8 Predictions for Microsoft Office 365 in 2020 and Beyond
Posted on January 1, 2020
by Joel Oleson
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I always enjoy writing predictions and reviewing the previous year. I’d love to hear from you on some of these bold predictions including new Project Cortex Jobs, a MSFT Stock Split and is SharePoint Dead?
I review my 2019 predictions which you can read in the second half of this post including my prediction on Teams workload as the major investment, and the Teams battle with Slack, and a prediction that Power would be a branding investment.
2020 Predictions for Microsoft Office 365
1. Is SharePoint Dead? Is the Intranet Dead? You’re going to hear these question a lot this year. There will be lots of discussions about productivity, portals, and collaboration and it’s evolution. Of course the answer is No, but there should absolutely be discussions about how best to present and consume information inside the organization and updating interfaces and UX will be an important consideration and Teams will be a big part of the discussion. Remember it’s not SharePoint or Teams it is Teams and SharePoint and a whole lot more. Microsoft 365/Office 365 absolutely will work best with your files in SharePoint and OneDrive, and Teams is a great way to get them there and Project Cortex can help you make sense of the data, that’s not to say you don’t need Information architecture exersizes for determining what your Teams should be and how they should be organized into Hubs and super hubs.
2. Power Platform Expert Explosion – today organizations have few experts. This coming year you’re going to see companies get serious about the Power Platform. It’s going to go beyond the power user to business unit investments and IT experts as well as concerted efforts into getting more Power Apps experts, Power Automate experts, Power Virtual Agent experts, and Power BI experts that really know the technology and know how to help. I expect this will go from being a small individual effort to concerted efforts by IT and/or business units like HR, Marketing, Support, and product lines. You’ll see lots of partners like Perficient who are interested in helping your organization get up to speed on how they can build expertise inside the organization.
3. Personal and Team investments in Certification – This is the year of certification. So many have ignored it. This is the year to take it seriously. Microsoft has put some significant investment in making them make a lot of sense. The Office 365, Teams, Azure and Power Platform areas are great places to get relevant certifications. It may be tough to measure this…
4. SharePoint Community continues move to Office or Microsoft 365 rebranding but will it happen soon enough? The splintering of Teams Community, Power Platform Community, and SharePoint Community will continue… There will be efforts by some community members like myself who will try to keep these communities together in consolidated Office 365 or Microsoft 365 groups and communities, but will it be futile?
5. Project Cortex is going to be HUGE and will create NEW jobs and roles – Project Cortex is poised to bring next generation AI and a knowledge network for capturing the knowledge of the organization. Without diving into what it is, let me just say, this time next year you’ll know what it is and be excited about it. I do expect there to be roles in the organization related to Project Cortex. Project Cortex will provide business value to Knowledge Management and Information Management services in the organization. It will provide clear roles for organizational knowledge. I’ll be blogging about ways you can plan for Project Cortex.
6. Microsoft Teams is going to take on a much, much more significant role in the organization. Stop thinking of Teams as simple Unified Communications and wake up and realize that Microsoft Teams is your way of managing automation, productivity, collaboration, UC and ultimately managing your entire Microsoft 365/Office 365 strategy. Microsoft is going to keep investing heavily.
7. Microsoft Stock Split – It’s been many many years since a Microsoft Stock split. I’m long Microsoft and I’ve seen this run up. There’s more to go.
8. Year of Organizational Video – This would be a fantastic year to get focused on Stream and make this the year that your organization makes Video happen in a big way for your organization. Start recording those meetings and the organizational meetings that happen on Teams and Yammer. Migrate, consolidate, and expose it in search! Major investments in the video tech has already happened and Microsoft is doing the final touches in making it easy to migrate, but the tech is already super amazing and worth it.
My Predictions from 2019 Reviewed:
- 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. On prem releases will feel dated nearly immediately. So what do you think? I think this one came true. There was so little at Ignite on SharePoint 2019 and even SharePoint Saturday’s were lucky to get a session on SharePoint 2019. Haven’t seen anything on 2016. Everyone is definitely seeing 2019 as the new standard and basically most have moved on and are looking very much at what’s happening in Office 365.
- 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. I think the Teams Airlift in Bellevue and Amsterdam did a great job of connecting with the community and the MVP Summit and major emphasis at the partner conference and Ignite have really connected with the community leadership, but I’m going to double down on this prediction as I see Microsoft investments in Teams continuing in a HUGE way. In terms of Press I think Teams saw lot of love from both the community and the analysts, but as I’m suggesting, it’s only getting started. Fastest growing and the darling of Microsoft.
- Digital Workspaces will move from being buzz words to being company initiatives. Some companies will refocus intranet teams to focus on The Digital Workspace. I think this is just beginning. Not yet fulfilled.
- 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. If there was a prediction for Power Virtual Agents this is it. Microsoft definitely wants to validate the fact that chatbots are here to stay and should be mainstream initiatives.
- 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. Digital Transformation has gone from buzzword of the few to a more common used term for tracking what’s happening in the organization. I do see Microsoft positioning a lot of it’s efforts around the Power Platform and business value and automation initiatives
- 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. Wow. It definitely has been a great battle with Slack. Teams has surpassed Slack in terms of numbers of daily users as reported by both Slack and Microsoft. Slack is not standing idly by. This is only going to heat up. I absolutely think organizations are keenly watching this. Many are using both within their organizations.
- 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. 2019 wasn’t the year for Microsoft Mixed Reality, but the Minecraft investments have been significant. Microsoft may be a bit quiet on this topic, but the demos are still amazing and this is an important investment and Microsoft isn’t backing off.
- 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. How about that? Power Platform absolutely is the investment and Microsoft did find a way to promote these set of products by calling all these products Power Platform and putting the word Power in front of Power Bi, Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agents. Expect to see more.
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