It's to no one’s surprise that the likes of AI, specifically generative AI and GPT, have professionals from diverse industries anticipating the transformative power these and other emerging technologies will bring to the workplace. Employees are preparing to navigate a digital revolution that promises to reshape their roles, enhance productivity and unlock new opportunities for personal and professional growth.
In fact, most U.S. workers are positive about the changes emerging technologies can bring to their roles, and 89% believe adopting emerging technologies is beneficial for their company, according to new data released by Ernst & Young.
For example, among respondents familiar with each technology, a majority say that having digital twin, edge computing, quantum computing or cloud/serverless computing at their company would change their role or job function for the better.
Digital twin technology is recognized as a game-changer, allowing the creation of virtual replicas of physical assets. Professionals in engineering, manufacturing, and supply chain sectors foresee real-time monitoring, predictive analytics, and simulation capabilities that empower informed decision-making.
The significance of edge computing has drawn considerable attention. By processing data closer to the source, it enables faster response times, reduced latency and enhanced reliability. Professionals in IoT, autonomous vehicles and healthcare see the possibilities it unlocks, providing real-time insights and transforming operations.
Quantum computing, with its immense computational power, emerges as a technology capable of revolutionizing job functions. Experts in scientific research, cryptography and finance recognize its potential to tackle complex problems beyond classical computers' reach.
Cloud and serverless computing also impact job functions positively. Cloud computing's scalability, accessibility and cost-efficiency have already transformed many industries. Serverless computing, with its agility and scalability, drives innovation and boost productivity.
And employees who have knowledge and experience with generative AI recognize its potential as a transformative technology that can enhance efficiency, speed and productivity in their daily work tasks. They understand that generative AI algorithms generate new content, models or solutions autonomously, offering a promising avenue for streamlining processes, accelerating decision-making and unlocking innovative possibilities within their current job roles.
With that said, there is one barrier that is preventing employees from fully adopting these technologies: cybersecurity risks. Among the individual technologies explored, employees familiar with quantum computing, for example, three-quarters were concerned about its associated cybersecurity risks.
Still, that isn’t deterring employees entirely. In agreement throughout the study, employees say that cybersecurity training for new technologies is important. It is up to the companies to provide the required cybersecurity training for the technologies employees are anxious to use.
"Though leaders acknowledge how new technologies can transform their business, they need to also be aware of employee perceptions around the slow pace of adoption, and the barriers and risks that could undermine efforts," said Faisal Alam, EY Americas Consulting emerging technology leader. "To realize the full upside of groundbreaking advances like AI and edge computing, leaders must strategically put employees at the center of their transformation decisions by communicating their objectives for new technologies early and often."
Employees are enthusiastic about the promise of new technologies. So, as companies update their technologies, establishing trust between employers and employees is key.
Future of Work Contributor
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