10 IT-enabled business trends for the next decade

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jun 03, 2013

IT Cloud

In recent years, emerging markets are becoming full-fledged digital players in the IT world due to the advent of mobile technologies. According to a McKinsey report, economic impact of information technologies could range from $10 trillion to $20 trillion annually in 2025. The report suggests that customer experience, product and channel management are the three trends which will be popular with digital marketers. Some of the IT-enabled trends identified are:

Joining the social matrix

Social technologies have become the environment in which more and more business is conducted.  Kraft Foods, for example, has invested in a powerful social-technology platform that supports microblogging, content tagging, and the creation and maintenance of pricing experts. Benefits include accelerated knowledge sharing, shorter product-development cycles, and faster competitive response times. 10 percent of the executives surveyed last year said their organizations were realizing substantial value from the use of social technologies to connect all stakeholders: customers, employees, and business partners.

Competing with ‘Big Data’ and advanced analytics

Big data and analytics has become the new foundation for competitiveness. Global data volumes are increasing from social Websites, sensors, smartphones, and doubling faster than every two years. The power of analytics is rising while costs are falling. Data visualization, wireless communications, and cloud infrastructure are extending the power and reach of information. Companies are now customising products and services through creation of better consumer microsegments.

Deploying the Internet of All Things

Tiny sensors and actuators are expected to explode massively linking over 50 billion physical entities as costs decline and networks become more pervasive. Companies are starting to use such technologies to not only monitor complex operations, but also take autonomous decisions based on data in the sensors report. For example, smart networks now use sensors to monitor vehicle flows and reprogram traffic signals accordingly or to confirm whether repairs have been made effectively in electric-power grids.

Offering anything as a service

Buying and selling of services derived from physical products has led to a shift in the business model. An example of this shift is embracing of cloud-computing. Companies are now finding ways to monetise under-used assets which is beneficial. For example, The Los Angeles Times has rented space to film crews.

Automating knowledge work

With advances in data analytics, low-cost computer power, machine learning, and interfaces that “understand” humans, automation is a trend that’s been happening for the last three decades. At information-intensive companies, the culture and structure of the organization could change if machines start occupying positions along the knowledge-work value chain. Retraining workers, redesigning education, and redefining the nature of work will all be important elements of this effort.

Engaging the next three billion digital citizens

As income increase in the developing nations, India’s digital penetration is only 10 percent and China’s is around 40 percent. Rising levels of connectivity will stimulate financial inclusion, local entrepreneurship, and enormous opportunities for business. Costs of smart phones and other mobile devices will decrease enabling new applications and source of value.

Digital meets physical to create new experiences

The line between digital and physical world is getting blurred as consumers are now learning to shop in virtual stores. Apps use smartphone technology to sense our locations and those of our friends. Wearable technology will be the next big thing from “Google Glass” to “intelligent textiles” to “wristwatch computers”.

Changing business model with personalisation and simplification

Consumers, meanwhile, expect to be valued by companies and treated as individuals. They will expect services to be free, personalized, and easy to use without instructions. This presents a challenge for business, since customers expect instant results and a great customer service experience. Craigslist, peer-to-peer music services, and Wikipedia are examples of companies providing free services. Spotify and Netflix analyse their customers’ histories to offer a personalised experience.

Transforming government, healthcare, and education

Technology has transformed the sectors such as government, health care and education. Many governments are already using the Web to improve services and reduce waste. India is using biometric-identity program, Aadhaar and plans to use the system to make over $50 billion in cash transfers to poor citizens, saving $6 billion in fraudulent payments. Technology also is opening new opportunities to contain rising health-care costs and improve access. In rural Bangladesh where 90 percent of births occur outside hospitals, a mobile-notification system alerts clinics to dispatch nurse midwife teams, who are now present in 89 percent of births. In the education sector, India is running trials of the sub-$50 Aakash tablet to link more than 25,000 colleges in an e-learning program.