The Future Of Mobile Communication
Are you still emailing or already chatting? Messenger services have become an integral part of private communication. They are also becoming increasingly relevant in the professional field. The topic is not as new as one might think. As early as 2001, Gartner mentioned “Enterprise Instant Messaging” for the first time in its Hype Cycle. And in 2007, the market research expert stated that enterprise instant messaging had reached its productivity peak – when there were neither smartphones nor WhatsApp.
Many innovations have only emerged in the last five years so that the functionalities of messengers have developed significantly. In addition, the corona crisis and the increase in cyber-attacks are increasing the need for holistic and, above all, GDPR-compliant communication – both internally and externally. On the one hand, it is essential to ensure a smooth flow of information to enable effective collaboration. And on the other hand, to find a solution that meets the standards of a secure IT landscape.
A Sustainable Alternative To WhatsApp
To prevent shadow IT from arising, an alternative to consumer apps such as WhatsApp that complies with data protection is required. Such a communication solution must be not only intuitive to use and thus user-friendly but also ensure uncomplicated exchange. And what’s more: It has to be flexible enough to keep developing in line with future trends in instant messaging.
Trend 1: Messenger As A Communication Hub
In contrast to consumer apps, business messaging solutions will develop into a communication hub. This means that a messenger acts as a central hub where data from different source systems converge to different target systems. In short: the communication hub ensures a holistic exchange of data by intelligently linking all communication and information systems with one another via open interfaces. Many processes are still hampered by data silos that make the exchange of information slow, time-consuming, and error-prone.
A communication hub makes it possible to largely digitize exchange processes and workflows and make them available automatically, consequently accelerating them. In this way, internal communication between employees and external exchange between partners and customers can be improved. In addition, it will be possible to use a federation to allow different providers, services, and clouds to communicate with one another. In this way, different companies can be connected via a communication hub.
Trend 2: Individual Use Cases
Messaging solutions integrate more and more functions to cover all use cases and make the exchange of information even more accessible. Sending text and voice messages is just as part of the standard repertoire as sharing digital content. In addition, they have long since offered more:
- Distribution lists to set up group chats quickly, even with more than 2000 recipients;
- Alerts to ensure direct emergency communication and coordination using acknowledgment options and alarm reports;
- Live location transmission to send whereabouts in real-time;
- Open APIs to automatically and quickly query data and information from connected third-party systems;
- Chat widgets for website and WhatsApp connection to facilitate the exchange of information with customers and partners.
In the future, dedicated communication solutions will emerge for individual industries, organizations, or even departments. These holistic solutions offer special functions that reflect both employee needs and individual requirements. There are already tailored business messaging solutions for blue light organizations and the healthcare sector.
Trend 3: AI-Optimized Communication
Artificial intelligence is the next logical step in digital transformation. And it will also increasingly find its way into communication solutions. If general chatbots, defined as an AI preliminary stage, are almost old hat, a much more complex AI-optimized communication, keyword: conversational AI will support employees.
Conversational AI agents will use and aggregate information from different systems and, based on this, recommend actions. An example: A sales representative is on the way to a customer. The app records its live location and transfers this information to the connected CRM system. Using the geo and CRM data, the algorithm checks which customers are nearby or on the way. For example, the conversational AI agent can recommend visiting another customer because the last meeting was long ago. In this way, the efficiency of the work processes can be sustainably increased.
Trend 4: Employee Experience
Messenger and intranet, in the sense of a social intranet, are becoming more closely interlinked. For example, it is conceivable to integrate a social intranet application into a messaging solution to create a comprehensive employee channel. In addition to group and 1: 1 chat, there are separate channels that keep employees up to date with news in the company.
These are displayed as an activity stream that works like a news feed updated by the second. In contrast to the classic intranet, which disseminates information via top-down communication, the social intranet enables you to interact with the content. This means that all employees can like, comment, and share them. This makes them feel more heard and can identify better with the company.
Trend 5: New Devices And User Interfaces
Not only the messengers are becoming more and more sophisticated. In addition to smartphones, new end devices with unprecedented user interfaces will emerge, ideally tailored to individual use cases and make use even more intuitive. Promising candidates for this are smartwatches, which have developed rapidly in technology in recent years. They are light, robust, come up with more and more functionalities, and are particularly suitable for mobile emergency services, such as police officers and rescue workers. Smart glasses or data glasses are also conceivable.
These can provide notable benefits in situations where keeping both hands free is critical. For example, they enable doctors to view patient files quickly and easily during the examination. Smart Glasses also help logistics employees to locate stored goods. It is conceivable that the position of the goods to be loaded – including directions for a giant warehouse – can be called up while the employee is on the move with the forklift.
Trend 6: Even Higher Data Protection
In step with the functionalities, which are constantly evolving, the technical security requirements for business messaging solutions will be even more extensive in the future. By linking systems, a secure container on the end device will be just as crucial for data management as holistic data and access management. With the technical possibilities, the threat from cyber attacks grows at the same time. Therefore, it will be inevitable to strengthen the encryption algorithms for communication further and establish additional security functions.
AI And Smart Devices Are Just The Beginning Of Business Messaging
Already today, messaging solutions make collaboration independent of device, time, and location possible. Your potential is far from being exhausted. This is illustrated not least by the trends that can be identified for the next few years. The development away from emails towards instant messaging will change corporate communication in the long term and open up new possibilities. That much is certain.
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