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In Q1 of 2024, AI continues to be a ubiquitous topic across all verticals, industries and technology areas. The AI models range from end-user-facing Large Language Models (LLMs) to more backend Machine Learning, computer vision, predictive analytics, deep learning, and other models designed to generate insights into an organization's business and operations.

Nearly every industry is looking to move quickly with their AI innovations, with every OEM, vendor and cloud provider embedding AI capabilities into their "off-the-shelf" products as well as organizations building out their own internal capabilities. While AI may seem like the beginning and end of all technology topics, and is seen as an enabler across the industry, there are some other continuing themes and priorities within the end-user and employee platforms technology space. We have broken down some of these topics into the following sections: 

We have made an effort to view these topics through the lens of our Digital Workspace Priorities for 2024 and align them with what we are seeing organizations do to improve the employee experience for their workforce. Employee experience continues to be a key driver in the competitive landscape to attract quality employees in today's market.

WWT's Digital Workspace Priorities for 2024

  1. Optimize employee experience to improve EX and CX
  2. Prepare to introduce AI and automation into the workforce
  3. Achieve technology interoperability
  4. To fund or not to fund the office?
  5. Foster a culture of belonging

Employee assistant/Copilot

Organizations are actively exploring the integration of AI assistants, such as Copilot, within their organizational frameworks in accordance with Priority #2 to Prepare to introduce AI and automation into the workforce. This AI Copilot/Assistant push is occurring even though many organizations are struggling to clearly identify and prioritize which use cases and groups would reap the most benefits from the AI investment. While there are clearer productivity metrics and KPIs that exist for an AI Assistant in the contact center and programming spaces, OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) for many other employee personas remain a bit more nebulous. Even without these clearly defined: internal, external, and grassroots line-of-business pressures are pushing AI assistants to the forefront of priority lists. There is a strong sense of "build it and they (the use cases) will come". 

Responsible AI and protecting company IP is paramount when interacting with public AI Assistants.

While many businesses are currently in the pilot phase, several considerations are impeding most businesses' transition to full-scale production. For highly regulated organizations, like GlobalFi, these considerations primarily revolve around compliance, data/IP (Intellectual Property) leakage, and other security obligations. Prioritizing training employees to ensure they can responsibly interact with AI to protect company data must be a key focus in any deployment of an AI assistant. 

The anecdotal advantages of leveraging LLMs and AI Assistants in terms of productivity are noteworthy, including the rapid initiation of research on unfamiliar subjects and the provision of response links for deeper exploration into specific research areas. Additionally, there is an emergence of use cases for the notable enhancement of personal interactions within virtual meetings, with AI copilots and assistants building comprehensive meeting recaps that significantly reduce the manual note-taking burden during hybrid or virtual gatherings. This enhancement notably benefits virtual employees by enabling sustained active engagement during video conferences greatly advancing Priority #5 to foster a culture of belonging.

WWT GPT can assist employees in gathering data more quickly and efficiently.

However, challenges have emerged concerning organizational data accessibility. Many organizations have yet to effectively vectorize and tag their data, creating obstacles for homegrown GPT tools to deliver comprehensive data outputs and gather usage metrics. Moreover, when using "off-the-shelf" semi-private Copilots like enterprise editions of Microsoft Copilot, responses may often be skewed or biased towards a Microsoft-centric perspective. Alternative options such as public tools like ChatGPT may offer broader data returns, albeit necessitating stringent employee training to prevent inadvertent injection of company intellectual property (IP) into these publicly accessible GPT tools. Private LLMs and Assistant tools continue to be appealing to many large organizations but the time, investment, effort, resource, and hardware availability are major impediments

Additionally, use case sprawl has many organizations progressing these efforts in fractured and inefficient silos delaying implementation. It's worth noting that graphical capabilities across various AI tools continue to fall short of expectations, presenting an area ripe for improvement and innovation.

