Corporate technology spending is expected to reach $3.7 billion in 2018, according to a report on Statista, an increase from $3.5 billion of 2017. As organizations prepare to invest in the latest tech advancements, knowing which ones will benefit your customers the most can make a critical difference in your bottom line. Knowing which technologies will matter can allow you to make smart decisions when it comes to implementation, as well as avoid sinking money into systems that will quickly fade from awareness. That's why 10 members of Forbes Technology Council discuss the tech advances that will impact consumer markets the most during the next five years, as well as touch on why that impact will be so strong. There will be huge advances in home automation technologies and platforms in the next five years.
The internet of things (IoT) can deliver benefits for companies in a variety of industries: Retail, healthcare, logistics/supply chain, etc. IIoT incorporates big data/analytics and machine learning technologies to glean insights from data gathered from production equipment, products, and sensors in industrial settings. Manufacturers can use the data to discover inefficiencies, cut costs, and improve customer service. IIoT can provide better quality control, more efficient supply chains, and sustainability. One company that's banking on IIoT is Rexnord Corp., which has a Process and Motion Control (PMC) platform that designs, manufactures, and services highly engineered mechanical components used within complex systems, where customer reliability requirements and the cost of failure or downtime are extremely high. The company's bearings, couplings, and gears are used at facilities such as power plants and mining operations, and its conveyer components help customers in manufacturing make everything from cars to food.
For too many companies, ambitious-sounding plans for digital business transformation turn out to be less revolutionary than they appear. That's maybe not surprising when a quick web search for digital transformation project failure rates reveals numbers as high as 84% or when Cisco says as many as 60% of internet of things (IoT) initiatives get stuck at the proof-of-concept stage. Many companies will begin by enabling web-based sales or inventory management but will not take the necessary next steps to realize the benefits of a complete digitally transformed enterprise. A survey of 400 senior U.S. executives revealed that 50% of them felt their companies were not successfully executing against their strategies. To successfully transform, companies need to look beyond the basic processes and completely rethink their existing commercial models.
Home is where that independence and quality of life can be realized. The aging population wants to safely live in their own homes as long as possible. People with disabilities want a home designed for their specific needs. Ultimately, a more accessible home will help people feel connected and valued, and reduce loneliness. "My in-laws just turned 87 and 91, and my family is determining how to best care for them," said Scott Gerard, Senior Technical Staff Member at IBM Research.
Bestselling author Shep Hypken--the "Chief Amazement Officer" at Shephard Presentations--makes a rock-solid case for why customer experience has advanced to the level of 21st-century table stakes: "New research proves that consumers are expecting, if not demanding, highly personalized experiences," Hypken writes in Forbes. "And the good news for those businesses that can deliver is that customers are typically willing to spend more when they receive such custom-tailored service." Computer vision also comes into play where smart retail stores are concerned. Enter the Internet of Things (IoT), which through interconnected devices and strong data analytics makes an entirely new level of customer surprise, delight and convenience possible. What's more, the IoT brings relevant experiences and information to consumers, whether to facilitate the operation of smart homes or to provide relevant health and wellness data that can be shared with medical professionals.
The likes of Apple's HomeKit and Samsung SmartThings may get all the credit, but they're not the only smart home ecosystems around. There's also Wink, which has been quietly building its ecosystem of products for a while now. To take advantage of the Wink ecosystem of products, you'll need a Wink Hub, and we recommend buying the second version of the hub if you haven't bought one yet. The hub is compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant -- so you can still take advantage of voice controls. Once you are set up with a hub, you'll probably want to start building out your smart home devices.
During CEBIT 2018, Huawei unveiled several of its latest IoT and AI products designed to help enterprises create'intelligent' transformation. Huawei's President of Global Marketing, Qiu Heng, delivered a keynote speech in which he spoke of how the IoT and AI are enabling businesses to connect the physical and digital world. The company's OceanConnect IoT platform has been upgraded to support connected cars systems. Connectivity enablement: The platform provides safe, reliable connectivity for vehicles, supporting hundreds of millions of connections and concurrent access from millions of vehicles. The flexible platform supports deployment in private, public and hybrid clouds, accommodating their different architectures.
Thanks to advances in technology, transactions are no longer limited to cash in-hand at a stationary cash register. Today, with proper connectivity, almost any device can integrate payment acceptance meaning purchases can be made in some unconventional locations. Consumers have reacted positively to these payment methods, encouraging more day-to-day items to be fitted with payment capabilities. Wearables -- Contactless payment has become a standard in some countries and on the rise in others. When integrated with normal accessories, payments are becoming more convenient for consumers.
IBM's Almaden lab is sacred ground for techies. Set in the middle of 700 grassy acres on a hill south of San Jose, its scientists have filed thousands of patents. They've won Turing and Nobel prizes. And almost 60 years ago, they pioneered the first bulky disk drive. Since then, they've been involved in successive pushes to miniaturize it and miniaturize it again, so that now even the tiniest of devices can gather and store data.
Technology-enabled growth can come from many sources, but it's rarely technology alone that spurs progress forward. In the case of the Internet of Things (IoT), the "things" are important, but it is the combination of their interconnectivity and the data they generate that delivers value. Early adopters of IoT are not leading just because they're implementing these technologies first; they're leading because of how they're embracing IoT. We spoke with Tesla, Nest and Medtronic to learn how they are leveraging IoT-derived data to move their businesses forward in ways that were not possible just a few years ago. Early adopters of IoT are not leading just because they're implementing these technologies first; but because of how they're embracing IoT.