – cyberattacks increased dramatically once again in 2023 in particular (weekly cyber-attacks have increased worldwide by 7% in Q1 2023 compared to the same period last year, according to Check Point’s latest research report[2]) – and against the backdrop of NIS2, many companies will need to protect themselves even better to improve resilience of critical systems and processes. Customers are also raising the bar: The majority (87%) of consumers say they will not do business with a company if they have concerns about the business’s security practices.[3]
 
In particular, organisations need to consider advanced cybersecurity measures such as multi-factor authentication, encryption, and secure cloud storage solutions to ensure security. This is where the professional support of a professional security partner such as Konica Minolta makes a big difference with services such as identity, data and endpoint protection, managed backup management services and remote monitoring and management.
 
Trend 3: Employee well-being and engagement
Employees are the most valuable resource of an organisation and a positive and productive relationship needs to be nurtured and grown. Employee well-being and engagement is critical, especially in an increasingly competitive talent market, which will be further exacerbated by the evolving workplace expectations of Generation Z workers (49% choose their work/employer based on personal values[4]), the aging population (between 2015 and 2050, the global population over 60 years will nearly double from 12% to 22%[5]) and skills shortage[6], which all put increasing pressure on existing employees as well. Flexible work arrangements, mental health support, providing a suitable digital employee experience, and resources for greater work-life balance are all crucial as parts of a ‘duty of care’ to employees.
 
Konica Minolta for instance has the Flourish programme, which supports all aspects of the working experience including personal development and growth, health and well-being, and the celebration of talent and achievement. Konica Minolta also promotes diversity, equity and the inclusion of all employees with for example the execution of programmes such as Woman2Lead and ShePlus, the development of ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) such as the LGBTQ+ network VIBRANT or the increase of awareness for disability inclusion. Moreover, the company enables a flexible approach to working in the office, from home, or a hybrid option, for a better work-life balance. 
 
Trend 4: Further cloud-based collaboration
Hybrid and remote working are powered by cloud-based communication and collaboration systems, so the further adoption and refinement of these will ensure the workforce continues to work smoothly and productively together. The collaboration software market has an annual growth rate of 2%)[7]. The highest growth segment for collaboration tools is teamwork apps for mobile devices which enable workers to work successfully together whatever their location[8].
 
As a Microsoft Cloud Solutions Partner, Konica Minolta’s accredited expert team is able to assist any size and type of organisation to realise the full communication and collaboration benefits from the Microsoft range of tools. This includes Microsoft 365 including Microsoft Teams, which helps businesses to better organise and interact with employees.
 
Trend 5: Sustainability and ensuring technology and workplace practices can better support it
In view of climate change, the sustainability aspect will continue to play an increasingly important role when considering the digital workplace in 2024. Essentially, the question is to what extent the digital transformation with its technologies and changing workplace practices can act as a driver for greater sustainability in the workplace. Perhaps one of the most tangible examples of digitalisation minimising resource consumption while delivering significant benefits to business performance is the reduction of paper use in business processes, especially when you consider that on average 50% of a company's waste is paper.[9] Cloud and collaboration tools enable remote collaboration, reducing the need to commute to the office or travel by air for meetings. Cloud-based solutions in particular can also be more sustainable than on-premise solutions, provided certain factors (power consumption, water consumption, lifespan of devices, digital cleanup) are taken into account. For example, cloud servers that are operated with 100% renewable electricity only consume half the CO2e per year/server compared to on-premise servers with renewable electricity. On-premise servers without renewable electricity consume even six times as much.[10]
 
With its Intelligent Connected Workplace approach, which focuses on digital collaboration and intelligent, paperless processes, Konica Minolta is endeavouring to take the sustainability aspect into greater consideration. In addition to Microsoft 365 collaboration solutions, the company also offers hosting of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) in its own data centres, which are ISO14001 certified and run on 100% renewable energy. For necessary service calls, Konica Minolta relies on the visual remote service tool AIRe Link, which has already saved 23,567 on-site visits, 911,295 kilometres and 330 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions have been saved since 2020[11].

 

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As the workplace continues to evolve and change, we are likely to see further reliance on technology and smarter ways of working that take advantage of automation benefits. With global unrest and continuing economic pressures, along with long-term challenges such as the deepening Climate Emergency and globally aging population, flexible and sustainable working practices have never been more important. This is why Konica Minolta is passionately committed to supporting the evolution of the Digital Workplace thorough our Intelligent Connected Workplace portfolio, which is designed to address all these needs from a single expert supplier, enabling organisations to concentrate on their core activities with full peace of mind.

