Businesses are increasingly adapting modern technology to keep up with the changing landscape and power people’s experiences

SUCCESSFUL FIRMS ARE REINVENTING the future of workplaces in order to keep pace with the shifting dynamics of workplace experiences. The dynamics are changing in the new multi-generational workplace, and Cemex is powering people’s experiences and leading the digital transformation.

Technology is being used as a key enabler by game-changing businesses to adopt a people-centric approach to fuel positive experiences. Imran Vilcassim, Ziyam Kamil and Farhard Hussain, directors at Cemex Software (Pvt) Ltd, developers of powerful cloud-based technologies to provide innovative HR applications, spoke to Echelon about the changes taking place in the modern working environment and technology’s role in creating experiences for people.

What would be the future of workplaces?
Imran: The dynamics are changing as the stringent 8-5 working hours structure is fast diminishing. Businesses are focusing on achieving outcomes rather than on the number of hours worked. We have observed changes where businesses aren’t particularly interested in examining the time checked in and out by employees as long as the tasks are completed. Organizations will move towards a blended workforce where not all of them will be full-time employees, but rather, they will hire or contract people based on specialization or the services they offer.

Farhard: The shift is much faster in developed countries – more than 50% of the US workforce is either working from home, remotely or on flexible hours. Whereas, in this part of the world, it’s slowly beginning to change. Millennials increasingly prefer this kind of arrangement as they are able to stay connected through their laptops and mobile phones. Organisations are facing a dilemma in terms of attracting, engaging and retaining talent. This is not due to the lack of talent, but because people are so talented that they are no longer interested in working for one employer or being a full-time employee. Money is no longer the sole motivating factor for talent. Millennials love using technology for both their personal and professional lives. So, it’s essential for organisations to provide innovative technologies to support a workforce like this, drive productivity and stay competitive. We at Cemex want to be the company that powers the future workforce.

How is artificial intelligence playing a key role in the workplace? Can you explain the scope of the predictive behaviour sphere for the new generation?
Ziyam: Artificial Intelligence is changing whole fundamentals, as all manual processes are getting eradicated. AI is  Changing a number of processes including the interview selection and performance evaluation processes. Hundreds of resumes can be easily sorted to select the top three choices using artificial intelligence. In addition, data can be leveraged to help leaders make meaningful decisions. We are able to propose novel methods to predict and prevent any future challenges. For instance, technology can be used to predict whether an employee would leave the company in the near future. This type of service is extremely important to manage employee churn out and not risk delaying any deliverables by predicting, planning and staying ahead of the game.

The beauty of cloud is that it democratizes access to technology, as the capital expenditure is significantly reduced.

How is mobile driving a new workplace behaviour?
Imran: Solutions need to be provided catering to the changing culture, such as according to needs, which involves people working on flexible hours and locations. Distributed organisations with employees in various locations can check in using their mobile as their entry to office, thus eliminating the need to install expensive gadgets at the entrance. It all revolves around our vision to provide the optimal people experience to empower people.

How do you cater to the needs of different businesses?
Farhard: The common platform is used to cater to businesses of all sizes, from SMEs to large corporates. Organisations can pick and choose the functions they need. A large manufacturing company would select more functions when compared to a small business. The beauty of cloud is that it democratizes access to technology, as the capital expenditure is significantly reduced.

Can you elaborate on your theme to power the workforce and empower people?
Ziyam: Our whole theme is centered around managing people’s experiences by bringing in both the employer’s and employee’s point of view. We provide the technology to create an informal organisation, and drive productivity as a result. We are looking at bringing in a human angle in terms of managing people and talent. The real goal is to use social, mobile and analytical capabilities to facilitate a richer, engaged and more productive culture within organisations, while powering people’s experiences.