My Predictions for 2017

I know many of us would like to forget last year and are looking at 2017 with a certain apprehension. But trust me… there is a way to escape the current doom and gloom, just focus on tech. I promise, you will feel better. What is coming down the pipeline is going to change your life at work and beyond. So, let’s start with my predictions for 2017:

 

Chatbots in your inbox 

I can’t wait for cognitive chatbots to take over my inbox, scan it and tell me what the burning messages are that I should definitely answer before I step into my next meeting. Picture the life of the average head of internal comms working for a large corporation. They are in meetings from 9am to 6pm. By the time they get back to their desks, their inboxes are humongous. What could be better than a cognitive bot that flags up the messages they absolutely have to answer before they go home? And no need to go looking for the right docs to attach to those emails. The bot will do it for them.

 

A not so scary Cloud after all

If some of your work is in the financial sector, you will have heard them all. I am talking about the reasons why financial institutions have been so slow to move to the Cloud. They include security, regulation, geopolitics (a favourite of mine), etc. However, according to Forbes, while in 2016 the question was whether to migrate to the Cloud, this year it will be how to get there. The article also mentions that more organisations than we think have started experimenting with the Cloud, mostly pocket-wise. My experience confirms this. A reluctant company without an official Cloud strategy might be already checking out a Cloud-based application, for example for file sharing. More and more companies are placing Cloud migration at their heart of their digital transformation. The challenge is not to treat this step as a mere move to a new technology but as cultural change. This trend offers internal communicators a great opportunity.  Cloud computing triggers new behaviours. There is a whole set of behaviours that comes from saving your files in the Cloud and being able to access them from any device, anywhere. Some employees might be anxious about what they might be allowed to do with those files. If the move to the Cloud is accompanied by a CYOD policy, they might not trust their own ability to select the right device. Internal comms can take them by the hand and lead them through these changes.

 

The Internet of your Things

A McKinsey study estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) will generate up to US$ 11.1 trillion a year in economic value by 2025. It is fascinating to think of the impact the data coming from connected devices will have on the way we communicate with employees.

However in this post, I would like to focus on something much more personal. The IoT is going to help us develop a much more intimate relationship with the internet. Take, for example, the way we start our day. One of the things I do before leaving the house is check the weather and the news. But to do this… I have to pick up my mobile, tap on a couple of icons, scroll up, scroll down… All this while holding a cup of coffee and doing my make-up.  I am fascinated by Panasonic’s digital mirror powered by Watson, which checks the weather for you, reads the news, updates you on what the markets are doing…  while you are standing in front of it. As you are getting ready for the day, your mirror helps you prepare for it. You will agree, this is a much more intimate and personal way to access data than through your mobile phone. Thanks to devices like this mirror, the internet is becoming an integral part of how we interact with the space around us.

 

Who needs mediators when you’ve got blockchain?

We all know that blockchain is going to have a profound impact on transactions of all kinds. The distributed ledger that underpins this technology enables people to exchange information in a secure way. Every piece of information has a copy in different places (that’s why the ledger is distributed…). When this info changes, it does so in a secure way and cannot be unchanged. The World Economic Forum, which just held its annual meeting in Davos, estimates that 80% of the banks are already running blockchain projects. But how is this technology going to make a difference in the lives of the average citizen? I am intrigued by the Israeli start-up La’Zooz, which uses blockchain to pair passengers with drivers already on the road without the mediation of app-based taxi services. I love their mission to “put tushes on cushies” and their idea of letting users reap rewards in the form of cryptographic tokens with actual value. Are we going to witness the decline of Uber in 2017?

 

Views my own

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