5 Tech Trends Impacting Administrative Professionals

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The wave of office technology is now a tsunami, according to a recent report. It’s a trend that’s rapidly washing away old tools and techniques and creating a new ecosystem for business: collaborative, mobile, adaptable, responsive and informative.

A new report from Citrix Systems, Inc. diagrams in concise terms the degree to which technology is changing the way we work. Though none of the individual findings should come as much of a surprise for any administrative professional, it’s useful to have these trends documented and quantified. Think of it as a road map charting where the office profession is headed for the next several years.

The report leads with a fundamental shift: new office technology is being developed and introduced into the market whether the larger economy is good or bad. Innovation persisted throughout the recession. This is a significant change from the past, when investments in innovation were closely tied to macroeconomic conditions. Innovation is inevitable.

New technology is also arriving at a faster pace than ever before. Companies learned to harness collaboration and social applications to make their employees more productive and generate more revenue from customers. Widespread social media use has lead to improvements across industries as stakeholders demand the same kind of quality and experience they get while using apps like Facebook and Google.

All of these factors will feed five major office trends over the next several years, according to the Citrix report:

  • Collaboration — Companies will invest heavily in new tools that promote collaboration like social apps for work and web conferencing. This will mean the slow death of email, which was cited as the greatest obstacle to efficiency by 44 percent of administrative professionals in a recent survey.
  • Cloud computingWeb-based applications allow even the smallest companies to access the same type and quality of technology as that used by the Fortune 500. This would be the equivalent of a local track racer getting his or her hands on a NASCAR vehicle. This trend has contributed to a 90-percent decline in the cost of office technology since 2002. The cloud will cause an enormous proliferation of mobile computing.
  • Mobility — Business will continue to embrace platforms that employees, clients, contractors and customers can easily access and use across multiple platforms. Smaller companies will realize the best return with native mobile apps. By 2015, about 37 percent of the global workforce will do their job in a virtual office.
  • Ubiquitous IT — Instead of forcing company stakeholders to adapt to new information technology handed down from on high, IT will have to respond to stakeholder demands. This will particularly impact Customer Relationship Management, collaboration, productivity and human resources software development. Companies want new IT that can be implemented quickly and used with little training by a wide spectrum of employees.
  • Big Data — All of this new technology is generating a huge amount of data. In fact, the amount of data available for business decisions is doubling about every 14 months. That means administrative professionals should expect tools designed to help them collect, share and analyze this data.

If you or your manager doubt the value of professional development,  please read this report. Like all major economic shifts, these trends are an opportunity and warning. Those who embrace new office technology have the chance to take their careers to a new level. Ignore them, and you risk being stranded. Invest in yourself by investing in the future.