Digital communication is essential in the modern business environment. As teams become increasingly decentralized, virtual meetings, instant messaging, and video chat have joined email, phone calls, and the water cooler as regular mediums of communication. Used correctly, they all have the potential to enhance collaboration, improve engagement, and increase productivity.

Digital communication is also constantly evolving. Today’s systems and platforms are leading to tomorrow’s innovations, one feature at a time. To understand where communication is headed in the future, we just need to observe where it’s going today.

Staying on trend with communication

As communication evolves, businesses are forced to make a decision. Do you adopt new tech as it emerges or wait to see how it evolves to meet specific business use cases? There is no wrong answer — the right one enables better, quicker, more thorough communication across the scope of operations.

As we dive into some of the upcoming communication trends for 2023, consider how your business can best utilize the following technologies. Should you adopt and integrate them immediately? If so, where and how will they enhance your current communication standards? Or, if you choose to wait, what considerations should you keep in mind as these technologies rise to prominence?

Remember, these technologies are on the rise. They could change or evolve or become the new standard for business communications. It all depends on how you (and other businesses) choose to use them.

Zero-trust security

Zero-trust security requires point-of-use verification from every user, device, and network before granting access to critical business communications. As decentralized workplaces continue to become commonplace and users log in from an exponential number of devices, places, and networks, zero-trust policies are increasingly critical.

From a communications standpoint, zero-trust security is important because it ensures communication is both valid and secure. The person you’re chatting with on Microsoft Teams or emailing throughout the day is who they claim to be — and the information you’re exchanging is safe from bad actors outside the system. Zero-trust security increasingly gives businesses peace of mind their communications are safe, even as the workplace becomes less of a defined place.

Unified communications

Many businesses have utilized unified communications for years without realizing it. For example, consider Microsoft’s 365 Suite with Outlook (email and calendar), Teams (chat), SharePoint (cloud collaboration), etc. Now, as more communications platforms make a concerted effort to ensure collaborative communication, the true nature of its potential is becoming real — improved clarity, increased efficiency, and reduced costs.

Today’s unified communications platforms encompass chat, audio, video, cloud collaboration, email, and more. The future of unified communications will bring even more innovations, such as the integration of augmented and virtual reality. It’s all about giving people a full gamut of communication options to empower them in choosing the best medium for their message.

AI-assisted communication

Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way we communicate. AI-assisted communication tools and platforms are becoming increasingly popular with chatbots, voice assistants, and language translation tools, to name a few. As the likes of ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and even sophisticated typing assistants become more accessible, employees are increasingly reliant on them to help streamline and clarify everyday communications.

While some ethical concerns remain, there’s no doubt AI communication tools are here to stay in 2023 and beyond. Now’s the time to become familiar with them.

Communication automation

Automation goes hand-in-hand with AI-assisted communication. The ability to automate email replies, use suggested chat responses, or even rely on predictive text enhances the speed and quality of business communication. As AI gets better and unified communications become standard, expect automation opportunities to expand even further.

We’re likely to see cross-platform communication automations in 2023, along with automated workflows spanning complex information transactions. All this frees up employees to spend less time gathering information and more time applying it.

Data visualization

Communication takes on a whole new role when it involves data delivery. Too many business professionals struggle to contextualize data, which is why data visualization is quickly rising to the forefront of communication innovation. Platforms like Tableau, Power BI, and Google Data Studio are on the cutting edge of making data more accessible to everyone by changing the way we communicate it. By turning complex data into easily digested visual insights, more employees can benefit from improved decision-making, increased understanding, and a stronger grasp of data.

Communication continues to advance

Digital communication is constantly evolving. With each step forward comes new innovations to make it easier to connect with coworkers, customers, and anyone else. In 2023, zero-trust security, unified communications, AI-assisted communication, communication automation, and data visualization are all shaping the future of communication. The question is, what’s next?

Partner with NCC Data to ensure your business is taking advantage of the latest communication technologies.