Consider the evolution of the internet and the impact on human connectivity. While mobile phone technology emerged as early as 1979, smartphones, fueled by cloud technology, have become an indispensable part of our lives. What does the emergence of technology and the internet have in common? The ability to incrementally connect us with other people and access more information in rapid, easy, and less costly ways.
According to an impressive number of technology predictions that single out the year 2020 as the “greatest year yet” for technology and innovation, it's also going to be a year where we see the impact of technology “connectedness” on and in our businesses. Here, we look at some of the marvels 2020 has in store:
1. The Internet Becomes Personal
Cisco’s chief futurist made the prediction the internet would become more human as the evolution of modern connectivity personalizes every aspect of your online search, displays, and experience. However, more than simply connecting humans with devices, the next stage in connectivity will include “humanized” interfaces that constantly evolve to understand the user’s patterns and needs and, in a sense, self-optimize. This would include the functions and features on our devices, as well as the selection/curation of information we receive. We expect the injection of personalization will bring monumental changes as our level of connectivity continues to grow.*
Source: Zephyris via Wikimedia
2.The Cloud of Everything
It’s official: businesses love the cloud and the benefits it brings to streamlining processes and improving productivity are seen across the board. From spinning up a new employee cloud desktop overnight to ripping out traditional and expensive infrastructure, the cloud continues to play a pivotal role in addressing how you service your clients while maintaining security, compliance and workplace flexibility. Data is another important component of the cloud of everything that is arming large and small businesses alike with the ability to use cloud-data to analyze technology needs, productivity and costs. For every business process, there is a cloud solution in 2020.
3. Performance Matters…
…and by this, we mean specifically, cloud performance matters. While the cloud will continue to build connectivity across all platforms and processes, it is only as useful as it performs. Slow internet or a poor performing network is sure to have a negative effect on productivity, and that is why a well-performing cloud matters. One such technology is the emergence of SD-WAN, which allocates cloud speeds over the network to specific applications and uses. Large applications, video streaming, and transfer/downloads can slow down overall cloud performance impacting important things like video conference calls, cloud processing and the quality of your next phone call. SD-WAN monitors traffic on the network to redirect cloud performance to the appropriate resources so that you never experience slow applications, choppy calls, and frozen video when you need it most.
4. Internet of Things No Longer About Things
Just about every business will become an internet of things (IoT) business. The convergence of the digital and physical worlds makes this inevitable. When the products and services you sell are connected 24/7/365, the dynamic and ever-improving value can be delivered to customers throughout the entire life cycle. This will become the norm. Therefore, launching a successful IoT business requires a fundamental shift from product-centric to service-centric business models. Companies looking to capitalize on IoT will become IoT service businesses. Operations dependent on one-time product sales will become obsolete as business value moves from products to the experiences they enable. This transformation will fundamentally change how businesses operate, interact with customers and make money. Those who recognize that the internet of things isn’t about things, but service experiences will be positioned to meet these new customer demands, unlock new sources of revenue and thrive in this connected world.*
Source: Jahangir Mohammed, CEO of Jasper Technologies, Inc
5. Local Support Directly Impacts Customer Experience
In a big connected world like the one we live in today, it is not uncommon to have your service calls routed to a rep in India or to discover that your data is stored in a cloud warehouse in St. Louise. But some things still work better closer to home. Customized planning, one-on-one support, on-site training, and a better overall experience reinforce the claim that “local matters.”
While national cloud, VoIP and IT support providers draw companies in through incentive and features, smaller businesses still have to contend with long hold times, delays in responses, tiers in how long it will take to get a response based on the incident, and the national provider’s lack of firsthand knowledge of that businesses network environment. Additionally, on-site training and deployment can be expensive. The overall lack of partnership between larger providers and small business becomes evident when a national provider pushes “self-service” as a support fix. Many SMBs do not have the technical ability, time, or resources to fix the problem. Programs like CloudTalk for Business are an example of how a locally hosted phone system and design team provide faster and better call quality while giving white-glove on-site training that results in a much better customer experience. And while national providers may be attractive initially for price and features, they can't provide the overall customized experience an SMB might need to stay productive and profitable.
So, What’s Next In 2020?
Blue Fox Group helps clients take a long view of their business so they can make better decisions in the short term. We approach business as a partnership between your team and our ability to apply expertise to help solve problems and streamline processes. Technology is just one of the ways we do that. Working alongside your team, we bring expertise to provide project consulting, long-term IT planning, budgeting, technology procurement, and integration with nearly every type of technology that “connects” your business inside and out. If you want to learn how to leverage technology to build better and more connected experiences with your customers, simply click the banner to start a conversation with us.