Olaf Lorenz

Head of International Marketing Division, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe


[1] Nearly half of European workers expect AI to 'significantly' impact their jobs by 2024, Euronews, 2023, https://www.euronews.com/next/2023/09/13/nearly-half-of-european-workers-expect-ai-to-significantly-impact-their-jobs-by-2024  

[2] Global Cyber Attacks Rise by 7% in Q1 2023, Infosecurity Magazine, 2023, https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/global-cyber-attacks-rise-7-q1-2023/

[3] 50 Eye Opening Data Privacy Statistics for 2023, Enzuzo, 2023, https://www.enzuzo.com/blog/data-privacy-statistics
 

[4] For Millennials And Gen Zs, Social Issues Are Top Of Mind—Here’s How Organizations Can Drive Meaningful Change, Forbes, 2021, https://www.forbes.com/sites/deloitte/2021/07/22/for-millennials-and-gen-zs-social-issues-are-top-of-mind-heres-how-organizations-can-drive-meaningful-change/?sh=54e2d6cb450c  

[5] Ageing and health, WHO, 2022, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ageing-and-health  

[6] Commission report finds labour and skills shortages persist and looks at possible ways to tackle them, European Commission, 2023, https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?langId=en&catId=89&furtherNews=yes&newsId=10619  

[7] Collaboration Software - Worldwide, Statista, 2023, https://www.statista.com/outlook/tmo/software/productivity-software/collaboration-software/worldwide#revenue 

[8] 70 Essential Online Collaboration Software Statistics: 2023 Market Share Analysis & Data, Finances Online, 2023, https://financesonline.com/online-collaboration-software-statistics/  

[9] Paper Waste Facts, The World Counts, 2023, https://www.theworldcounts.com/stories/paper-waste-facts

[10] The Carbon Footprint of Servers, Go Climate, 2022, https://www.goclimate.com/blog/the-carbon-footprint-of-servers/

[11] As of November 2023

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About Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe


Konica Minolta’s journey started 150 years ago, with a vision to see and do things differently. We innovate for the good of society and the world. The same purpose that kept us moving then, keeps us moving now.


Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH, based in Langenhagen, Germany, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Konica Minolta Inc., Tokyo, Japan. With its unique expertise in imaging, data processing and data-based decision making, Konica Minolta creates relevant solutions for its customers - small and medium-sized businesses, large enterprises and public sector - and solves issues faced by society.


As a digital workplace solution provider, Konica Minolta helps its clients to identify and unlock the potential digitalisation holds and reach the next level in the digital maturity of their organisation by rethinking the workplace. In support of an ‘Intelligent connected workplace’, Konica Minolta offers cloud, IT, managed print and video solution services for remote working, collaboration, workflow management and automation and security. The company’s success in driving transformation is also confirmed by IDC, since the ‘IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Print Transformation 2023 Vendor Assessment’ has named Konica Minolta a “Leader” in print transformation. Konica Minolta has been a Microsoft Global Managed Partner since 2021.


Konica Minolta's Igniting Print Possibilities offering helps printers, converters and brand owners maximise workflow automation to increase efficiency. The company delivers consultancy in all communication matters as well as top-of-the-line production, packaging as well as label printers. Its finishing devices create print products that stand out and create added value. Konica Minolta has established itself as the production printing market leader for more than a decade in Europe (InfoSource).


For an increasing number of organisations, success today is more than the narrow definition of financial prosperity – it also includes protecting the environment and having a positive impact on their workforce as well as the societies they are embedded in. With its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Konica Minolta has pledged to consistently pursue its sustainability and social responsibility goals.


The company has been repeatedly recognised for its rich history of social contribution as well as for working towards achieving the SDGs throughout its business and supply chain. Konica Minolta received a GOLD Level Recognition Medal in the EcoVadis sustainability ratings for 2023.


For its remote services, Konica Minolta was awarded the prestigious ‘Buyers Lab (BLI) 2023-2024 Pacesetter Award in Remote Service for the Western European market’ from Keypoint Intelligence.


Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe is represented by subsidiaries and distributors in more than 80 countries in Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. With more than 8,700 employees (as of April 2023), Konica Minolta Europe earned net sales of over EUR 2.26 billion in financial year 2022/2023.


Worldwide, the company has over 39,000 employees and is operating in over 150 countries.


For more information, please visit https://www.konicaminolta.eu/eu-en/news and follow Konica Minolta on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.


Terms and product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders and are hereby acknowledged.

Contact

Contact

Melanie Olbrich

Senior Corporate Communications & Content Manager

melanie.olbrich@konicaminolta.eu

+49 (0)511 7404-5337