Analyst roundup: IoT, contact center, digital transformation.

Internet of things to hit mainstream in 2016

As showcased at many recent industry events, the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to get bigger and better in 2016. As this year goes along IoT technology will continue to mature and cement its place in the mainstream, leading Gartner to project that 43 percent of organizations are using or plan to implement the Internet of Things in 2016.

Continuing the IoT theme, Gartner has also identified the top 10 IoT technologies it expects to see take off from 2016 and into 2017 and 2018. The technologies themselves are defined as being those which will have ‘a broad impact on organizations’, and include IoT Security, IoT Analytics and IoT Device Management. It is Gartner’s belief that multiple IoT ecosystems will arise, prompting commercial and technology-based competition between providers of these ecosystems, as they vie for contracts around smart homes, smart cities and healthcare.

IoT spending skyrockets

Further on the IoT side of analyst reporting IDC forecasts that IoT spending will grow at 17 percent CAGR throughout 2016 and beyond, with market value increasing from $698.6 billion in 2015 to almost $1.3 trillion in 2019. Asia Pacific will lead the way in terms of regional spending, with more than 40 percent of the total global IoT spend, ahead of North America and Western Europe.

In terms of which vertical markets have been ploughing the most investment into IoT, manufacturing and transportation were out in front, spending $165.6 billion and $78.7 billion respectively in 2015. These two sectors have been leveraging the benefits of M2M technologies such as automated production lines and sensor-powered fleet management solutions to drive efficiencies and cost reductions already, and IDC expects other verticals such as insurance, healthcare and consumer goods to continue playing catch-up on IoT spend in the coming few years.

Cloud powering the contact center forward

Meanwhile over in the contact center space, Frost & Sullivan reports that 2016 will see contact centers continue to embrace cloud technology to meet the demand for multichannel customer care. New analysis found that current consumer preference for self-education, self-help and self-service married to many consumers’ regular use of social media and messaging apps means that contact centers built on cloud or hybrid options will give themselves a competitive edge. The changing nature of the customer experience and the more prolific way consumers interact with suppliers leaves contact centers little choice but to adapt to keep up.

Digital transformation will define business success

Organizations that embrace digital change and use technology strategically to power great customer experience are those best placed to succeed in the coming decade. That is the view of multiple research houses, with Forrester reporting that only 27 percent of today’s companies have a coherent strategy in place which demonstrates how the business will create customer value. Gartner however estimates that there are around 125,000 large organizations that have introduced digital business initiatives, whose CEOs expect an increase of over 80 percent in digital revenues by 2020.

B2B companies continue to play catch-up on B2C organizations when it comes to digital, but 2016 will see that gap closing as delivering on customer experience expectations continues to drive strategy. Forrester states that those companies who become experts in digital will further differentiate themselves from those that only dip into digital transformation.