Ecosystm Predicts: The Top 5 Contact Centre Trends for 2021

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Running a contact centre has been extremely challenging in 2020. Contact centres have had to ensure business continuity, keep the focus on customer experience, and manage and motivate a largely remote workforce. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, not only have contact centres seen high inbound activity, but they have also had to manage agents who are dispersed and working remotely. 2020 has seen many contact centres starting, accelerating or re-focusing their digital transformation initiatives (Figure 1).

COVID Impact on Contact Centres

2021 will see contact centres focusing on transformation, not only to survive but also because their organisations and clients will expect more process efficiency and better customer experience. Ecosystm Advisors Audrey William and Ravi Bhogaraju present the top 5 Ecosystm predictions for Contact Centres Trends in 2021.

This is a summary of our predictions on the top 5 Contact Centre Trends for 2021 – the full report (including the implications) is available to download for free on the Ecosystm platform here.

The Top 5 Contact Centre Trends for 2021

  1. Remote Working Will Force Contact Centres to Re-evaluate Security Measures

Security has always been a concern for contact centre leaders. Improper data use by agents and agents breaching confidentiality are the biggest security challenges for contact centres. This has been further heightened, especially the fear of agents purposely breaching confidentiality while working from home.

Contact centres are still trying to figure out the best security measures when managing customer data, especially in the work-from-home environment. There is greater scrutiny over security and compliance measures – what agents view, how agents access the data, when agents log in and out of the system. Outsourcing providers will also have to guarantee high levels of security – a trusted relationship and defining the best practices on working from home will not be sufficient.

Many contact centres will trial different methods – from installing video surveillance cameras, desktop monitoring tools and access controls. Others will test technologies that can mask the information captured through mobile devices. This presents immense opportunities for vendors, as contact centres will rely heavily on technology to re-invent their security practices.

  1. Contact Centres will Invest in Conversational AI – Chatbots will No Longer be Enough

Many enterprises have rushed into deploying chatbots with expectations that these engines can solve the problem of high call volumes. The outcomes have often been poor, leaving customers frustrated and opting to interact with a live agent instead. Implementing a basic chatbot does not fully solve the problem and will force companies back to the drawing board.

Conversational AI offers a different experience by designing multiple forms of dialogues and conversations. It requires conversational design and the algorithms go through rigour from the start. The aim should be to make the channel irresistible – one that customers have confidence in, and that can reduce the need to email or call an agent. Successful uses cases have shown that conversational AI can reduce calls and repetitive queries by 70-90%.  Ecosystm research finds that contact centres are ramping up their self-service capabilities and their adoption of AI and machine learning.

  1. Offshore Centres will Re-invent Themselves and Make a Comeback

2020 has seen contact centres in offshore locations struggle to offer services to global clients. Many of these operators have been plagued by poor internet connectivity at agents’ homes, and unfavourable home working environments. These outsourcing locations remain vital however, for multiple reasons – for example the range of services offered, agent specialisation, costs or diversity in agent profile.

Contact centre outsourcing providers will make a comeback in 2021 and we can expect new models to appear. Many providers across the globe have been running successful work-from-home only operations for years – other outsourcing providers will learn from these best practices. Organisations will find that bringing jobs back to high-cost locations will incur more costs. A full onshore model may not be the right model for business continuity, and organisations will prefer to have back-up locations to ensure continuity of services if another pandemic or catastrophe happens. Organisations will want to see the outsourcing providers offer them a choice of location – they will prefer some services to be delivered from offshore locations and others to remain onshore.

  1. Digital and Mobile will be the Cornerstone of Deeper Customer Engagement

COVID-19 has changed how customers want to be served, and organisations have had to re-evaluate how they use their channels – e.g. email, web, chat and voice. Customer profiles and expectations have changed over the year and they are more digital savvy and are more likely to interact with brands through digital and mobile apps. They will expect a single point of interaction – for their enquiries and to complete their transactions. For instance, they will expect to chat while filling up shopping carts. Introducing chat capabilities within mobile apps is a good way to impress customers – this can be an effective way to push promotions and upsell. Capabilities such as the ability to directly place a call from a website will make the customer experience exceptional. Customers will expect to move between channels easily when interacting with a brand.

  1. Workplace Collaboration Will be Fully Integrated into Contact Centres

Contact centres will reassess their business and talent models. The focus on employees will be in two major areas:

  • Productivity. The contact centre floor dynamics have changed in how agents are spread out across outsourcing locations and in-house contact centres. Agents are no longer located in the same room or floor and do not have access to their usual way of work – continual training, digital signage that provides guidance and demonstrates KPIs, conversations with supervisors, managers, and team members for guidance or assistance, easy access to back-office functions and so on. This can impact their productivity.  
  • Engagement. Contact centre staff often work in high-stress environments -chasing sales targets and deadlines, handling complaints – and it is important for managers and supervisors to be able to engage and motivate them constantly. Remote working has further exacerbated the stress for those agents who do not have a conducive working environment at home.

Contact centres will increasingly look to workplace collaboration platforms and  tools to improve employee productivity and experience.


