Top predictions for 2019

Today’s workforce is more versatile that ever, with more and more organizations hiring remote freelancers to work closely with full-time staff. Innovative business collaboration methods can enhance a businesses productivity by twenty to thirty percent. In a cut-throat industry, this could mean the difference between failure and success. Industry leaders now recognize that collaboration is crucial to productivity, which wasn’t the case a few decades ago. Content collaboration platforms have the ability to revamp how teams and individuals work. They add insight and structure when collaboration entails unstructured data, enabling businesses to not only capture the data but to analyze it and find actionable patterns and results.

In a recently published study, International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts a steady growth for the content collaboration platforms market. The market is expected to hit $6.2 billion by 2019. A large portion of this growth will be driven by the need to connect unstructured collaboration with structured content-centric enterprise processes – primarily for decision making. Teams usually collaborate around content – whether that be video, image or document; and according to Gartner, by 2022 50 percent of large and mid-size organizations in mature regional markets will rely on a content collaboration platform to improve productivity and implement document workflows. With that in mind, let us make some predictions about what to expect in 2019.

1. Data ownership will be a defining factor for the entire year

Data is at the heart of every enterprise. It is used to make decision, define the business strategy and even forecast future outcomes. So it’s not surprising that data ownership concerns are on the rise. Data ownership refers to both the responsibility for and procession of information. Ownership insinuates control as well as power. The control of information encompasses the ability to create, package, modify and extract benefit from the sale or removal of data, while retaining the right to assign these access privileges to others. Recent cybersecurity incidents have cast a spotlight on the ownership of data. Stringent regulations have also put the hammer down when matters of data ownership and privacy are concerned.

There is little room for error and the focus will only grow. 2019 will see organizations federate data ownership into more complex organizational structures. Most organizations will ensure there is a central individual at the top of the chain, like a Chief Data Officer, to make sure that even federated data ownership can be kept in check.

2. In the wake of GDPR, other countries will follow the EU’s lead and announce new data regulations

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) presented a monumental challenge to companies since failure to comply meant a hefty fine. And while Google searches relating to GDPR may have flat-lined, that doesn’t diminish the regulations’ significance. The EU backed regulation segmented the World Wide Web, with varying rules in various regions and countries that supersede the Iranian Internet Isolation or the Chinese firewall. 2019 will likely see more and more privacy initiatives rise out of the woodwork.

Around the globe, developing legislation intends to offer transparency to the journey of data, from consumer devices to business websites to data servers. India may soon be passing extensive data protection laws, as a Personal Data Protection Bill has been drafted. Chiefly adopted from the GDPR. Axios reported that Gail Slater, special assistant to the President for telecom, tech and cyber policy, is looking into what types of regulations, should be implemented in the United States. This spread of data regulation legislation will be the hallmark for significant progress in consumer protection, and increasing awareness of online privacy issues.

3. Need for data control and ownership will greatly impact the enterprise collaboration market

The increasing popularity of social networking sites coupled with the rapid growth of the BYOD trend is crucial factors driving the growth of the enterprise collaboration market. However, a major hurdle is that of data ownership. This quandary stems from the fact that although a project may be using a specific system for all project communications and documentation, a single stakeholder still ‘owns’ the data. In most enterprise applications, the first control point for visibility is considered the record owner. In 2019 and beyond, data assets will be crucial to success.

4. Complex workloads will migrate to the cloud via hybrid or private cloud

As the cloud computing industry continues to expand and gain maturity, more and more organizations are opting to operate within multi-cloud landscapes rolled out across multiple different service providers. According to a study by LogicMonitor, 83 percent of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020 – with 20 percent predicted to be private-cloud based and another 22 percent running on hybrid cloud solutions. Strategic partnering and flexible ecosystems will become crucial as the complexity and volume of cloud workloads grow and as vendor’s service/product portfolio expand.

5. Regulations will drive demand for specialists

As business began to come to terms with data privacy legislation, they will have to take a closer look at how they handle data moving forward and train their employees accordingly. Processes and systems will have to be reviewed to make sure that they have the required levels of access, control, and audit. Privacy in itself has now become big business, with contractors, consultants, and lawyers lining up to advise companies on the best way to implement these changes and ensure their procedures and policies are in order. Supply and demand for data security professionals are on the rise. According to Indeed, the number of postings for cybersecurity roles increased by 3.5 percent between March of 2017 and March 2018. In 2019, business will extend their search to professionals with experience in managing compliance reforms.

6. Add-ons will become a major differentiator

The mobile workforce has been granted the comfort they desire and the flexibility they seek to get their work done via the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) concept. It’s not uncommon for organizations to have several platforms that manage their various forms of communication. However, having too many tools and channels to engage with and monitor may hinder productivity. That is where integration and add-ons come into play, and enable multiple platforms and tools to link and seamlessly work with together. In 2019, expect to see integration and tighter coexistence between enterprise tools.

Varying industries utilize EFSS for different purposes. A movie studio, for example, will have different file sharing needs from a finance firm. Enterprise collaboration platforms that provide the flexibility of integrating to other tools will be the top consideration.

7. Phishing attacks targeting large EFSS will increase

Compounding the risks of data leakage is the looming threat of hackers focused on exploiting the points of failure in your enterprise systems. They are getting craftier and more organized with each passing day – by 2019, they could cost businesses over $2.1 trillion globally. Despite declining susceptibility rates, organizations are still bombarded with spam emails and spam data. The global phishing protection market is forecasted to reach a valuation of $1.8 billion by 2025. The increased level of sophistication of cyber-attacks across a number of industries like finance and banking, defense, and consumer and retail banking has led to a drastic rise in protection against spear phishing.

8. More mergers and acquisitions

The decision makers are constantly innovating and increasingly seeking market expansion via various strategic M&A activities. Enterprise collaboration is driving the need for tighter integration between productivity and support platforms. According to 451 research, in 2016, buyers spent $3.7 billion in this space, more than double the spending of any year since 2007. This growth has largely been attributed to the rise of Software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery models. This type of consolidation enables customers to have higher-quality options when choosing collaboration tools for their company. When competitors merge overlapping services and products, the end-user benefits. This not only reduces concerns about a vendors’ legitimacy but also any uncertainties around scale or support.

9. Machine Collaboration is here to stay

Despite the proliferation of the misguided narrative that machines will eventually replace humans at work; It has already been established that AI has the power to revolutionize the way we work –positively. The use of machine learning to further automation efforts is here to stay, and we will have to interact with them collaboratively. Organizations are more efficient when automation works in tandem with content collaboration. Moving forward, the gains enterprises need will mostly come from automation, which enables workers to free up the time they would otherwise spend on repetitive tasks, and instead focus on work that generates a much higher return for the organization.

10. Intelligent analytics will solidify the position of the intelligent enterprise

The modern enterprise is a data-driven one. Most organizations have already come into the realization that the use of self-service and data democratization tools are crucial to improved decision making. This trend will continue in upcoming years as employees at various levels can no longer afford to waste time waiting for IT to generate a report. Due to the growth and innovations of self-service analytical tools, the process of data-governance will undergo major modifications as well. The future belongs to the Intelligent enterprise, which is capable of anticipating constantly changing regulatory, competitive and market challenges and turn them into profit and opportunity.

Author : Gabriel Lando