Looking back on 2017 and forward to 2018 I see a common thread that is quite dominant: how we work, collaborate and communicate is going to change dramatically. For some, this has already happened. For others – this is yet to occur.
I live and breathe Office 365. It’s the one thing that I’ve stuck with in my career for more than a year or two, as I have a highly active mind and can get bored easily – but that hasn’t happened with Office 365.
2017 IT Industry: A Year in Review
Looking back at 2017 the biggest change I’ve seen in my area of expertise has been the change to how organisations approach technology. While change management, adoption, and a human approach are not necessarily new – in 2017 I saw organisations collectively look towards Microsoft Teams as a way to change the way they work. Never in the history of Office 365 have I seen organisations take such a shared approach: wanting to adopt a technology yet leading with the human element. Talk of migration is simply a minimum requirement of transformation; once it’s out of the way the real change begins.
2018 IT Industry Predictions
Building on the momentum of Microsoft Teams in 2017 and Office 365 in general before it, I predict that 2018 will be the year organisations finally start moving beyond emails and file shares en masse. Users will be dictating how they want to work, and what their experience should be like – not IT. There has been so much talk of “digital transformation” throughout 2017 that it’s gone beyond saturation point. In 2018 the rubber will hit the road and organisations will start to transform, and more so accelerate their own evolutions. The cocoons are opening, and we’ll start to see some butterflies emerge.
Most Exciting 2017 IT Announcement
While in preview back in 2016, the most exciting IT announcement in 2017 I felt was Microsoft Teams becoming generally available. It offered a change from users having access to a set of tools, to having a collaboration operating system with which to evolve beyond tools that didn’t always connect.
Historically I’ve had to try to explain to organisations why they should look at Office 365, now it is a case of they want to know how and why, and WHEN!?!?!?
How I Grew My Career in 2017
2017 brought with me a new challenge and change. I left the organisation that acquired my business and went out to become an independent consultant. This also meant I no longer worked with my wife, who had been a key member of my team for the previous 5 years.
Instead of focusing on selling solutions to IT and trying to move up the organisational chart, my consultancy approach allowed me to have a foot in both camps – allowing me to really get down in the trenches with some organisations and their people, while also flying high and taking things in from the 40,000 foot view.
This was and still is the biggest challenge of my career as I transition from the product expert I have always been, to an organisational challenger and innovator.
I am genuinely excited for 2018, I hope you are too!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the year that was and the year ahead. I love reading these, gives me a chance to reflect on the community and gives me a lot of optimism about the awesome things we're going to do for the community next year. Hope you and your family get to have a lot of fun over the holiday break in Oz!