The New Working Style for 2019
Collaboration isn’t something that just happens in a meeting room — it’s becoming the normal way of working for today’s workforce, and that trend will dominate 2019. That’s driving the continuing growth of collaboration technologies, which has seen the global market growing at a rate of 11.6 percent from 2017 to 2023 where it’s forecast to reach almost $60 billion, according to MarketsandMarkets Inc.
Driving this transformation in the role of collaboration is a need to make tools easy to use and accessible at any time to all employees, whether they are in the office, working remotely or on the move. Collaboration has moved away from formal, scheduled meetings to informal one-to-one or small group sessions, arranged on the fly from any location.
Employees now expect to have a wide range of communication, messaging and content sharing tools on a single platform so that they can collaborate in the most convenient way on any device. As one commentator put it, collaboration has come a long way from email and the conference room meeting.
Given the changing nature of collaboration, it’s no surprise that solutions like Microsoft Teams will increasingly dominate the market. Teams is an integral part of Microsoft Office 365 and that enables employees to collaborate from within their everyday working tools like Word, PowerPoint or Excel.
Collaboration, in that sense, can be a quick call with a colleague to check information, or a more formal review of a proposal or presentation with a project group. Employees don’t have to leave their Office application to hold the meeting and that’s a big boost to productivity.
Solutions like Teams also highlight the continuing importance of communication across the most convenient channel, whether it’s a phone call, instant message, chat session or a video conference. That means any collaboration solution must provide multi-channel capability on a single platform. And, these solutions will increasingly have a more social feel that’s familiar to the generation of employees that have grown up with technology and social media.
Better Content Sharing
As well as multi-channel communication, collaborators also expect a more integrated approach to content sharing. It’s no longer sufficient to just email a file or share a presentation on a screen. Employees expect to share content in any medium on any device. And they want to comment, edit or update content, increasingly in real time.
The latest solutions feature unified content sharing platforms with a host of advanced features such as automated notifications of content changes, real-time editing, analytics to measure content usage and preferences, and stronger security measures to protect data shared by project groups.
Chatbots Support Collaboration
Another major development shaping collaboration in 2019 is the increasing use of chatbots. Transparency Market Research forecasts that the market for this technology will be worth almost $1 Billion dollars by 2024, up from $113 million in 2015.
Commentators believe that chatbots will play a number of important roles that benefit internal collaboration. Employees will be able to find the relevant information they need quickly, for example, using a chatbot’s ability to conduct high-speed searches. Chatbots can also retrieve documents and other content quickly while employees are collaborating, and they can make suggestions about other content that is relevant to a session.
Chatbots can also save employees time by automating many of the routine tasks associated with collaboration and project management. They can help set up meetings by checking participants’ availability, issuing invitations and automatically sending meeting or task reminders.
They can help project leaders find people with the right skills from a wider pool of employees, contractors, freelance workers or subject specialists. Chatbots can also help maintain project momentum by synchronising schedules, monitoring progress and following up on team members’ deadlines.
Evidence of the growing importance of chatbots is found in Microsoft Teams, which issued more than 85 bots at its initial release. These included bots that make it easy to conduct polls or get answers to specific data-related questions. There are even bots that reflect the social nature of today’s collaboration environment by giving and sharing kudos to team members who deserve recognition for their efforts.
Jason Stephen Ali is a seasoned Marketing professional, I hold the ultimate responsibility for my organisation’s Marketing activities and also oversee the development and delivery of a fully integrated marketing strategy for the business. Developed the BCT marketing strategy by studying economic indicators; tracking changes in supply and demand, identifying customers and their current and future needs and monitoring our competition.