3 Digital Workplace Predictions that will not happen in 2019

With 2019 coming up there are some wild speculations, and sometimes even wishful thinking, on which digital transformation technologies will be trend setters in the next year. Technology predictions tend to age not so well, yet Gartner (one of the world-leading technology analyst firms) tends to have their finger on the pulse with releasing their yearly top 10 strategic and technology trends. While Gartner may (or may not) have you covered on what might be coming your way next year, we have looked at these and other predictions and made our own - about the top 3 digital workplace trends you for sure will not find in 2019.

Related: 7 Digital Workplace Trends for 2019

1. Blockchain

Blockchain is this nebulous cool tech trend you hear about that combines everything you don’t know about money, with everything you don’t know about computers. Despite Gartner agreeing this far, they somehow see blockchains as a strategic trend for 2019.

Even if we neglect the facts that blockchain is hard to understand and not readily available out-of-the-box, what would the theoretical benefits of it be to the typical organization? In other words: If blockchains are a solution to digital workplaces, then what was the problem?

We don’t think blockchains will be a dominant trend, at least not within the next 12 months.

2. A Social Intranet revolution

Workplace by Facebook has seen a healthy adoption of over 30,000 customers, making it easily compete with SharePoint for the most dominant Social Intranet platform. Most of those customers, however, are not-for-profits and charities drawing attention to the inevitable conclusion that certain company cultures just are more suited to a Social Intranet. Companies with commercial pressures have seen few tangible benefits from employing a social intranet. Critics might even argue that company social intranets have more downsides than upsides, wasting time on interactions that don’t substantially add to a companies’ performance or bottomline.

Intranet engagement is a double edged sword: is a lot of time spent in the Intranet a desirable metric or not? Do you want your users to hang out in the Intranet forever, or just find quickly what they wanted to know and get the hell out? Just like the real Facebook is known for drawing users in to spend as much time there as possible, the Workplace version has been criticized for similar reasons.

Facebook will of course keep developing their platform and eventually figure out a way to give back productive time to users, but it may be a bit of a rocky road in the mean time. If Social Intranets were that much of a goldmine, Jive wouldn’t have been acquired.

3. Virtual Reality in the office

Gartner may claim that virtual reality (or mixed reality) will form part of the immersive workplace experience, but since this kind of tech isn’t even taking off in the consumer market just yet, it seems implausible for it to be a big deal in the smart office movement next year.

There's definitely potential in augmented reality devices but hardware is still bottlenecking the concept. Compare the vision with this hands-on user review and you can begin to understand the limitations.

But who knows? Maybe next year will see a major breakthrough in terms of hardware (looking at you, Apple).

If you think we're wrong, please contact us below and we’ll be happy to have a chat - and while we’re at it, you can find out whether Digital Assistant is a good match for your digital workplace project.

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