3 Digital Trends That Will Change Collaboration in 2017

May 10, 2017 mrmardis

3 Digital Trends That Will Change Collaboration in 2017
Dennis Collins
Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 11:30 Digital Trends Affecting Collaboration

The Importance of Private, Reliable, Secure Business Communications

In our last post of this blog series we explained "How Collaborative Communications Make Business Profitable, Productive and Progressive." For part six, we explore.

Part 6: 3 Digital Trends That will Change Collaboration in 2017

“It may seem like technology is replacing the workforce, but in reality, this move serves to strengthen the human element… By investing in technology, companies will be able to pay their employees more, and employees will get to focus on the areas that add value instead of automated tasks.”
-  Tim McLean Associate Vice President, Accruent (source)

The Decline of Smartphones, the Rise of Voice and a Proliferation of Imagery

Every year for more than two decades, Mary Meeker, a partner in a well-known Silicon Valley venture capital firm, has issued an “Internet Trends” report. Famous for its breadth and depth, Meeker’s presentation offers an abundance of data amassed by her and fellow analysts (the 2016 rendition of Meeker’s work showcases more than 200 slides with scores of charts and statistics) regarding the development of the global digital economy.

Companies large and small from a wide range of industries eagerly await Meeker’s comprehensive analysis as a font of business insights. From our perch as providers of Unified Communications solutions, three emblematic trends captured our attention:

1. Internet Adoption Wanes as Smartphone Sales Fade

Meeker’s 2016 study shows growth of internet users leveled at nine percent. Her team’s theory: Adding new internet users is tough with highly saturated markets like the United States so thoroughly penetrated. Smartphone sales display the same pattern, as few big markets have room for substantial growth.

2. Text-Based Giving Way to Voice-Driven

Meeker’s colleagues believe voice commands will be the “most efficient form of computing input” in a future that is fully mobile and totally connected. Their logic: Most people type about 40 words per minute. But during the same interval they can say 150 words on average. So, giving instructions by voice is faster than entering them by text. But the benefits of hands-free interfacing go beyond speed. Vocal directions promote the mobility, productivity and safety of users as they handle simultaneous activities such as driving and meeting with colleagues. In addition, as the Internet of Things (IoT) swells, removing keyboards saves manufacturing costs while diversifying the assortment of connected devices.

3. Sophisticated Imagery Proliferates as Social Platforms Spread

Per Cisco’s Visual Networking Index , video now consumes 64 percent of all internet traffic, a share that will rise to 80 percent in a few more years. In the meantime, more than 95 million of those videos and other imagery like photos travel each day across the social networking service Instagram alone. And these numbers don’t even account for tens of thousands of GIFs, infographics and slideshows posted daily, especially in the business realm. Researchers believe these trends indicate that users are progressively choosing to watch complex imagery online rather than scroll and read pages of text.

Connecting the dots between these three trends leads us to agree wholeheartedly with the quote from Tim McLean at the beginning of this post. Digital transformation isn’t replacing people with handheld devices or autonomous machines. On the contrary, it’s making us more important than ever. The way we cope with an increasingly digital environment seems to be making that world more and more dependent on uniquely human behaviors– i.e., vocal articulation and graphic illustration.

So, when we look forward, we don’t a future overwhelmed by smart machines, we see a collaborative world where more and more people find better and better ways to work together.

Next: An Artificial Intelligence machine serving on a corporate board? Why this possibility isn’t the threat it may seem.

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