This is an incredibly exciting time for us all: the third wave of the digital transformation is already underway. Specifically, what we are referring to is the era which follows the desktop Web in the 1990s and mobile in the 2000s. Over the next decade, sensors, the cloud, connected devices and realtime analytics will come together and form a new layer of connected intelligence. This new layer of connected intelligence is likely to transform how we work, play, and live in significant ways.
There are a lot of fancy names for this digital transformation. Some call it Internet of Things, some call it living services, some internet of data… In its simplest form, we're actually talking about creating new products, services, experiences, solutions etc. from data. And we use all of them interchangeably throughout this series. So depending on your space, do fill in the blank.
We are already seeing the integration of smart digital technology into our devices and machines. New iterations of wearables and nearables are popping up every day. And businesses are increasingly, and rightly so, are joining in to ride this new wave. But as they are finding out, it’s incredibly hard to stay afloat especially when the wave is this huge and powerful. Literally and figuratively, when you’re on top of such a powerful wave, staying afloat is the only thing that actually matters to stay alive.
Literally and figuratively, when you’re on top of such a powerful wave, staying afloat is the only thing that actually matters to stay alive.
The digital opportunity by 2020 Is $1.7 trillion USD
What makes this wave of digitization so powerful? Let’s look at the numbers. By 2020, it’s estimated that there will be more than 30 billion connected devices. More than 70% of the world’s population will be on mobile, and each person will on average have 6.6 connected devices.50 trillion GBs of data will come to exist, 90% of mobile data will be generated by cloud applications. The overall IoT opportunity is estimated to be $1.7 trillion dollars. There are a few driving forces behind this wave of transformation.
1. Connected technology is finally deliverable at scale
The growth of connected devices, the availability of sensors, and the ubiquitous, fast network connectivity all make the digital transformation deliverable at scale.
2. Generational trends are driving a new demand curve
Consumers, particularly in the younger age groups, are emphasizing greater importance of life outside work than older generations. A report by the White House on the millennials, found that they valued life goals such as finding new ways to experience things more than ‘Generation X’ or the ‘baby boomers’ did.
This generation is demanding the digitization of services and experiences to simplify and improve our lives. But not only that, millennials are also expecting a change in how we do things, how we work, and how we engage with other entities, led primarily by how they engage with some of the leading digital brands of our times.
3. The new era of "Liquid Expectations" is moving the needle constantly
A term coined by the service design firm Fjord (now part of Accenture) describes this phenomenon best. We no longer just expect; we increasingly require a consistent service experience across all our interactions with brands. We expect the great search experience that we get from Google and Amazon while engaging with other online businesses that have almost nothing in common with Google or Amazon. We no longer compare our experiences between two different insurance companies; rather we make comparisons between our experience with our insurance company and Zappos or Southwest Airlines.
4. Realtime analytics are changing what we know, how much we know, and how we know it
In addition to the shifting technology and consumer dynamics, we also know more. Thanks to the rapidly expanding data, we now get more insight than ever before to come up with new offerings that people actually need and are willing to acquire, without even looking hard for them.
5. New forms of learning and intelligence are surfacing new opportunities
Terms such as deep learning, ambient intelligence, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are increasingly becoming our everyday language. And all of these new forms of learning and intelligence are making it possible to create new contextual, behavioral, and immersive offerings for our users and buyers. All these factors together create substantial and continuous growth opportunities for businesses.
What analytics will enable us to do in the future is absolutely mind-blowing. But we’d like to emphasize the learning aspect of it more than others, particularly how we learn what to innovate – where to innovate. In Part 2 of our series, we suggest a few new ways of thinking about how companies will identify the opportunities to participate in this next digital transformation and where they should look for them. ...
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