Someone wise once said that life only moves forward, and this also applies to technology. The landscape changes quicker than ever, and will only continue to do so. That requires us to be constantly on our feet and embrace the change, so we have a chance to grow too.
In the recent interview conducted by Rick McCutcheon, and our CEO Radomir Vozar, they’ve already touched on what’s next in the future of business mobility:
“We see a LOT going on in mobile space and the pace of adopting new technology is faster than ever. Looking at the big picture, we see blending of digital and real worlds – especially in the areas of voice control, image or object recognition, geo location, and product demonstration in virtual reality.”
Radomir Vozar, CEO, Resco
Let’s look in detail at the biggest trends that will shape the near future:
The Internet of Things is on the rise
Gartner forecasts that 14.2 billion connected things will be in use in 2019 and that the total will reach 25 billion by 2021. Recently, we’ve seen a big leap forward in the area of consumer IoT with smart homes, cars, and mass production of wearables. Now it’s time for enterprise implementations to shine, as these are predicted to take off with more IoT platforms becoming enterprise-ready.
Smart cities, manufacturing and health currently have the biggest market share, however, with more room to grow. Another segments, which are expected to blow up, are retail and hospitality.
Better network connectivity and cloud service offering impact IoT in a significant way. The sensors just have to collect and send data to the cloud, without the need to perform any computing. With production costs being driven down, it’s no wonder this market is growing at an incredible pace.
The ‘meh’ era of chatbots is coming to an end
Chatbots have been the uncanny valley of communication for a long time now, resulting in frustrating experiences for many. But that is slowly changing and we are about to see more of them being implemented in the near future. According to Gartner, 25 Percent of Customer Service Operations Will Use Virtual Customer Assistants by 2020.
Currently, chatbots are mostly used as assistants for customer service, for IT help desk management, and to support team collaboration. Luckily, the consensus among the IT community is that chatbots are not going to replace human workers. They are well suited for mundane and clear-cut tasks, but great service simply needs human touch and dedication. Instead, automating certain processes gives employees more time to focus on providing exceptional service where it’s needed. And since chatbots can reply instantly, it’s safe to say that companies and teams using them have the opportunity to improve both in terms of quantity and quality of handled requests.
Suitable tasks can be found in any sector, offering a great potential for chatbots, if utilized correctly. However the adoption in an industry is also dependent on the readiness of the audience. Currently the most ready sector, where we will probably see the biggest growth, is retail, followed by healthcare, telecommunications and banking. On the other side are sectors such as government, where the general public seems to be more skeptical for the time being.
Voice-controlled assistants breach into enterprise
In their report, eMarketer states that “Not since the smartphone has any device been adopted so quickly as the smart speaker.” That’s pretty impressive. Amazon Echo currently dominates the market, but Google will probably slowly decrease the gap with Google Home. Until now, the user base consisted mainly of early tech adopters using the speaker at home. Late in 2017, Amazon launched Alexa for Business, using it first as voice-activated control of audio and video conferencing systems and services. Amazon seems to have high hopes for the product and plans to deliver a complex solution for meeting rooms, desks and more, connecting also with Alexa devices employees have at home. Some conferencing providers have already partnered with Amazon to integrate Alexa for Business into their offerings. And considering the accuracy rate, which is improving as well, nothing seems to stand in the way of smart speakers entering the office world.
Broader range of location-based services
Location-based search is already wide-spread in the consumer sector, with apps that help you find restaurants, cabs or ATMs near you. Another notable example from the recent past is the use of location tracking for gaming and augmented reality, such as Pokémon Go.
Businesses can use location-based services for proximity advertising, in-store/showroom navigation, or mobile workforce management.
We at Resco also see a high demand for location-based services in the interest in one of our newest products, Route Planner. This scheduling, tracking and navigation solution for mobile individuals and teams uses location data to the max – to keep track of the work being done, for better planning in the future, to proactively react to changing conditions, and of course as an in-app navigation.
Route Planner by Resco is an example of location data being put to a good use. For example, the manager, seeing that someone in the field has finished sooner than expected, might choose to task them with an additional errand to relieve the rest of the team.
All of the previous concepts are already here, although some less common than others. In the near future, we will see more examples being implemented. Moreover, AI has recently entered the picture and some experts expect a major shift in location-based services. One of the more intriguing, futuristic ideas involves the use of location-based services in driver-less cars.
More companies will use the multi-cloud approach
The term Cloud doesn’t have the traction that it used to have, but that doesn’t mean companies are turning away. It’s just that having one cloud service doesn’t seem to be enough anymore. Mainly bigger companies can run into the problem of having different requirements for different projects. Sometimes the top priority is scalability, other times it may be plain computing power to tackle big data. And don’t forget the increasing need for security and that some data might be more sensitive than other. The answer to this problem is to utilize more than one cloud service from different providers, which has the added bonus of not being dependent on any single one of them. The term multi-cloud is not new, however robust strategies about how to implement it properly are still to come.
And where do we see Resco going in 2019?
In the following year, we want to focus on finalizing Inspections and introduce the already mentioned Route Planner. Another big topic is UI/UX and continuous work on our Mobile Application Development Platform, for which we have recently been awarded with the inclusion in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Mobile App Development Platform for 2018. And of course, to solve more support cases and host more resco.next attendees than ever before. So as you can see, we have an exciting road ahead. Stay in touch and we will keep you updated on the details of our roadmap for 2019.