Four big trends to keep an eye on if you are in the connectivity business
- Business Model Innovation
Driven by rapid technology developments, connectivity has become a defining feature of our modern economy. Proven by the fact that we have been heavily investing in companies that are linking communities, economies and countries. Is connectivity the oxygen for your company? Then, fasten your seat belts. In this article we are going to look into four of the big trends that are influencing the way you and I are connected.
But first, let’s discuss what we mean by “connectivity business”. Because in this article we already mentioned that business models without any form of digital connectivity virtually do not exist anymore. This story, however, is about companies that have connectivity as their core value proposition: their business is to digitally connect people and systems through the creation of their technology and platforms.
Many of these companies are at the forefront of changing the game for different industries, but let’s take a look at four of the biggest trends shaping the future.
1. Next-generation network
Do a quick count, how many connected devices are within hand reach whilst reading this article? The number of network-connected devices has grown extensively in the past decade and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. But all of this comes with great challenges for our current networks. We have seen an increase in speed and capacity with the introduction of 5G and Wifi 6. But moreover, there is a big transformation going on in the core networks as well, as they are forming the backbone for all Internet connectivity.
This so called cloudification is the next step in network evolution as it extends the technology of data centers from the cloud into the network. With a network running in the cloud, operators can become even more innovative. As they can respond to changing market demands with the flexibility and scalability of a cloud computing company.
Even though a lot of companies are increasingly embracing public cloud and hybrid cloud solutions we see that in some cases stringent latency needs require a different strategy. Especially when we look at smart healthcare solutions that need high computing power. Therefore, extreme performance networks will need to emerge. These specialized private on-premises networks are carefully engineered to guarantee extremely low latency and high reliability. There is another reason why edge computing is an upcoming trend, because local computing power can be a big benefit in the light of sustainability. Minimizing the need for data to be processed in a remote data center can simply help reduce energy use.
We foresee that most companies will develop a hybrid strategy with a flexible approach between the network and centralized, edge and on-premises clouds. But creating this seamless connection between cloud and network will require industry collaboration and joint investment in order to keep our growing number of devices connected to network
Faster networks and new technologies are creating a mechanism for real digital transformation; hyperautomation. Hyperautomation is end-to-end process that dynamically identifies and automates complex business processes. But we are really talking next level here. It is basically automating your automations by strategically combining technologies and tools such as Robotic process automation (RPA), low-code platforms and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Both Machine learning (ML) and it’s subset deep learning are a crucial application of AI and the key drivers of the hyperautomation revolution.
Telecom companies, for example, are automating front- and back-office operations so they need ways to converge legacy systems, organize large amounts of data, and personalize the user experience in order to keep their customers stratified. And in the healthcare industry we see Bots doing patient monitoring and RPA for repetitive digital tasks leaving healthcare workers of to engage in more productive, higher-value work, and focus on patient care.
Hyperautomation was identified by Gartner as one of the 2022 top 10 strategic technology trends. The big business opportunity being that automating complex process leaves your team with more time to focus on customer-facing value adding opportunities while keeping operational costs down.
3. Digital – physical – digital
The trend you know that would be coming at some point in this article; the emerging phygital world. Where physical and digital are becoming one. It’s about creating highly immersive experiences and enhanced human-computer interfaces. It allows us to become a part of the internet, not just users of it. The metaverse being the hottest development here.
Augmented- and virtual reality devices are changing our two-dimensional screen experience to a full-on virtual world. In the next ten years we will see even more human augmentation innovations such a bio-digital inter interfaces and exoskeletons. The entertainment industry is leading the pace of change here. We have music stars Travis Scott and Ariane Grande performing in the metaverse. And the biggest pop acts of all time, ABBA, is going to perform with their avatars and a live band in a custom-build stadium in London.
However, as we as consumers are growing more dependent on our digital interactions, especially in the light of the recent pandemic, we are all craving a more personalized experience with the convenience of digital. These personalized experiences are more and more a must-have in order to stay relevant for your customers. Bolted-on and digitized loyalty programs are not good enough anymore. Companies that are ahead in their omni-channel game have dedicated teams of data engineers, designers and coders working closely together to create value- enriched human interactions, both physical and digital.
4. Cyber security
As our physical and digital worlds are slowly turning into one, building trust is going to be crucial if you want to deliver these meaningful experiences to your customers. Because to create these humanlike digital interactions lots of (personal) data and information is needed. So data remains the new gold, but how do you make sure that it does not become a liability? As we all know that cybercrime and data leaks are some of the biggest threats in the space of connectivity. Therefore, players in the space need to up their game when it comes to meeting growing national and international regulations to guarantee safety for its users, our economies and society. We are on the lookout for companies creating products and services that are not seamless, but trustworthy and ethical as well.
Stay in touch with your customers
In this space there some amazing examples of companies pushing the boundaries of connectivity. All laying the groundwork for radical new business models in other industries such as healthcare and food. But just like in any other industry, connectivity companies need to think and design for long term customer value, otherwise they might lose their connection.
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