This is the second in a five-part series examining trends that will increase worker and customer proficiency in 2015 via advanced, enterprise search-powered apps.

Trend 2: Search-powered apps help people upskill as they work

A recent study showed that more workers report gaining skills via search than traditional training programs, and many of them do this via mobile device. The digitalization of the workplace places great emphasis on new and more quickly changing skills. Fewer workers will need more and more varied skills. Digitalization makes more information and knowledge available, but also increases the data dilemma: Too many systems, too much information, changing too rapidly to understand, store and use.

At the same time, skills and talent are the primary constraints to organizational growth, according to CEO surveys.

And yet, Coveo Research shows that rather than building their skills and handling new and different work, knowledge workers currently spend most of their time redoing work and re-solving the same challenges, largely because they cannot access prior work or relevant experts, or gain better insights through rich, contextualized views of information as they are working. Nearly 60 percent of Knowledge Workers reported working primarily (more than 75 percent of the time) on projects or solving issues that have been done or solved before at their companies.

Intuitively, these same employees know that better access to significantly more information, personalized for their use, would greatly impact their organizations, as the study shows:

  • 49 % of workers believe their organization’s ability to deliver better/more innovative products and services would increase by at least 25 percent.
  • 48 % believe this would result in a minimum 25 percent increase in profitability
  • 31 % predict increases in sales of more than 25 percent

Search-based apps that inject contextually relevant information and experts into workflows at the point of need can help employees become more proficient as they work and, by injecting the just-in-time knowledge necessary to quickly shift gears, enable workers to be more flexible in their skills and able to handle higher-level tasks without long training periods.

The same functionality can be applied to help customers and partners become more proficient with your products and services as they interact with your organization. Today’s digital literates expect and prefer to solve their own challenges via self-service. Search-based apps can understand the customer or partner’s context and suggest content and experts without being asked; for example, as a customer is entering a case on a self-service portal the app can simply show the customer information to solve the case as the symptoms are entered.  The customer sees helpful information, goes away happy without submitting a case – increasing deflection and scalability for your organization.

The right information, delivered at the right time, and on the device of choice. How will your organization upskill employees, customers and partners in 2015?