EUC and DEX update

Organizational priorities are increasingly centered around enhancing user interactions with applications and emphasizing the criticality of visibility ensuring Priority #1 to optimize employee experience to improve EX and CX, stays top of mind. For organizations to deliver these enhanced interactions, in light of continuing staff and skills shortages, IT organizations need to embrace AIOPS and automation to scale. Recognizing that observability is the gateway to automation, companies are leveraging observability pipelines, correlations between telemetry sources, AI-driven insights, and automation as a cornerstone for advancing the employee experience. This has become particularly important considering the continuous integration of new devices and solutions into the organization, all requiring robust IT support.

Navigating the realm of digital workspace technology can be daunting, especially with a clutter of third-party tools and platforms claiming to be comprehensive solutions for enhancing the digital employee experience (DEX). Starting from scratch in crafting a positive employee experience requires a thoughtful approach. As organizations embark on this journey, it's crucial to begin with a clear strategy, avoiding the pitfalls of adopting seemingly all-encompassing solutions that might, in reality, contribute to technology sprawl, escalate costs, and fall short in empowering employees. To lay a solid foundation for a robust employee experience, focus on strategic steps and consider technologies that genuinely align with your organizational goals and employee needs.

While a clear leader in the Digital Employee Experience (DEX) space has yet to emerge, anticipation is mounting for the inaugural Gartner Magic Quadrant focusing on DEX, scheduled for release later this year. The competitive landscape is intensifying with renowned providers like Nexthink, Lakeside, Riverbed Aluvio, and VMWare breaking away from Broadcom, heralding an era of heightened competition driving groundbreaking innovations.

Yet, one persistent challenge remains unresolved: achieving seamless interoperability to ensure comprehensive visibility across all facets meaning that Priority #3 to Achieve technology interoperability needs to remain a focus. This necessitates the strategic integration of multiple solutions and the development of bespoke integrations to bridge existing gaps effectively.

The conversation around securing DEX solutions is increasingly accentuating the role of AIOPS, with SPLUNK emerging as a major consideration for its role in monitoring the employee and customer experience. Originating from a security background, SPLUNK's evolution into AIOPS and automation not only streamlines IT management but also reduces the toolset complexity faced by IT teams. ScienceLogic is another formidable player in this domain, mounting a significant challenge to LogicMonitor's historical market dominance. The transformative capabilities of these tools inherently empower IT operations, culminating in a vastly improved overall employee experience.

Videoconferencing: Innovations around multi-camera, cinematic meetings

The race for cinematic meeting experiences is on, with virtually every OEM now offering camera options that create an immersive feel and driving towards meeting equality.

This move is a direct nod to Priority #5 to Foster a culture of belonging, as it bridges the gap for remote employees, making them feel deeply connected to their company's culture. While 360-degree tabletop cameras have been around for a while, the improvements in AI and facial recognition have vastly improved the experience. Additionally, some OEMs are skipping the tabletop cameras opting instead to position additional cameras on walls perpendicular to the screens instead of the tables. These wall-mounted marvels seamlessly integrate with smart boards, marking a revolutionary leap in cinematic meetings.

Meanwhile, the changes in multi-camera and angle video are also supporting a shift in conference room layouts, with displays now running along the sides of tables instead of the traditional galley view end-of-table placements. This strategic move isn't just about aesthetics—it's about decluttering. With fewer gadgets cluttering up rooms and tables, there's a natural reduction in tech management complexity and a significant drop in the number of power-hungry devices. In fact, compared to just five years ago, rooms are shedding about five devices each, from video switches to extenders and more, with many smaller and medium-sized rooms having devices replaced by sleek, all-in-one solutions. 

Interactivity needs in the conference rooms are increasingly a driver for upgrading existing rooms. Enhancing conference spaces with interactive displays and smart boards that seamlessly sync updates from physical rooms to virtual meetings, creates a truly immersive experience that blurs the line between physical and digital collaboration.

The evolution doesn't stop there. Room bars, the new darlings of conference room setups, are embracing Power over Ethernet (POE) as their go-to power source. This sustainability shift is part of a larger trend where OEMs are actively streamlining rooms, making them more eco-friendly and resource-efficient. Organizations are clamoring for management platforms that offer real-time energy usage insights, a crucial tool for measuring ROI on office and conference room redesigns, firmly aligning with Priority #4 To fund or not to fund the office.


