Future of Productivity Software Part 3: Vendors Need to Message to the New Work Archetypes

Blog post contributed by Chris Marsh, Research Director - Workforce Productivity & Compliance

The trends we have highlighted so far in part 1 and part 2 of this blog series, represent a fundamental change in the anatomy of work driven by the need to have those closest to the execution of work responsible for designing, overseeing and executing it, as found in the Technology & Business Insight (TBI) report “The Future of Productivity Software.” This macro shift and allied trends are subverting most of the archetype value propositions of existing products, vendors and segments, almost all of which have historically focused on satisfying specific functional capabilities or discrete roles and personas.

The functional underpinnings of the old work archetypes – managing work, collaborating, accessing, reporting it – are becoming less valuable. Vendors consequently need to message around new ones growing form WorkOps. Heavily informed by automation and intelligence, product messaging will need to reflect what users and businesses will be freed up to do because of what the product is enabling. Technology will abstract, automate and predict, while people will question, co-create and model. Using content management as an example – messaging will need to shift from how you manage content including residency, governance and security to the direct benefits from surfacing content automatically into work at the right time to satisfy a specific business goal. The shift from old to new archetypes will also be seen in more contextual access and management of work, less linear creation processes, more purposeful collaboration, decentralized integration and more real and right-time reporting to support highly responsive decision-making.

In the TBI report, we:
  • Give a full re-conceptualization of the shift from old to new work archetypes.
  • Illustrate for each tooling segment which archetypes they currently satisfy.
  • Describe how the economies of functional scale allows the WIP to satisfy more archetypes.
The productivity software category has been a stale remnant of the PC-era vendor oligopolies and the resulting organizational behaviors. This category is approaching a tipping point, however, as vendors look for inspiration across other segments and from new disruptive technologies that are shaping enterprise software. These changes require new language to describe work and the relationship among the workforce, tools and business outcomes. New functional archetypes are emerging that allow grander thematic narratives to be used to describe how this category is becoming increasingly consequential as the seed bed for the transformative new working styles, processes and interactions that will underpin the emergence of digital native businesses. Vendors misunderstand these tides at their peril. Those understanding the shifts stand to benefit from the recalibration of the entire category.

Learn more about the Future of Productivity Software.
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