The myriad goals of a successful business can seem pretty fractured when put under the microscope. Much like being the kind of person who “does it all,” the ideal company model requires dabbling in countless initiatives. Measuring project management goals against collaboration software needs, the race to be more social and globally aware and efficient, to drive an innovative culture, grant employee autonomy, be economically responsible, support engagement — not to mention please your customers and make money — is daunting. The pressure can cause a crash-diet response in organizations that leaves them struggling to understand priorities, and failing to accomplish much of anything they’ve set out to do.
However, 2013 taught us a lot about balance and the importance of realistic, transparent approaches. Here are 6 trends to watch out for in 2014.
1. Collaboration will Migrate from ‘Initiative’ to Strategy
This is already the case for many companies, but we often see a disconnect between what it means to implement collaboration software and what it takes to foster a collaborative culture. The raw truth is that it’s a combination of the two, and deploying collaboration programs successfully will require continual feedback, integration across the business, and cultural change agents.
2. Mobility will Make a Move
The BYOD movement continues to make a huge impact on the way employees work, interact, and access company data. This trend will continue in the new year, particularly for higher-level company members who spend more time on strategic discussions than non-immediate task management, and who, as a result, require mobile devices to be successful. This next year will also bring more cross-platform integration and proprietary applications as add-ons to primary platforms.
3. Disparate Teams will Triumph
As industries become exponentially global, so will teams and partnerships across organizations. Communication, already paramount, will become entirely critical. As a result, the need for tools that go beyond webinars and teleconferencing will bring about several innovations in work, task, project, and collaboration management.
4. True Resource Management Pipelines will Become a Reality
As project management schedules, data, costs, and other elements become more centralized and iterative, a top-down view of project needs and potential risks will be possible. With the integration of task and time-management tools, stakeholders will be able to more accurately predict the consequences of things like scope creep, costs, interdepartmental resource distribution, and employee bandwidth.
5. Big Data will Help Drive Social Business Decisions
Better approaches to gathering and analyzing enormous amounts of data will translate into a deeper understanding of fluctuating customer sentiment, needs, and behaviors. As a result, businesses will be more adept at pinpointing issues and using predictive analytics to address change and deliver value to their users.
6. The Power of the Crowd will Deliver Interaction
Shareable content, vibrant communities, engaging activities, and overall consumer experience will be the primary drivers behind organic brand evangelism. Quality will prevail over quantity when it comes to building audiences and social bases, as well as more accurately targeting new customers and emerging markets. These highly-personal, customizable interactions will be the key to improved ROI and sustainable growth.