Seven SharePoint and Office 365 Predictions for 2019 and Reflections

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(I snapped this photo in Indonesia.  I hope you like it!)


1. SharePoint 2019 will become the new base standard, but the community bloggers and speakers will get over it very quickly.  It won’t feel new by June.   Where usually a product is new for a couple of years.  Now the on prem releases will feel dated nearly immediately. We won’t see hardly any posts unfortunately.  

2. Teams will get a TON of press and become a leading workload (fastest growing) for Office 365.  Microsoft Sales will CARE most about Teams and Azure.  The Teams team will really dial in the MVP community and connect in solid ways.

3. Digital Workspaces will move from being buzz words to being company initiatives.  Some companies will refocus intranet teams to focus on The Digital Workspace. Productivity will change based on personalized organizational insights through analytics.  Analytics will be big in gaining new insights and driving the interfaces of our personalized workspaces.

4. Chat Bots will go from being seen as a gimmick to being more common corporate projects.  Today chat bots are seen as squishy dev projects working with APIs, but we’re likely to see chat bots be more productized and with plug and play integration.  I expect to see large enterprises who have sprint initiatives feeding the bots.  HR and Support will find each other to support these initiatives, sparking a marriage.

5. Digital Transformation – What was previously seen as stages for moving to the cloud will now be more about looking at streamlining business processes with taking advantage of investments in AI for automation.  

6.  The Battle of the year will be Microsoft Teams and Slack.  Microsoft’s arsenals are loaded and Skype is dead.  This battle won’t end in a year.  Atlassian alignment with Slack is going to cause some significant changes inside organizations.

7.  Microsoft will double down on Mixed Reality.  The story will really start coming together even if it sounds ahead of it’s time.  Microsoft does have their work cut out.  Remote assist + Teams + Hololens… It’s ahead of it’s time, but solid.  The community really doesn’t seem to understand SharePoint spaces.  I think it will take a year unfortunately for the right stories to come together, but 3D/360 content viewing is a solid investment especially if you look at 3-5 years.  Engineering will start sharing more 3D/360.

8. PowerPack will be a big thing.  Licensing confusion will rise, but PowerBI, PowerApps, and Flow will gain in adoption and usage in a significant way, and Microsoft will find a way to promote these products in a more streamlined way.

Here’s a review of last year’s post including my thoughts.  Love to hear what you think…

8 Predictions for SharePoint & Office 365 in 2018

1. People will look to Skip SharePoint 2016 and go to 2019. It will be much better received than 2016 was, but it will still be somewhat lackluster (never will it be like it was back in the good old days of dedicated SPCs for SharePoint launches). In the first year of SharePoint 2019 release it will surpass 2016 as an install base. (2016 still hasn’t surpassed 2013.)

I haven’t seen any numbers, I think we’ve already heard great things about 2019.  I expect to hear more at SPC. 

2. Hub sites will become the preferred way of doing Information Architecture in SharePoint and deep portal structures will be flattened as a best practice. Note there will be many who cry foul and it will cause heated debates.

Hub Sites are preferred way to do Information Architecture in SharePoint Now.

3. OneDrive on Demand will become a great drive to Windows 10. Sync for SharePoint will be carried along as a benefit and client sync for SharePoint will have its greatest adoption since groove.

OneDrive on Demand has been huge for OneDrive.

4. Modern Team Sites, Modern Lists, and Themes will soon become consistent with the expectation for status quo for SharePoint and a big line will be drawn for OLD SharePoint vs. New SharePoint based on what comes in 2019 and what’s in O365 now.

This prediction stands.  Teams and Modern are the way.

5. WSPs are Dead – The community will abhor them and it will be an insult to think of installing them. As a result even third party solutions will need to rethink how they not only support apps for online but also on prem.

True.  No one is creating anything in WSPs now.

6. Groups will cause further confusion in 2018, but Teams will become the darling of Microsoft sales for collab as it activates multiple workloads.

I think some of the confusion is gone now that Team sites = group template, but Teams is definitely been a big winner.

7. Microsoft AI (Simple automation, auto classification and extraction) will start to make its way into SharePoint Online amongst other workloads.

True. Microsoft has provided extraction through OCR and it shipped for OneDrive & SharePoint Online.  Not just that, but also Flow is now in lists with simple approvals.

8. Simple Communication Site based Intranets (and Intranet in a box solutions) + Hub sites will gain favor for Office 365 adopters. Deep complicated Intranets will fall out of favor in a huge significant industry wide way.

True. I do believe Intranet in a box solutions and even lowered expectations for more out of the box cloud based solutions as either digital workspaces or as a baseline for more has accelerated both deployment and adoption.

In 2015 predictions I called out worth mentioning

Mobile will become more important in SharePoint world – The new mobile app is really good.  The new search feature is the best thing that’s happened to mobile.

SharePoint gets cool again – It’s really happened.  SharePoint has really improved and looking at the Top Intranets… there’s nothing better right now.  Teams is the only challenge based on the interface, and with the new SPFX investments in Teams. 

Published by

Joel Oleson

SharePoint and Office 365 MVP Office Apps and Services + RD and Former Microsoft Product Manager at Microsoft and original Architect of the first version of SharePoint Online... Joel is a Technology Evangelist who loves to travel. He lives in Oceanside California. Currently a Free Agent... find me on linked in. He frequently Speaks at conferences, delivers webinars, and helps customers with their strategy and adoption.

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