As the big trends in cloud, mobile, social, big data and internet of things drive more mature products and methodologies in 2015, we expect to see emerging solutions enabling new ways of doing business and engaging with customers. These new solutions will deliver services and mass-customized products to customers. An example may be spare parts delivered almost instantly anywhere a 3D printer is available leveraging cloud, integration, data and other technologies. Another example would be an alert to your car’s driver panel/GPS guiding a customer to an optimum open parking space nearest the store they are going to driven by mobile, integration, internet of things and new data technologies integrated into a customer engagement/service solution.
Wearable smart technology like watches and glasses will take off expanding the internet of things and generating even a larger tidal wave of big data. Enterprises that can integrate, intelligently process and make rapid decisions incorporating these data flows into their business will pull ahead. Technologies required to build the requisite IT infrastructure include:
- Cloud IaaS and PaaS platforms to enable a flexible, performant and agile base to develop and execute the applications and business processes,
- Highly productive service and mobile application platforms,
- Lightweight, cloud-based integration technologies to bring these data, applications and business processes together to work in harmony from a customer point of view, and
- Business process and decision automation platforms that enable rapid automation and modification of the business processes and decisions necessary to provide a higher level of customer engagement.
Increasingly natural, intelligent and aware systems of engagement and/or interaction platforms drive customer experiences to higher levels. Higher levels of engagement include predictive, contextual and timely offerings and services even when the customer has not yet indicated his emerging need, but has opted into such advanced services. GPS systems that have real time traffic, construction and other delay information guiding people to the fastest, not the shortest route represents an example. Another example could be a local garage connects a car to an application that analyzes the car maintenance and condition and brings up a list of parts to print on a local 3D printer to pre-emptively repair the car. A third example would be a travel reservation system that alerts you to cancelations/delays and offers up reworked itinerary options to select in real time while at the airport *before* the delay is posted on the local screen.
These systems of engagement build on contextually aware applications and business processes. An application or business process must be aware and make the right decisions, deliver the right answers or products and delight customers/users. The systems of engagement are built on lightweight, enterprise ready and productive mobile systems, hosted on cloud infrastructure, and integrated with all needed applications, data, and business decision and process automation services required. This is the “secret” to successful customer engagement in 2015.