• July 28, 2016

The Customer Is Always On: IT Explosion Drives Disruption

Consumer innovations will transform whole industries and economic segments. 

More than ever before, consumers are holding the reins in determining which companies will be successful. If an organization fails to create an engaging customer experience, it will be swiftly left in the dust.

The Rise of Consumer Devices

Smartphone usage has exploded. According to the Pew Research Center, 66 percent of American adults own at least two digital devices (smartphone, laptop or desktop computer, or tablet). And 36 percent own all three. That’s more than double the percentage who owned all three in 2012. And while growth of the consumer device market is slowing and maturing in its current form, new innovations and capabilities will unleash another wave of growth and penetration.

Consumer technology is a $220 billion industry, and people use these devices extensively, anytime, anywhere. The robust proliferation and usage rates of mobile consumption platforms are driving the disruption and transformation of enterprises in a range of industries. These technologies are propelling heightened consumer expectations as engagements grow in richness and personalization through these devices.

Dizzying Heights of Customer Expectations

Customer engagement expectations will only intensify. Gartner projects the installed base of these consumer devices (smartphones, wearables, PCs, tablets) will total 7.8 billion units in 2016. The research firm predicts that figure will increase to 8.3 billion by 2018 with the typical user owning three or more devices. Along with sensors, this proliferation will create a device mesh, or an expanding set of end points that users access to engage with applications, services, businesses, organizations, and people.

What does this mean? Digital technologies are irrevocably changing the way consumers act and the way they interact with organizations. To thrive in this environment, enterprises must nurture cultures that prioritize technology as a means to learn, adapt, disrupt, and continuously drive new solutions and experiences.

The Shift Is Just Beginning 

These interactions will continue to drive profound shifts. Technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality will take engagements of all kinds to another level. Indeed, Gartner predicts that by 2019, mobile devices will have the capability to decipher human emotions. Enterprises will use these responses as data points to create even deeper personalized experiences. And as more everyday objects become digitized and connected, an abundance of channels will emerge. These interactions will reach even deeper into virtually every aspect of our lives to engage—possibly even exhilarate.

Enterprises largely grasp the transformational power of consumer digital and mobile technologies. What few grasp is how dramatic and ongoing these shifts will be. It’s not just business models that will be upended. As these technologies unleash powerful reverberations in the digital sphere, whole industries and economic segments will be disrupted and reinvented.

The enterprises that will thrive are those that embrace continuous transformation, building adaptability into their cultures in a way that allows them to make incremental changes when new technology and business priorities demand it. For tomorrow’s successful enterprise, the transformation never stops.

Like this story? Read our report on why your success depends on embracing the mobile revolution.