Over the past five years, we’ve witnessed an explosion of innovative cloud technologies that have transformed traditional static intranets into full-featured digital workplaces. As a new decade dawns, we’re seeing a stark contrast between 2020 digital transformation trends and trends of the past. Rather than see the birth of additional enterprise collaboration solutions, 2020 will likely be a year of introspection — a chance for organizations to dig deep and fully leverage the capabilities of their existing ecosystems.
Since its release in 2011, the insanely popular game Fortnite has seen almost unheard-of levels of engagement. Over the past nine years, the core of the game has essentially stayed exactly the same; updates have been solely focused on improving user experience, expanding existing capabilities, and most notably, making the game cross-platform — allowing friend groups consisting of both PC and console gamers to play and collaborate with one another with ease.
Like Fortnite, most digital transformation technologies have reached a tipping point of maturity. We’re no longer seeing huge, breakthrough innovations in product design, but a laser-like focus on filling the gaps of feature sets between old and new world cloud solutions.
As the core capabilities of enterprise cloud solutions like Microsoft 365 mature, we’re seeing a significant shift in the focus of Product Designers. This shift has uncovered three important 2020 digital transformation trends to be aware of:
As a Managed Service Provider (MSP), we have the unique experience of receiving platform feedback from a wide variety of end-users across different industries. The vast majority of features and capabilities that users are looking for are ones that currently exist. Consequently, we’re now seeing user experience and user-centered design become a primary focus of digital workplace solutions.
Microsoft Fluent Design
A perfect example of this is MS Fluent Design System. According to Microsoft,
“Fluent brings the fundamentals of principled design, innovation in technology, and customer needs together as one. It’s a collective approach to creating simplicity and coherence through a shared, open design system across platforms.”
The best part? The integration of Fluent Design won’t feel like a facelift. The updates will enable users to work better and easier than before by engaging them through an immersive design experience that helps them to achieve their goals.
Since cloud solutions have made their debut, an incomprehensible amount of data on user behavior has been collected and analyzed, informing UX and design innovations along with innovations in enterprise search. With the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), enterprise search has transformed into a powerful vehicle that allows people to be dramatically more productive.
Microsoft Project Cortex
Explained best by Microsoft, Project Cortex applies AI and ML to automatically organize content and deliver innovative search experiences. Again, like Fluent Design, Project Cortex is a huge technical effort, but the end-users will only see the benefits, of more easily accessing organizational knowledge that already exists in a variety of formats.
While this concept incorporates much of what was discussed in the sections on user-centered design and enterprise search, a huge part of creating sticky digital workplace experiences is enabling integrations with other tools and platforms. True unified communication and collaboration tools integrate with existing popular solutions in order to meet users where they’re most comfortable working.
Microsoft Teams is a clear example of a digital transformation technology that has truly embraced the concept of being “sticky.” Once organizations move their telephony into Teams, it’s hard to get out — and why would you want to? Microsoft Teams consolidates chat, meeting, video collaboration, file sharing, and search into a shared workspace where global teams can work together.
All cloud providers now have the power (at pretty decent price ranges) to provide organizations with the capabilities to support every day processes and enhance the ecosystems in which people are already working in. But, how can executives be sure that teams are taking full advantage of the features in front of them? In 2020 we see advanced growth of our Microsoft 365 Center of Excellence – keeping up with all of the advances within the ecosystem, digital transformation strategy development, and adoption support of cloud capabilities.