AI and its thirst for power is seemingly at odds with many organizations' sustainability goals. While GPUs, NPUs (Neural Processing Units), and TPUs (Tensor Processing Units) offer superior efficiency in AI's parallel processing needs compared to CPUs, they come with a trade-off: they consume more power and demand greater cooling measures, impacting sustainability goals for businesses. Although there's optimism about the efficiency that will be derived from productivity gains from these AI solutions, concrete data supporting these claims is still lacking. Many large orgnizations have already begun IT sustainability activities in their data centers in attempts to look at green energy production, cooling, and addressing e-waste issues. Although the added density caused by the AI explosion could put a damper on the existing progress made, many of the same strategies can be scaled up to address them.

Organizations are already stretching their data centers to the limit and many have moved away from building new data centers. Instead, they have been moving towards cloud alternatives to drive their businesses forward, it is unknown if in the long term AI considerations around security and performance are going to reverse this trend. In the short term, the limited availability of AI chipsets outside of the cloud providers will likely sustain this shift into the cloud. Cloud providers, in turn, must consider power consumption on high-performance architectures as more resources move to the cloud and many organizations will likely require ESG reporting on their consumption of these cloud resources.

While initial AI resources are focused mostly on the data center and/or cloud providers (where the training and tuning occurs), as LLMs and AI Assistants become more prevalent many of the models will be deployed at the edge or on the endpoints themselves. This will push the same power, cooling, and IT sustainability issues that exist in the core data centers out to the office, branch, and ultimately the end device itself.

DC power distribution, while not new, is being more vigorously explored as a solution to more efficiently manage power and allow for more innovative deployment options. However, the transition to DC in offices is still in its early adoption, primarily focusing on low-voltage lighting solutions, some electronics (including PoE), and some motor loads. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has published some studies on the increased efficiency derived from DC systems. In an article titled "Adoption Pathways for DC Power Distribution in Buildings" NREL calls out efficiency improvement of 5.8% for electronics, 3.1% for LED Lighting, and 7.4% for motor-driven loads with no local Photo Voltaic (PV) power generation. While the greatest efficiencies were found in DC systems when paired with local PV and battery, leading to 14.9%, 13.0%, and 15% improvements respectively, these gains seem to also be linked to efficiencies in DC-to-DC conversion versus AC-to-DC rectification. Some network vendors are promoting Power over Ethernet (PoE) as a low-voltage DC power delivery mechanism to improve sustainability pairing it with an IOT type of smart sensor and power delivery. However initial testing hasn't shown significant consumption improvements over DC systems. A balanced view of AC, DC, and POE should greatly inform Priority #4: To fund or not to fund the office.

Power consumption could accelerate the need for efficiencies, especially if they become a bottleneck for AI implementations, akin to the strain on the grid if everyone switched to electric cars overnight. This highlights the urgency of Priority #2: Prepare to introduce AI and automation into the workforce,  and the importance of not lagging in adopting these solutions. Identifying the right personas that will gain the most benefit from AI adoption and leveraging that utilization to gain a competitive edge is a critical outcome. 

Additionally, e-waste is a critical concern that is gaining traction among businesses, starting prominently in the EU and anticipated to become a major focus in the US. The concern revolves around the recyclability of the equipment organizations are investing in. Organizations are increasingly interested in understanding the composition of devices, such as the materials used, the percentage of post-consumer materials incorporated, and the end-of-life disposal process. Organizations are seeking clarity on whether the OEMs offer take-back programs for recycling or if the responsibility falls on them to manage disposal independently. This area is emerging as a pivotal point where many OEMs are required to formulate robust strategies to address these sustainability demands effectively. Additionally, collecting data and reporting on these matters may be required for internal ESG reporting and, depending on jurisdiction, may have regulatory consequences. 

Hybrid work

One hundred percent on-site or 100 percent remote for most organizations has proven to be unrealistic, with the reality being that they end up in a hybrid model somewhere in the middle. Regardless of the predilection of the organization, "work-from-anywhere" EUC and application delivery models that were a necessity during COVID are now proving necessary to support business continuity and resiliency models. Often it is the number of frontline workers and culture that skews the organization towards one end of the hybrid spectrum or the other. This has prompted many organizations to rethink their physical spaces and transform their offices.

