I’ve been fascinated by the fact that when I’m online, I can pretty much discover and learn about anything. Get details about what my friends are up to? Check. Browse an extensive encyclopedia with information about everything that’s ever happened? Check. Cat photos? You know it.
Why then, is the enterprise lagging so far behind?
Did you know that as a developer, I still have to plan support for IE6? It is almost as old as me. In many ways, the last bastion of information silos remains in the business world, and knowledge workers are taking any steps necessary to access and create content on their own terms. Look at the growth of Google Drive and Dropbox, and you will know that people have deep unmet needs when it comes to content access and collaboration.
But what if this weren’t the case? What if you could find information from your company or organization as easily as you could find a recipe or movie review?
Assuming for a moment that this magical world existed and every document, report, social activity, customer action and meeting note were available at your fingertips, what would you do with it?
In the Future
Here’s an idea of what I think people will be able to do in the future:
Deliver mind-blowing customer service
Before you answer a support phone call, your CRM will automatically pull up the customer’s profile and support history based on the caller ID and login information. Your support department can operate with the golden rule -- and treat customers exactly the way they want to be treated.
Solve problems more efficiently
Think about how many times organizations reinvent the wheel, as every division or department wrestles with similar problems. In a world with endless connected content, sharing information about best practices will be a snap.
Work from wherever
The idea of commuting to an office will seem a little old-fashioned in the future. As mobile content creation catches up to content consumption, having the option to work remotely will be the norm, not the exception. Why waste hours commuting when you can be more productive on the couch?
Waste less time in meetings and on email
Full disclosure, I loathe email. As the same social tools we use at home make it to the enterprise, email will become a notification tool, not a record for communication. Thankfully, real work will take place on social networks and collaboration tools.
Have a photographic memory
Did you preorder your Google Goggles? Soon, every step you take, every thing you look at, every person you meet will be photographed, tagged, logged and entered into your personal CRM. The next time you say to yourself, "hmmmm that person looks familiar," you can query your personal database and instantly recall your last meeting, while pulling up their profiles on social networks.
Bid data is sexy, but connected content is closer than you think. As mobility converges with the cloud, having instant access to your data and being able to do incredible things with it is just around the corner. How do you think connected content will change the world?
Editor's Note: When Daniel says he loathes email, you should believe him: The Anti-Social Side of Business Email