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First of all SegWit itself is benign. Its a new transaction format, its opt-in and this have been added to bitcoin before, see P2SH which is the technical term for multisig, those addresses starting with a 3.
The characteristics of the SegWit format are beneficial.
- Transactions are measured by weight instead of bytes which aligns costs with scalability.
- Signatures are prunable and less taxing on the network
- Validation scales linearly and is less taxing on the network
- It has no 3rd party malleability which is convenient for the network
- Segregated signatures increases maximum blocksize
- It is upgradable to further improve scale and fungibility.
- It can be added with a softfork and is backward compatible
However, people say a hardfork is neccesary in the future. And essentially a softfork with a flag day is a hardfork with training wheels. The segwit flag day provides the ecosystem with the oppertunity to practice and get experience to increase the probability of a succesful hardfork in the future.