The biggest shifts in the year ahead will be the additional integration of productivity software with social networking software, further blurring the line between work and non-work time. Organizations will try to leverage social networks as a means to extract more connectivity from staff, creating scenarios where connected staff members will be seen as contributors, even if their only contribution is mere presence.
I also believe some of the major productivity software packages will find ways to weave their informational web into these social networks, allowing for higher levels of information sharing among groups and subgroups. More and more organizations will create unique staff groups through LinkedIn and Facebook to generate “town hall” style communication, replacing classic organizational newsletters and staff updates.
Beyond that, 2011 bodes well for organizations willing to explore new modes and modalities in presenting goods and services. Always been a face-to-face shop? There will be more profits expanding into the virtual world. Always been an e-tail environment? There will be more profits with the bricks-and-clicks model (a blend of physical facilities and virtual services). Always served the client on a strict B2B model? Direct connections to the end user will drive both higher profitability and new business directions. Oh yes, and we’ll have flying cars.