While we were all off sunbathing, swimming and barbecuing, some pretty big predictions were made for 2016 and beyond. We've summed them up here so they don't slip past you.
It already feels like vacations happened months ago. Nevertheless, the office is bustling with well-rested and slightly tanned #LuxusHeroes – and one of the first things we did when we returned from our holidays was to check out what’s new. What we found was a bucket load of trends and predictions for digital tools in 2016 and beyond. Frankly, it’s a wonder we managed to boil it all down to just three points.
Lightweight software packages
Bulky, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) packages will be replaced by lightweight bundles, Booz Allen points out. Software companies have enjoyed great success with their cloud-based services, and while many dislike the notion of SaaS, the pricing flexibility it offers the user along with a streamlined UI is undeniably popular.
It’s not just the end product that is evolving - we're also seeing a change in the way the software is actually created. By utilizing micro-service-based architectures in a kind of building-block fashion, software creators are enjoying a reduction of system ownership cost and improved system stability. The increasing popularity of Docker is testament to the success of this modular approach; a stable, flexible workflow means greater agility when it comes to developing and implementing new features, and perhaps more importantly, keeps our developers happy.
The Segment of One finally here
Measurement is everything. You don’t know that something is working unless you measure the results, and you can’t find the areas for improvement without analyzing those results. This is hardly news – but what is surprising is the sheer scale of which the demand for analytics will increase. Booz Allen predicts that this year will see retailers building a “Segment of One” thanks to advanced analytics, which means greater understanding and influence over the customers' decision chain. Not only that, but stores will start to rethink the use of their physical space, dedicating it less to inventory and sales but more toward marketing itself. As retailers break more holes in the boundaries between online, face-to-face and mobile, advanced analytics will be in more demand than ever to measure customer behaviours in these areas, and their sentiment toward products and brands.
The Nexus of Forces
Cloud, data, mobile and social, all tendrils in the "Nexus of Forces" that are driving changes in business. You may have heard (all too many times, we're willing to wager) that businesses need to evolve to survive and thrive in the world of digital. What Gartner have predicted is entire new business models structured to utilize the Nexus of Forces. Such business models will evolve the ways in which we engage with customers, suppliers and partners.
But all this talk of tech runs the risk of distraction from some core values of businesses – creativity and innovation. Gartner predicts that companies will look to strengthen these areas, with a focus on human-centric design and DevOps. Perhaps this trend will not remain exclusive to marketers and the "creative agencies". If digital advancements are bringing benefits to other sectors, like public and retail, then perhaps we can see all types of companies eager to flex their creative muscles.
So that's that in a nutshell. We keep a constant eye on martech trends, so we'll keep you posted on how these predictions pan out.
If you want to power-up your digital tool sets in light of these trends, drop us a message and let's get things rolling.
- Booz Allen Hamilton: Retail Trends in 2016
- Booz Allen Hamilton: System Delivery Trends 2016
- Gartner: 2016 Hype Cycles Highlight Digital Business Ecosystems
- Gartner: Top Strategic Predictions for 2016 and Beyond: The Future is a Digital Thing