Web tools, cloud services, mobile device applications and total connectivity through the Internet of Things are rapidly changing every aspect of our personal and professional lives. Consumers are increasingly embracing and relying on smart devices to conduct their business, and are inspired by the possibilities of the connected world. This integration of digital connectivity signals a major shift in how businesses interact with customers, and what tools and services need to be created and maintained to achieve a competitive edge.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of uniquely identifiable endpoints (or “things”) that contain embedded technology to sense, collect, communicate and exchange data locally or with external environments, often without human interaction. According to Gartner,(1)
“IoT will grow to 26 billion units installed in 2020 representing an almost 30-fold increase from 0.9 billion in 2009. IoT product and service suppliers will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion, mostly in services, in 2020. It will result in $1.9 trillion in global economic value-add through sales into diverse end markets.”
IoT technology is already being deployed in a variety of ways, including within our homes in the form of smart thermostats, which use various sensors to detect movement in a home and then adjusts the temperature depending on time of day, occupants and seasons. A new category of fitness wearables allow users to monitor their steps taken, distances ran, calories burned, heart rate, and stores the data and daily accomplishments for users to track and even share their fitness goals.
In the car, insurance companies are now deploying vehicle-installed devices which allow car owners (and the insurance company) to monitor whether the car is being operated safely. Individual driving statistics are uploaded to a website, allowing drivers to track their driving progress and receive discounts.
It’s not far fetched to believe that within the next several years, most of humanity will be digitally-connected in one form or another. But as connected as we are, there is still a break between consumers and the companies that attempt to build business and nurture customers through these technologies. To gain customer confidence in digital tools and services, companies must break through a crowded market with strong digital brands and well-designed, excellent customer experiences.
Faced with such a global transformation of how people will live and work in the very near future, it’s critical that businesses evolve their digital systems and services. Companies need to not only keep up with consumer demand, but they must drive development and innovation to deliver an excellent user experience and exceed their customers’ expectations. Businesses must think about the people who use their digital tools and services and consume their content and work to develop a deeper relationships with their various audiences.
Often the best, most cost-effective path for this deeper integration is to provide employees with the digital skills they need to contribute to the evolution. At Digital Skills Academy, our programmes are focused on developing industry-ready talent through degree programmes that are closely aligned with the needs of global industry.
We’re working with global corporations to develop talent for the 21st century workplace.
Our range of digital technology, business and design programmes are designed to enable participants to take advantage of the career opportunities where there are skills gaps and strong job prospects. We are focused on developing industry-ready talent through degree programmes that are closely aligned with the current and future needs of industry.
What are some of the digital skills you would like to develop (yourself or for your employees) in the next 12 months?
1. Gartner, "Forecast: The Internet of Things, Worldwide."