Sat. May 25th, 2024

As we enter 2024, Irwin Lazar highlights five key technologies to watch in the realm of workplace collaboration: generative AI, meeting room evolution, security, evolution of the collaboration user interface (UI), and the convergence of contact centers and workplace collaboration platforms.

Generative AI

Lazar notes that generative AI has seen significant interest in 2023, particularly in terms of adoption of generative AI companions or copilots. However, concerns around cost, ROI, and security have limited full-scale adoption. Lazar predicts that in 2024, companies will begin to test and evaluate the benefits and costs of generative AI, as well as address security and compliance issues.

Lazar also discusses the emergence of different pricing models for generative AI, such as free versus monthly cost. While free models may gain initial share and adoption, Lazar suggests that a freemium model, where free services offer basic functionality with additional paid tiers of service, may become more prevalent.

Lastly, Lazar highlights the potential for generative AI to improve IT teams’ management and support of apps. He references Cisco’s AI assistant for Control Hub as an example of how generative AI can streamline tasks, such as configuring networks, troubleshooting, and managing networks.

Meeting Room Evolution

As companies continue to navigate hybrid work environments and the need for effective collaboration between in-person and remote employees, Lazar predicts that meeting room technologies will evolve. He mentions AI-enabled framing and multi-camera solutions as potential tools to facilitate collaboration in meeting rooms and suggests that widespread adoption may occur in 2024 if costs remain low and usability is straightforward.

Security

Lazar highlights the importance of security in workplace collaboration applications and services. He notes that many companies still lack an enterprise-wide security strategy and primarily focus on protecting against toll fraud. Lazar emphasizes the need for security to evolve to address risks such as data leakage and attacks across multiple applications, as well as protect content generated from AI. Vendors like Zoom are already offering support for federated approaches to secure content.

Evolution of the Collaboration UI

The collaboration user interface (UI) is expected to undergo further transformation in 2024. Lazar suggests that email has shifted towards messaging and chat apps for asynchronous collaboration and video apps for meetings. Going forward, Lazar predicts a transformation towards contextual active connected workspaces that integrate chat, meetings, and content. This evolution may lead to a reduction in task switching and increased use of workflow automations.

Convergence of Contact Centers and Workplace Collaboration Platforms

Lazar highlights the increasing convergence of contact centers and workplace collaboration platforms. He notes that over 76% of research participants plan to converge their customer-facing and employee-facing collaboration environments through a single vendor or integrations. This convergence offers benefits such as improved customer service and simplified management.

In conclusion, Lazar expects 2024 to be an exciting year in the realm of communications, collaboration, and customer engagement. The advancements in generative AI, meeting room technologies, security, collaboration UI, and the convergence of contact centers and workplace collaboration platforms are likely to shape the future of workplace collaboration.

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