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Collaboration and Communication: Trends to Expect in 2016

on January 26, 2016

Many technological innovations affect your company’s communication and collaboration strategy. Stay current with the trends in 2016.

More and more companies are starting to see the benefit of technology driven collaboration and communication in the workplace. In 2016, technology trends promise to help companies make the most of what effective and efficient collaboration can bring to an organization, no matter its size. Some major trends that will affect businesses in the coming year include:

IoT

The Internet of Things brings new connectivity to everyday items. Companies can expect virtual and augmented reality equipment, connected vehicles, and other logged-on devices to play a role in overall company communications. For instance, employees may access communication solutions from numerous devices, allowing them to make Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls or video chat from previously unconnected devices. Without a clear understanding of these devices and how they can add to or detract from business goals, your company may miss an opportunity for innovation or the ability to minimize a threat.

Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) is another development that will affect IoT and the numerous devices connected to the internet. Specially, WebRTC enables workers, clients, and executive leaders to share data, make voice calls, and video chat directly from a web browser (Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, etc.) without any secondary software or plugins. This means video solutions will be as convenient and easy to use as the “phone” button on a smartphone—an obvious boon to collaboration and a definite time saver.

Cloud Solution Adoption and Interoperability

Many collaboration and communication vendors today use cloud solutions or managed services to provide cost-effective product suites to consumers. With the scalability and affordability of these new solutions comes an increased online landscape. Companies will send more and more data to the cloud, but this is only half of what makes this innovation so important.

Usability and accessibility are major concerns—after all, what’s the tech worth if personnel can’t manage the information faster and more efficiently? Interoperability focuses on making it easy for workers and clients to share information and multitask across the cloud and the countless devices connected to the internet. Quickly accessing calendars, making changes to a budget, or sending and editing a word document increases everyone’s productivity and helps businesses make better decisions faster.

Smart Machines

Many industries will start adopting smart machines that free up worker time for other activities. Instead of standing beside one contraption all day, operators may use a digital interface to remotely control a set of equipment. Smart machines will also facilitate transportation—an effect that will trickle down to other industries that rely, for example, on the shipping industry to move products. The retail sector may finally use drones to deliver products, eliminating consumer-delivery contact, and even the hospitality industry may replace some tasks with robot functionality. This means companies can connect their clients and employees with products and services faster, helping them communicate more clearly and stay productive.

The adoption of this equipment will simultaneously create new opportunities for communication while eliminating the need for certain tasks. Companies should use 2016 to explore the potential of smart machines and bring more people into the creative thought process to innovate and optimize business practices.

Sensors and Big Data

Even small operations will start to adopt big data for decision making. The use of sensors has already changed the way some companies work; for example, they complete tasks ranging from helping employees stay healthy for better productivity to helping farmers monitor field conditions. Along with trends like seamless interoperability, professionals can collect data and recommend actionable changes based on that information. With such open lines of communication, sharing and verifying research will become less time consuming and far easier to track and understand.

Companies can also learn from sensor data to create better knowledge pathways throughout an organization for smoother internal processes and collaboration. Industries such as healthcare, in particular, can use sensor data to care for patients to promote healthy practices among staff members during long hours.

Every technological advancement made in today’s interconnected world of devices affects enterprises. Whether a new solution enhances your ability to conduct business or represents a new way to look at the field, no company can afford to ignore the many technological advancements happening across all industries. Use 2016 to update and optimize your digital strategy to include communications, collaboration, and supporting solutions that will enhance productivity and drive success.

 

photo credit: Operations Lab via photopin (license)