The office has evolved from a mere physical destination to a multifaceted tool that drives collaboration, socialization, and mentorship, all crucial components aligning with Priority #5: Foster a culture of belonging. Many organizations are now building out the "office as a destination" and evaluating how their office experiences impact productivity and if that improved experience has "earned the commute" for their employees.

On the Pivot podcast, Episode 407 – "Future of Work: Why Remote and Hybrid Are Here to Stay," featuring Scott Galloway and Kara Swisher, the light is shone on the pivotal role of the office as a mentoring platform. Nicholas Boom, renowned as "The Guru of Remote Work," delves into the challenges companies face in fostering mentorship within office settings.

Interestingly, in the EU, there's a notable resurgence advocating for a return to the office, primarily in support of sustainability initiatives. The underlying premise is that while a building cannot be switched off, employees on the aggregate can reduce energy consumption at home, but organizations must also look at energy consumption when commuting to work. These dynamics underscore the importance of considering the aspects under Priority #4: To fund or not to fund the office.

Additionally, organizations are now delving deeper into evaluating the returns on their equipment investments. There's a strong emphasis on measuring the impact of these investments, not only from a sustainability standpoint but also in terms of optimizing office utilization and space planning. Businesses are seeking insights into whether their investments translate into increased usage, or if employees are merely visiting the office for short periods due to perks like free lunches, without actively engaging in collaborative or social activities. This scrutiny serves to reinforce Priority #1: Optimize employee experience to improve EX and CX.

Interoperability, or more importantly frictionless interoperability and workflow integration, remains a perpetual discourse in the realm of hybrid work, mirroring similar challenges faced in the realm of EUC devices. Hybrid work, with its added complexities, has made the IT organization's existing blind spots more apparent. This heightened focus on observability underscores the significance of Priority #3: Achieve technology interoperability. This complexity is further compounded when deciding on the equipment to deploy for remote employees, which in turn influences Priority #5: Foster a culture of belonging. Are employees only receiving basic tools like laptops, or are they also equipped with secondary screens, personal endpoint devices, and quality headsets? This decision-making process extends to ensuring that the devices provided have the necessary computing power to support additional peripherals, thus avoiding premature device failures that contribute to shorter refresh cycles and environmental impacts.


Important notice

One critical development that demands attention from businesses is Microsoft's impending end-of-life support announcement for specific Android OS platforms by 2026. This announcement coincides with the maximum OS compatibility for most current chipsets, signifying a potential disruption to interoperability, a core concern under Priority #3: Achieve technology interoperability, and Priority #4: To fund or not to fund the office. This scenario underscores the urgency for organizations to navigate carefully, especially considering Microsoft's significant market share growth in recent years. While Cisco devices with Nvidia chips appear insulated from this announcement, other OEMs are gearing up with new devices, prompting businesses to exercise diligence in their decision-making processes regarding device compatibility and longevity.


As organizations navigate the dynamic landscape of AI integration, digital workspace enhancement, sustainability initiatives, and the evolution of hybrid work models, it is imperative to take proactive steps toward optimizing employee experiences, fostering innovation, and driving meaningful change.

  1. Embrace AI responsibly: Prioritize the responsible integration of AI assistants and copilots, ensuring data security, compliance, and employee training to maximize productivity while safeguarding organizational assets.
  2. Enhance digital employee experience: Invest in observability, automation, and user-centric technologies to enhance employee interactions with digital tools and applications, driving productivity and satisfaction.
  3. Champion sustainability: Strategically address AI's power consumption and environmental impact by implementing sustainable practices in data centers, office spaces, and technology infrastructure.
  4. Embrace hybrid work: Adapt to the evolving workplace landscape by leveraging technology to support flexible work arrangements, optimize office utilization, and foster a culture of collaboration and belonging.
  5. Stay informed and adaptive: Continuously monitor industry trends, technological advancements, and regulatory changes to make informed decisions that drive organizational growth, resilience, and success in the digital age.

WWT can help organizations take decisive action in these areas, allowing organizations to position themselves as leaders in innovation, sustainability, and employee experience, driving competitive advantage and long-term success in an increasingly digital and interconnected world.