2019: The Year of Collaboration

The team collaboration market is booming and will undoubtedly be one of this years’ most exciting to watch. As more companies realize the value of deploying team collaboration software, a surge of new startups will be inspired and major market events (for instance, Slack’s recent IPO announcement) will become increasingly common. New ground will be broken, with collaboration tools providing greater efficiencies and organization to users, but new threats will emerge, too.

At Symphony, it’s thrilling to witness and be part of this moment, because we truly believe that collaboration tools like ours have the potential to completely transform the way we work. But the market is still young, meaning that lots can happen (both good and bad). Here’s what I’m expecting to see for this space in the year ahead:

Chatbot activity on messaging platforms will double by the end of 2019.

Advances in AI technology have allowed for software to automate repetitive processes, and this is creating true digital transformation. With chatbot interaction, businesses can perform mundane tasks that free key employees to focus their time on more valued-added aspects of their job. We are already seeing a 128% increase of human-to-bot and bot-to-bot communication on our platform, and predict that as bots become more sophisticated and entrenched in day-to-day activities, this activity will continue to increase, doubling by the end of 2019.

Collaboration tools will become a prime target for hackers.

Hackers are taking note of the wide adoption of collaboration platforms in the workplace, and will place them in their crosshairs this year. Messaging tools can be hacked just like other systems. Only the ones with strong security will protect the valuable data contained within. Don’t be surprised to see a hack the magnitude of the Yahoo! Mail breach or Google+ at a large enterprise using a messaging platform with subpar security.

Industry consolidation will continue in 2019, but the market will also continue to develop.

Industry consolidation already started in 2018 (e.g. the Slack / Atlassian deal) and M&A in this sector will continue throughout 2019. We may begin to see clear winners and niche players as the year unfolds. Slack will remain popular in creative industries and with freelancers. Microsoft Teams will see traction with other enterprises already entrenched in Office. Symphony will continue to grow and win where businesses demand the highest security standards with an open platform.

Not having a team collaboration strategy will become a competitive risk.

As team collaboration moves beyond chat, workflows become digitized and automated. Firms that do not have an extensible collaboration platform will fall behind competitors. The changing workforce and widespread adoption will make team collaboration central to modern work. With early adopters chat-based collaboration is already surpassing email usage and workflows. Many early adopters are betting on their collaboration platform as the cornerstone for digital transformation. We already see companies integrating Symphony with existing systems to create digital workflows that are faster and more accurate. That’s the real promise (and value) of what we are doing across this exciting market.

Want to learn more about how you can collaborate on Symphony? Get in touch with us here.

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