Tech Trends That Will Shape Your Creative Work in 2016 and Beyond

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The Tech Trends That Will Shape Your Creative Work in 2016 and Beyond

by Jennifer Henderson, Workgroups DaVinci

Today’s in-house creatives work in a challenging environment. Teams are becoming more geographically distributed, which increases the complexity of managing collaborative projects that span time zones or even countries. Work is no longer restricted to traditional office hours. Mobile technology means that project work can happen anywhere at any time. Living in an always-on world means that internal and external clients expect real-time project updates and the ability to provide input when and how they want.

In-house creatives are also not immune to the ever-growing quantification of productivity. As companies become more reliant on micro and macro data inputs to drive decision-making, being able to capture and analyze relevant project data (time spent, costs, productivity metrics) in real time is yet another entry on the to-do list of busy in-house creatives.

While we don’t see any of these circumstances or pressures shifting in 2016 and beyond, we do predict we’ll see in-house teams continue to increase their reliance on technology to help them manage their workloads efficiently and balance creativity and productivity. Here are the key tech trends we think will shape how you and your team will be working next year.

Digital Asset Management (DAM) becomes a must-do

The CMO Council found that while two-thirds of the almost 200 senior marketing leaders they surveyed in 2015 felt visual assets were vital to the content they create and share, less than a third had a process in place to manage these assets across their department or between departments. As content production and consumption grows — a whopping 27M pieces of content are already being shared daily — formal Digital Asset Management will no longer be optional for teams that want to stoke their content creation engine efficiently.

Marketing and creative teams will have deeper pockets

According to Gartner and Foundation Capital, CMOs will outspend CIOs by 2017, with their investment in tech rising to $120 billion over the next decade. Smart teams will be turning an eye to optimizing internal creative processes via strategic investments in project management solutions to consolidate and coordinate their workflows. The decision about what tech to use has traditionally resided with IT, but we’ll see a continued shift to in-house marketing and creative teams as the controllers of their own destiny. With this newfound power will come the responsibility to deeply understand their own workflow needs and diligently vet potential workflow solutions.

Word of mouth will drive purchase decisions

According to research from Walker Sands, the marketing technology space has been growing by almost 100% year-over-year and isn’t slowing down. With so many new vendors entering the market, the value of peer recommendations and word of mouth as a means of identifying the best solutions for your team’s particular workflow needs will become increasingly important to cut through the noise. The caveat being that before you can meet these needs, you need to understand what they are. Savvy in-house creative teams will be judicious in their reliance on word of mouth. You can use peer reviews to narrow your field of vendor options, but playing follow the leader isn’t the smart way to make a definitive purchase decision.

Integrations will be integral

One of the key features we believe creative teams will have on their marketing tech shopping list in 2016 is a robust set of integrations. According to Gartner’s research, companies will spend almost $150B globally on enterprise applications this year, with much of it going to cloud-based software. By 2020, Gartner predicts 60% of companies will rely on cloud-based office systems to manage various functions within their business. In the shorter term, the growth of cloud-based computing and the establishment of cloud-based services such as Dropbox, Adobe Creative Cloud and Slack as business must-haves means that creative teams will be keenly interested in ensuring any workflow solution they invest in will mesh seamlessly with the other software they rely on in their daily work.

Productivity goes under the microscope

In 2016, we’ll see a continued focus on maximizing output with constrained resources for organizations of all sizes. As companies implement flexible work arrangements, teleworking, unlimited vacation days and other perks to spur productivity, they’ll also increasingly be relying on data-driven insights to help them do more with less. Look for forward-thinking in-house creative teams to start focusing intently on collecting, analyzing and optimizing measurable metrics of productivity. The quantification of creativity is well underway.

The last word

All of the trends we’ve highlighted focus on a common theme. They depend on the empowerment of in-house creatives as drivers of investment, process improvement and increased productivity. Smart teams will pair this new empowerment with a commitment to deeply understanding their processes, the needs of their internal and external clients and the changing landscape of their industry. Successful creative teams in 2016 and beyond won’t necessarily be working harder, but they’ll definitely be working much smarter.

Workgroups DaVinci is a powerful all-in-one software solution designed to allow creative and marketing teams manage their workflows and streamline their processes. For more information, visit