The world is changing around us. Technology is changing both our personal and work lives – from what we know and what we can do, to influencing our expectations of products and services, support, and customer service. And it’s showing no sign of slowing down.
Highly-automated vehicles (HAVs), 3D printing, advanced robotics, drones, wearables, and smart homes – we have truly entered the “fourth industrial revolution” heralded by Klaus Schwab in his book of the same name.
Propelled by the introduction of IPv6 in 2012, and the now almost unlimited connectivity of anything-to-anything, the lines are blurring between the physical, digital, and biological. These “cyber-physical systems,” combined with social media, cloud, and mobile computing, plus touch- and voice-activated interfaces, are the driving forces behind the “digital age.”
We’ve not quite returned to Smell-O-Vision (if you’re old enough to remember this), but the days of Captain Kirk controlling the Enterprise turbo lift with a simple voice command are certainly upon us. And who’d have thought a small portable phone could be a more powerful computing method than our earlier desktops?
We have all swiped our way to apps and information, and many of us have already let a stranger into our homes in the form of Amazon’s Alexa (Echo) and Google’s Home smart speaker devices.
At SysAid, we expect technology and consumer-driven changes to focus on the following three factors:
With each playing a part, along with technological advancements, in the evolution of how employees want – and expect – to be supported in the workplace.
We are now all digital consumers to some degree, irrespective of the generational persona someone tries to profile us as. And as such, we:
Our new expectations of how things should work often start at home, and in how we use technology for non-work-related activities. And we import these expectations directly into the workplace – it’s the real consumerization, not the “consumerization of IT” that corporate IT organizations have occupied themselves with, focused primarily on just smartphone and other mobile devices.
Thanks to consumerization, we now expect exceptional customer service – with our level of satisfaction, and how we value things, formed from a combination of:
Our satisfaction acts as the basis for loyalty and repeat business, and this in turn can lead us to become advocates for our preferred service providers.
But there’s more to this digital world. The technology is altering expectations too. Take, for instance, the Corning “A Day Made of Glass” videos, showing how advanced glass technology essentially transforms a variety of surfaces into functional touchscreens. They offer insights into what’s possible now, soon, and further into the future.
Google, Amazon, and others are introducing us to this new computing interface – one predicted to be more ubiquitous and more useful than our touch-based smartphones. And industry estimates are that there may already be as many as 10 million of these “voice activated, artificial intelligent assistants,” or smart speakers, in our homes. By 2019, the prediction is that 67 million voice-assisted devices will be sold and adopted as a new member of the family, in the U.S. alone!
We also collectively wear more than 10 million devices – most commonly a smart watch. And it won’t be long before we are surrounded by “digital butlers,” with restaurants, airlines, hotels, and the entertainment business all piloting touch- and voice-activated assistants. Mark Zuckerberg has even called his contribution “Jarvis.”
There’s no doubt that what we see in the movies and what we have in our homes, and on ourselves, have created a new kind of connected, empowered consumer. It has revolutionized our behavior and reshapes in real-time our expectations, disrupting both business and personal relationships.
You might have seen some of these in movies already, but it’s still important to think how they would change your social and work life. And how they would impact your expectations of services and support.
There’s a great deal of continued change ahead in 2018 and beyond, and how in particular it impacts IT support is a topic that I intend to explore in my next blog.