Blog 4.0

A glimpse into the future

by mgirard on 30 November 2017 No comments

I found a crystal ball that shows the future of information. Take a first look: Information 4.0 has become mainstream. Now, come closer: what can you see?

A day in the life…

A person gets in contact with your product or service through any touch point (AR/VR, chatbot, voice command, website, mobile app, or a mix of these). Their profile is automatically mapped to a persona in your system, and content delivery is adjusted to that person’s background, experience, emotional state, and objectives. You can do that because your content delivery process has been modeled and integrated across enterprise management systems (CRM, ECM, BPM…). That person gets just the content they need, at the right place and time, in the right language, and in the right format. They don’t need to plow through your content, because you chunked it and tagged it at a molecular level and you automated content delivery with context-based rules relying on metadata. You can measure all interactions between the person and your content, and the person also gives you feedback on their experience, which is consolidated for you to adjust their experience.

In the crystal ball, you can also see that the jobs of information professionals have changed radically. Almost all aspects of content profiling, management, and publishing have been automated. Let’s take a closer look at what these people are doing now.

Roles of the future

Information professionals are not out of jobs. Actually, their jobs have become more and more meaningful and require deep human capacities and values. They also involve working closely with machines. Like today, you can find various types of information professionals.

Machine trainers

These people can detect patterns in content, with the help of machines, and build models from the patterns. They train machines to apply the model and tag content, but also they get machines to identify more patterns more precisely. Machine trainers are an evolution of information architects, or a specialization of UX, enterprise, or software architects.

Data psychics

These people can see opportunities and problems in the data visualizations that machines provide to them. They define what they want to see, and configure machines to give them the data they need. They can infer missing information by bringing the data to diverse groups of stakeholders. Data psychics are an evolution of the business analysts, customer success managers, or data scientists of today.

Enhanced strategists

These people can set an strategy and instrument its implementation with the help of machines. They have the vision for the business value that content brings, and can articulate that value into requirements. They program the requirements into machines, and then monitor the automated processes and decisions to deliver content. Enhanced strategists are an evolution of content strategists, or a specialization of current business strategists and marketers.

Masters of expressiveness

Last but not least, this last group is made of masters of language, gatekeepers of the human realm, who can manipulate words and images and all sensory input to deliver the right message. They specialize by purpose: they can be entertainers, visionaries, educators, or problem-solvers. While surrounded by technology and aware of the tools of their trade, they keep their focus on conveying meaning to an audience. Masters of expressiveness are an evolution of technical writers, copywriters, instructional designers, visual and video designers, and UI designers.

Getting ready

Back to the present. If that is what the future holds – how do we get ready? I’ll share my thoughts on this in the next posts.

In the meantime, tell us: what else can you see in the crystal ball?



I manage digital customer experience projects. With a background in technical communication and information architecture, I develop scalable content strategies and organizational frameworks to deliver the right content at each stage of the customer experience.To me, content and organizations are living systems. I leverage collective intelligence and design thinking methodologies to deliver meaningful innovation.Outside of Software as a Service, I continue to investigate holistic practices through yoga, and I teach content strategy and design at university.I speak about enterprise content strategy at international conferences, and I am an active member of professional associations.

mgirardA glimpse into the future

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