Happy New Year! We are looking forward to an exciting year with many new developments that will hopefully assist in uniting humans and technology even further. New developments might even have the potential to give us real superpowers! Digital meetings give us the power to move from one place to another in a split second. Search capabilities and artificial intelligence will give us unlimited knowledge and super intelligence…….It is always difficult to look into the future and especially with so many unknown factors and incredibly fast developments. But we have given it a shot anyway and these are our best guesses for what will happen during 2017.
The digital customer meeting matures
During 2016 we saw the first successful attempts to meet customers online through integrated web meeting components for video and application sharing. Large banks, insurance companies and online doctor services (like www.kry.se) launched their online meeting services. During 2017 we predict that more will follow in different sectors. APIs and standards must be further developed for more maturity in this area and we hope to see some of the large technology supplier launch new and updated APIs and development kits in this area.
The HR-department starts engaging in forming the Digital Workplace
We have seen some early visionary organisations forming collaborations between IT, HR and other departments to proactively form strategies for the digital workplace. We believe this development will spread wider to more organisations and sectors during 2017. Furthermore we hope that the HR departments will finally realise how important the digital workplace is to create an attractive workplace. HR managers must proactively engage in this area which has traditionally been left to IT-departments.
Digitization will increase on the “inside” of organisations
During 2016 the main buzz has been around digitization of almost everything in the organisation but especially with focus on the external customer focused processes. We experience that little focus has been put into increasing the general digital capabilities and maturity of employees which leaves a gap in the process. We believe that many organisations will focus on increasing the overall digital workplace maturity for employees to accelerate already made investments and build a better foundation for further digitization of the organisation.
Broadcast meeting and webcast solutions for organisational usage come of age
Solutions for broadcasting information to large groups of people are common in the business to consumer or business to business space. However, network limitations and general technology maturity issues have held back internal corporate usage. Instead many organisations have invested in expensive professional TV-production services to broadcast information to employees. Both Microsoft, Google and Cisco have now launched affordable solutions for broadcasting information to large number of participants which have familiar interfaces and enable communication departments to produce almost professional broadcasts on their own. We believe the lower cost and ease of use will accelerate the use of broadcast meeting solutions for large organisations during 2017.
Digital conversational systems take another huge leap during 2017
The fast developments of voice-based conversational systems such as Siri from Apple, Google Home or Echo from Amazon have developed fast during 2016. The technology has gone from simple informal text or voice conversations to more complex interactions to more conversational systems with deep contextual awareness. We believe that these new developments will move into many everyday tools from smartphones, personal assistants and PCs to cars and call centers during 2017. They will revolutionize how we interact and communicate with machines and even between humans, and this is only the beginning.
Cloud-based solutions become the natural choice for most organisations
We have now reached a state of maturity for cloud-based solutions for communication and collaboration solutions which is “good enough” for most organisations. This even includes customer facing communication solutions such as call centers. With this in mind we believe that cloud-based solutions will be the natural first choice for most organisations. However, there are still some legal issues to be sorted out for specific sectors and in particular public sector organisations.
Cloud-based solutions make proactive user adoption work even more important
Cloud-based solutions will result in more frequent changes and updates for end-users. IT-departments will have less control over the rate of digital workplace updates. New versions and updates will be at a constant flow and to avoid low user adoption and/or satisfaction rates, it requires organisations to assist users in understanding why and how they can lead a smarter and more healthy working day using their digital working tools. User adoption for the digital workplace becomes crucial work for IT-, communication- and HR departments alike.