The digital workplace, according to Gartner, “enables new, more effective ways of working; raises employee engagement and agility; and exploits consumer-oriented styles and technologies.” With the rapid adoption of cloud applications, the digital workplace is now “colonized” by a multitude of “best-of-breed” disparate systems. Although we now have more options to communicate, share and store our work, we also have higher levels of complexity. We no longer know for sure where to look for the best information or which online communities we should join to stay in the loop.

When Coveo CTO Laurent Simoneau shared in his 5 intelligent search predictions for 2016 that “intelligent search will speed digital transformation,” I found this to be especially true for the increasingly digitalized workplace. Because intelligent search removes that complexity and gives everyone the information they need, when they need it.

Simplifying the user experience

Imagine if you could:

  • Have all the data you want – from all the applications you use during a regular workday – automatically presented to you without even having to search for it.
  • Discover new information to help you gain new knowledge and upgrade your skills, all while accomplishing your tasks.
  • Find out about relevant discussions taking place on your company’s online communities via personalized alerts.

This is what intelligent search systems do – connect to all the systems in your digital workplace and normalize the information in an index. Because intelligent search is always there and always aware of your context, it doesn’t need to rely on you to begin a search before delivering the best and most relevant information to you.

Like a trusted advisor, intelligent search knows what documents you need for your tasks and which articles your colleagues found most valuable and would be useful to you too. Because it is able to suggest the most relevant information you should use for decision-making – regardless of where the information resides – it takes the complexity out of the user experience. Intelligent search turns data into actionable knowledge for you so your next decision will be your most educated and successful.

Simplifying the technology

Simplification is the technology trend for 2016, says Amazon VP & CTO Werner Vogels. At Coveo, we leverage the scale and security of the AWS cloud to put the power of intelligent self-learning search in your hands using the microservices approach.

This modular approach simplifies our technology stack, making it more resilient and more secure by eliminating single points of failure and by reducing the surface of attack. More importantly, it simplifies the integration of new features and technologies that will make intelligent search even more valuable.

Looking into the future

Recently, I read an article about 2016 being “the year of conversational commerce.” I think the author was spot on. I believe this trend will extend beyond commerce and into the digital workplace. Intelligent search systems will integrate with communication systems in the form of “bots.”

Wouldn’t it be exciting if you could send an instant message to a colleague asking for his latest sales numbers and immediately be provided with relevant data from marketing, engineering and support alongside his answer?

With intelligent search technology, we could all have our own personal digital assistant, always scouring our digital world for the information we need, when we need it, wherever we are. The future of intelligent search in the digital workplace is exciting and, as Jeff Bezos would say, “it is still Day One.”