3HARMONISATIONOF DIGITAL LIFEInnovation in devices, mobility and connectivitycontinue to drive the way we use everydayservices, socialise and communicate.Consumers’ increasing desire to organise These requirements are no longer justtheir digital content, access it seamlessly for the early adopters and technologyfrom different devices and to store enthusiasts. In fact, more than ever, witheverything in one place is transforming how the continuing popularity of smartphoneswe live. Introducing connected consumers and other connected devices, this year willwho demand: be all about bringing the technology to the masses. Here we present five consumer-• To be online, and for their connection led trends and their influences on the to be seamless and integrated across technology solutions that are enabled by all devices the digital ecosystem.• Excellence as standard in terms of available content and user experience• Effortless access to content and recommendations, safely and securely• Harmonisation of their digital life, cross platformisation throughout their entire digital world
Harmonisation of Digital LifeECOSYSTEM 2.0This year the shift in focus will be from deviceplatform (OS) to accessing content via cloud-basedservices. Device and OS are still important butcloud-based services, the user experiences thatallow cross-device access to your digital life and digitalcontent, will play a vital role in managing people’sdigital life and driving greater loyalty. New entrantsto the market, providers who don’t necessarily ownan operating system, are presenting solutions toconsumers from a cloud perspective and changingthe face of the industry. Mass market consumers are arguably even moredemanding than early adopters in terms of needingsolutions to work ‘straight out of the box’. Oftenthey are less engaged and less willing to customiseand manage the integration of their digital livesthemselves. Understanding the needs of theseconsumers and their expectations of technologysolutions is paramount.
Harmonisation of Digital Life1Redefining Value REACHING THE CLOUDConsumers increasingly realise that it’s notjust about best price – it’s about best value.2012 is finally the year that cloud-based solutionswill creep into the mainstream. This trend is drivenby the ever-increasing use of smartphones, connecteddevices and other advanced mobile applications,in addition to the vast amount of content that hasbecome integral to consumers lives. As digitalcontent increases consumers will seek services thatcan dive into their personal data and effortlesslydeliver content. Cloud solutions offer internet-based computingwhere shared information, software, and resourcesare accessible on demand. This is an essentialdevelopment to complement the ecosystem as itfacilitates consistent service usage and storageacross any device. Cloud computing gives consumersease of access to all of their information withouthaving to update all devices to one OS.
7Future Implications will tie consumers into digital ecosystems but we may see the rise of a new businessMost consumers still have a fragmented opportunity around the management ofmanagement of digital content. For these digital life for a fee.customers simplicity and value are key. This The market for cloud-based mobileyear demand for cloud-based solutions will applications is expected to boom but theincrease and the industry needs to educate big question is going to be usability versusconsumers, not just high tech early adopters security. Consumers may be willing to paybut everyday digital users, and explain how for peace of mind and guidance therebythey can organise their digital lives. providing an opportunity for premium The opportunity to target consumers secure and personalised service.with cloud-based solutions is not just aboutshared content; it’s about ease of access.35% of people globally say they would beprepared to pay more for products thatmake their lives easier (Source: GfK RoperTrendKey™ 3.1). For cloud-based services,‘easier’ means running in the background,a service that syncs content without theconsumer having to deal with complicatedsettings or an unreliable service. Mostadvances in technology are not widelyunderstood and, as such, tech companiesneed to translate technology solutions intoconsumer benefits. Cloud-based solutions
Harmonisation of Digital Life2Satisfaction EXCELLENCE AS STANDARDIn a world where consumer is king, they expectto feel like one now and again, and demand royaltreatment from companies.Not only do consumers want to buy perfect devices toaccess their well-managed, easily-accessible content.They also want consistent high quality and a seamlessuser experience no matter what the device, wherethey are or what they are doing. Perceived satisfactionof experiences and services will drive future purchasedecisions and, therefore, customer value. With smartphone penetration reaching newhighs and ownership of tablet computers becomingincreasingly mainstream, more consumers areaccessing content from a greater range of devices.HTML5 can offer a dynamic experience, incorporatingvisuals, pictures, video and menu systems allowingthe user to control their experience of onlinecontent as opposed to being pushed through amore traditional linear format. The code also allowsdevelopers to create visuals that use the same design,layout, and functionality across different platforms byautomatically adjusting to the screen size.
9Future Implications However, there are some key benefits that come from the traditional app storeIn a world of never-ending new devices, screen such as discoverability and seamless ‘push’sizes and increased cross-platformisation, notifications. These functions improveHTML5 is worth its weight in gold for the availability of content, the usability ofconsumer experience. Even better, it is simple products and services, and most importantlyfor developers and therefore easily-accessible. the quality of the experience. Big players willIt will give everyday consumers the chance also compete against this model by offeringto have an excellent user experience as developers greater integration into theirstandard, without all the hassle and expense operating system in return for not doingof having to update all of their devices. The web-enabled Web apps.introduction of HTML5 has already led to the The high expectations of consumersdemise of Flash which has become obsolete in should not be taken lightly. It is important tothe mobile market. remember that we’re all influencers now. 34% A further development of HTML5 is the of people globally agree with the statementuse of the code alongside cloud technology ‘I go out of my way to tell other people aboutto create app-like functionality for browsers. products and services that I really like’ (Source:This is significant as apps continue to be GfK Roper TrendKey™ 3.1).popular and integral to transforming the The use of blogs, forums and review sitesuser experience and driving consideration provide consumers with a whole new worldand loyalty to operating systems, thereby of influence. The power of ‘word-of-mouth’dictating device choice. With these new is well-documented but when the messageapp stores, smaller players could enter the is negative the impact can make or breakmarket to compete with the traditional OS a product, brand or service in an instance,app model. whether based on fact or not.
