We have transitioned successfully from an Agrarian to Industry to knowledge economy. Today, we are embracing the “Experience Economy” after successfully crossing the four generations of technology -- mainframe to mini computers to client/server to internet. At present we are in the era of 5th generation technologies like Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud, Internet of Things (IOT), etc.
In today’s Experience Economy, customers are getting adapted to digital lifestyle which means they expect immediate response and personal attention; they want to take purchase decisions based on online research; they want to get contextual information & get their job done from anywhere, anytime and through any device.
On the other hand, due to maturity of Internet of Things (IOT), it is estimated that near 50 billion non-living things will be connected to Internet by 2020. This is another major disruption minimizing the human interventions in business and impacting the business processes, operations, etc. Also, the hyper automation due to IOT is helping to provide better experience to the customers.
According to a report from CISCO, the number of connected device per person is increasing by the day. In 2003, there were 0.08 device/person and in 2015 it is estimated to be at 3.47 device/person and by 2020 it will be around 7 device/person (For example: PC, Tablet, Phablet, Mobile Phone, TV, etc.)
The complex challenge enterprises have to face today is that customers are expecting similar experience from each device or channel. For example a customer completing a transaction using PC, mobile or tablet, he expects a similar experience from other devices as well. Hence, there is a need to develop next generation software applications according to business need, which can be accessed through PC, Tablet, Mobile Phone, Car Console, TV, Refrigerator door, etc. This is called CONVERGENCE.
A plant manager can re-launch his factory with his iPad from home after getting a storm warning which has stopped the production (source: Wall Street Journal). Plant Engineers need not be located onsite always, as they can remotely monitor to optimize the machine operations. One of the districts in USA in a year, 30% of traffic is occupied, 700+ tons of CO2 is emitted, 40,000 gallons of gas is consumed just to find the parking place by residents. This issue was solved by digitizing parking places by putting digital meters (devices) connected to mobile through wireless communication. This mobile & device convergence has been helping the residents to find the parking place and is contributing for environment by reducing carbon emissions.
Healthcare can be totally transformed because of the mobile & device convergence. A few benefits include: Healthcare with end to end remote monitoring, wellness on the go, connected with doctor on the go and mobile diagnosis using medical wearable devices. Smart homes are now connecting many home appliances with mobile phones and tablets though wireless communications enabling remote monitoring of house for power saving and safety. Web, Mobile and Device Convergence helps in preventive maintenance of ATM machines or machine tools in shop floor of a manufacturing plant.
While the convergence of Web, Mobile and Device is at its peak, the user interface trends for the software applications are shifting tremendously. Many new UI trends are emerging now like, Minimalistic UI, Skeuomorphism UI, Laser Focus UI, Contextual Navigation , Collapsed content UI, Content Chunking/grouping, Long web pages UI etc., Identifying the right UI adapting to a specific needs and situations is very essential.
In summary, we are now moving from Applications Economy to Apps Economy. Apps are developed to address a specific need/feature and takes usually hours, days, weeks to make them operational. Today’s Apps are built with the following CONVERGENCES
- Convergence of Web, Mobile, Devices/ Things
- Convergence of Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud Technologies
- Convergence of User Interfaces to be Omni Present
This is a paradigm shift for IT professionals and organizations. Significant efforts to be put in, for building new talent/skills, creating new roles, new behaviors, new culture. Are you ready?