In 2016, best-in-class technology, together with improved business processes, will lead to more customer connectedness, an increase in sales margins and a competitive advantage. Businesses are in a position to see real progress next year as social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies continue to increase worldwide.
Below are some of the top trends for next year:
Collaboration software enables a globalised workforce
Collaboration tools used by companies facilitate information sharing in real-time, regardless of geographical location. These tools vary from intranets to project management, private cloud storage, document sharing and internal messaging. SharePoint, Slack, Dropbox, JIRA and Basecamp are examples of some of the leading vendors.
Analytics will improve competitive advantage
B2B organisations will start adopting customer analytics to improve the conversion rate of marketing leads into sales. Some 60% of businesses regard big data as the key to better insights and competitive advantage.
CX clouds will become central to businesses
A customer experience (CX) cloud is an integrated technology suite that helps businesses oversee the customer journey from start to finish. Most CX clouds provide integrated functionality for marketing, sales, service and e-commerce. As a business combines its marketing, sales, delivery and support departments, more will adopt such suites as its core business engine.
Sensor use will lead to vast developments in big data
More sensors are being embedded in physical objects across various industries and in so doing, generating volumes of data. In a Smart City (i.e. A city that uses information and communication technologies (ICT) to enhance quality, performance and interactivity of urban services ) for example, nearly every device, building or road can be equipped with wireless sensors or microchips. The data generated will help the government make smart decisions about lighting, traffic, waste and other segments of a Smart City initiative.
Smart machines will disrupt certain business segments
The use of smart machines, such as drones, driverless vehicles and robots will remove the need for staff in certain industries. While this will lower costs and improve efficiencies, jobs will be affected negatively.
Security will be a major concern in the ICT industry
Security threats will increase as the adoption of cloud, mobility and the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes more widespread. Vendors and service providers will either obtain specialist security vendors or establish internal practices to confront possible security problems.
As 2015 draws to a close, companies can use these predictions for next year to assess what is working, and devise growth strategies for a successful 2016.
Cognitive Computing and AI will make businesses smarter
A cognitive computing platform is able to mimic how the brain works and makes decisions, rather than following a fixed programming protocol. This allows businesses to find new ways of delivering services. This can be seen in hospitals using big data to produce evidence-based medical treatment options, or contact centres using AI contact centre agents.