Harmonisation of Digital Life3Experience SEAMLESS EXISTENCEAs consumers become more sophisticated, thefocus turns from “what I’ve got” to “what I do.”The internet has emerged as the key enabler in awireless ecosystem based on mobile devices beingconnected to facilitate real-time communication.Data-heavy services providing content & lifestyleofferings are capitalising on this trend, but operatorsare finding it difficult to manage the increasinggap between data growth and data revenue. Theimportance of being connected socially and the needto share experience in real-time is a significant driverof augmented data usage. The importance of being connected socially andhaving a constant connection has implications forproviders. Operators have introduced mobile-to-Wi-Fi roaming as a stopgap until 4G is rolled outwhich enables automatic switching when a Wi-Fihotspot is located. This relieves pressure on currentnetworks and provides an improved seamless servicein terms of managing that data connection.
11Future Implications Not only are people using their PC’s in the home but even laptops and tabletsDifferentiation for operators to monetise the are increasingly housebound and used assmartphone market has been tough but in localised mobile devices, becoming part of thethe coming months value add will hold the home ecosystem. Developments in internet-key. There is an opportunity for operators enabled TVs are also growing rapidly and theyto take advantage of their relationship are quickly becoming the fourth screen in thewith the consumer. Offering enhanced data ecosystem of connected devices.connectivity by subscription rather than bydevice will be the operators’ business modelin the future – one connection for all devices,all access points, whatever the location. Consumers don’t care about data size, 3Gand 4G, switching between Wi-Fi etc. Theysimply want a seamless service. That’s a bigchallenge for operators because even 4G maynot be able to cope as technology advances,there will always be an upper threshold asdata demands continue to grow. It is not just mobile connections. Thedesire for fully integrated in-home experienceis set to rise this year. 53% of females and46% of males agree with the statement ‘Ienjoy spending a lot of my free time at home’(Source: GfK Roper TrendKey™ 3.1).
Harmonisation of Digital Life4 RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOWInstant EverywhereWhat do I want? Everything.When do I want it? Now!Demand for instant gratification is not a new trend,but advances in technology enabling tailored, instantand relevant information means that expectations areon the rise for instant everywhere. The demand fordeals and discounts has also been a widespread trend,no longer a sign of parsimony but something to becelebrated and shared. A location-based service (LBS) is an information orentertainment service which is accessible through themobile network and utilises the geographic position ofthe mobile device. Location adds relevance for users,which is a key consumer trend, and offers a new way toadvertise products and services based on location.
13Future Implications exact location at any point, your purchase history, your profile, your life every day,LBS will change the way we buy. Impulse every year, and essentially they will be ablepurchases won’t be inspired by at-the- to map your life.counter deals but from technology thatprovides relevant content to consumersbased on geo-marketing. This will be furtherenhanced by Near Field Communication(NFC), a technology that allows devices toinstantly and securely pass information overa short distance, enabling payment by simply‘tapping’ a reader. Increasingly advertisers will use location-based services to offer relevant discountsto get consumers into a store. If payment ismade through NFC the purchase informationis fed back to the provider. This two-wayactivation of data will mean that rather thanjust being a mechanism for payments, NFCcould also be a data collection tool that holdsthe key to targeted advertising towardscustomers offering personalised benefits.However, the main concern for many peoplewill be the detail of the information collected.Providers will be able to piece together your
Harmonisation of Digital Life5Streamlined GATE KEEPERSLess is more for some, but others just want tobring a little order to their cluttered lives.Consumers increasingly expect a convenient streamlinedconcierge service – someone to push personalised,interactive content and recommendations. But on theflip side people are also waking up to the reality of howmuch personal information they store online and theprivacy issues it presents. While consumers will continueto embrace seamlessness, many will also place a premiumon feeling safe and secure. The data privacy concern for consumers is thatindividually, pockets of data with different hosts may feelsafe and anonymous (e.g. your bank to hold your personaldetails, your internet provider to collect online activity,your social network to monitor your behaviour). However,if this information is brought together it paints a richpicture that could potentially breach personal privacy. There must be an evolution in how customersapproach technology as a response to the threat posedby digital footprints to personal privacy. Consumer focusmay currently be geared towards content and experience,but security will be a key driver of loyalty in the future.People will eventually want to set permissions with one‘gate keeper’ to manage their digital lives
15Future Implications providers, both established and new players in the market, will pose a real threat.The trade-off between the consumer The EU is currently revising its privacyadvantages of personal data aggregation policy and wants to introduce a ‘right toand the heightened level of ‘intrusion’ will be forgotten’. This could have a significantbe a growing concern this year. Trusted impact on online companies so consumerbrands will be in a strong position to privacy issues need to be managedbalance ease of access and usability with effectively or face strict regulation as wellgrowing security concerns. 37% of the as a consumer backlash.global population agree with the statement‘It is better to buy well-known brandsbecause you can rely on their quality’. Thisis particularly true of men. (Source: GfKRoper TrendKey™ 3.1). Operators may have an opportunity togo beyond data and network connectionto realise a whole new revenue stream. Bycapitalising on their image as a ‘trustedadvisor’, and providing the seamlessconnection consumers so desire, operatorswill be in a strong position to affiliatewith partners who will help to streamlineconsumer experience whilst providingcustomers with a safe and secure solutionto their digital lives. However, other service
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