IoT Driving A New Era Of 'Living Services'

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jun 17, 2015

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The Internet of Things (IoT) is poised to have a huge impact not only on the lives of consumers, but also on how companies run. According to an Accenture report, the IoT is driving new digital ‘living services’ that can intelligently tailor themselves meet the changing needs of consumers, workers, patients and citizens in real-time, .

Accenture Interactive’s report titled “The Era of Living Services,” highlighted that these ‘living services’ will start to grow on a new layer of connected intelligence formed by sensors, the cloud, connected smart devices and real-time data analytics. The services will help companies across industries to grow and differentiate their businesses, and will also help to transform the consumer experience in various areas.

The report authors give some examples. They say, ‘living services’ will help to predict illnesses and personalise medication plans in the healthcare industry, and will enable retailers to provide a less intrusive consumer experience. In addition, they will be used to automate security processes and improve energy consumption in the home, as well as to transform the travel, financial and banking experience.

“Living Services will change consumer experiences such as travel booking and shopping in real time around us,” said Brian Whipple, senior managing director at Accenture Interactive.

He added that these services will be driven by things that are very proximate to us such as wearables. And, at the human level, living services will affect our lives in a much deeper and more positive way than mobile and web services have. In effect, living services breathe life into what is rapidly becoming a vast network of connected machines and objects, enabling branded services to flow through and utilise this connected environment.”

According to the report, ‘living services’ will also significantly change the way companies operate, forcing them to rethink their business structures just the way they did when desktop web and mobile services were first introduced. 

Businesses will also have to grapple with data privacy. While the public is growing to accept that complete data privacy is a thing of the past – 80 percent of 20- to 40-year-old consumers believe that to be the case says Accenture – they remain suspicious of how their data is being used, potentially harming their relationship with a provider.

Seventy percent of those consumers surveyed by the company believe that businesses aren’t transparent about how their data is used. Another 87 percent are leery about how companies protect their information.

Embracing living services means ceding some control over to consumers. “The shift in power will gain momentum as the commercial opportunity to empower people to control their personal information is increasingly recognized,” the report said.

Delivering those services will also have a profound impact on how IT organizations are structured and operated. “One striking example of how Living Services will require businesses to change is the growing fusion of the roles of chief marketing officer (CMO) and chief information officer (CIO) traditionally charged with IT operations,” stated the report. 

CIOs will also have to ensure they can deliver consistent services using challenging new interaction types such as voice, gesture and location across a range of new devices, it said.