Ecosystm Predicts: The Top 5 Contact Centre Trends for 2021

The full findings and implications of The Top 5 Contact Centre Trends for 2021 are available for download from the Ecosystm platform. Create your free account to access more from the Ecosystm Predicts Series, and many other reports, on the Ecosystm platform

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Ecosystm Predicts: The Top 5 Retail & eCommerce Trends for 2021

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The Retail industry has had to do a sharp re-think of its digital roadmap and transformation journey – Ecosystm research shows that about 75% of retail organisations had to start, accelerate, or re-focus their digital transformation initiatives. However, that will not be enough as organisations move beyond survival to recovery – and future successes. While retailers will focus on the shift in customer expectations, a mere focus on customer experience will not be enough in 2021. Ecosystm Principal Advisors, Alan Hesketh and Alea Fairchild present the top 5 Ecosystm predictions for Retail & eCommerce in 2021.

This is a summary of the predictions, the full report (including the implications) is available to download for free on the Ecosystm platform here.

The Top 5 Retail & eCommerce Trends for 2021

  1. There Will Only be Omnichannel Retailers

The value of an omnichannel offer in Retail has become much clearer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Retailers that do not have the ability to deliver using the channel customers prefer will find it hard to compete. As the physical channel becomes less important new revenue opportunities will open up for businesses operating in adjacent market sectors – companies such as food and grocery wholesalers will increasingly sell direct to consumers, leveraging their existing online and distribution capabilities.

Most customers transact on mobile device – either a mobile phone or tablet.  New capabilities will remove some of the barriers to using these mobile devices. For one, technologies such as Progressive Web Apps (PWA) and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) will provide a better customer experience on mobile platforms than existing websites, while delivering a user experience at par or better than mobile apps. Also, as retailers become AI-enabled, machine learning engines will provide purchase recommendations through smartwatches or in-home, voice-enabled, smart devices.  

  1. COVID-19 Will Continue to be an Influence Forcing Radical Shifts

In driving the economic recovery in 2021, we will see ‘glocal’ consumption – emphasis on local retailers and global players taking local actions to win the hearts and minds of local consumers. There will be significant actions within local communities to drive consumers to support local retailers. Location-based services (LBS) will be used extensively as consumers on the high street carry more LBS-enabled devices than ever before. Bluetooth beacon technology and proximity marketing will drive these efforts. Consumers will have to opt-in for this to work, so privacy and relationship management are also important to consider.

But people still want to “physically” browse, and design aesthetics of a store are still part of the attraction. In the next 18 months, the concept of virtual stores that are digital twins will take off, particularly in the holiday and Spring clearance sales. Innovators like Matterport can help local retailers gain a more global audience with a digital twin with a limited technological investment. At a minimum, Shopify or other intermediaries will be necessary for a digital shop window.  

  1. The Industry will See Artificial Intelligence in Everything

AI will increase its impact on Retail with an uptake in two key areas.

  • Customer interactions. Retail AI will use customer data to deliver much richer and targeted experiences. This may include the ability to get to a ‘segment of one’.  Tools will include chatbots that are more functional and support for voice-based commerce using mobile and in-home edge devices. Also, in-store recognition of customers will become easier through enhanced device or facial recognition. Markets where privacy is less respected will lead in this area – other markets will also innovate to achieve the same outcomes without compromising privacy but will lag in their delivery. This mismatch of capability may allow early adopters to enter other geographic markets with competitive offers while meeting the privacy requirements of these markets.
  • Supply chain and pricing capabilities. AI-based machine learning engines using both internal and increased sources of external data will replace traditional math-based forecasting and replenishment models. These engines will enable the identification of unexpected and unusual demand influencing factors, particularly from new sources of external data. Modelling of price elasticity using machine learning will be able to handle more complex models. Retailers using this capability will be in a better position to optimise their customer offers based on their pricing strategies. Supply chains will be re-engineered so products with high demand volatility are manufactured close to markets, and the procurement of products with stable demands will be cost-based.
  1. Distribution Woes Will Continue

Third party delivery platforms such as Wish and RoseGal are recruiting additional international non-Asian suppliers to expand their portfolios. Amazon and AliExpress are leaders here, but there are many niche eCommerce platforms taking up the slack due to the uneven distribution patterns from the ongoing economic situation. Expect to see a number of new entrants taking up niche spaces in the second half of 2021, sponsored by major retail product brands, to give Amazon a run for their money on a more local basis. 

As the USPS continues to be under strain, delivery companies like FedEx in the US who partner with the USPS are already suffering from the USPS’s operational slowdown, in both their customer reputation and delivery speed. In 2021, COVID-19 – and workers’ unions – will continue to impact distribution activities. Increased spending in warehouse automation and new retail footprints such as dark stores will be seen to make up for worker shortfalls.  

  1. China’s Retail Models Will Expand into Other Markets  

China’s online businesses operate in a large domestic market that is comparatively free of international competitors.  Given the scale of the domestic market, these online companies have been able to grow to become substantial businesses using advanced technologies. All the Chinese tech giants – among them Alibaba, ByteDance, DiDi Chuxing, and Tencent – are expanding internationally.

China’s rapidly recovering economy puts those businesses in a strong position to fund a competitive expansion into international markets using their domestic base, particularly with their Government’s promotion of the country’s tech sector. It is harder to impose restrictions on software-based businesses, unlike the approach that we have witnessed the US Government take for hardware companies such as Huawei – placing constraints on mobile phone components and operating systems.

These tech giants also have significant experience in a Big Data environment that provides little privacy protection, as well as leading-edge AI capabilities. While they will not be able to operate with the same freedom in global markets, and there will be other large challenges in translating Chinese experience to other markets – these tech players will be able to compete very effectively with incumbent global companies. Chinese companies also continue to raise capital from US stock exchanges with The Economist reporting Chinese listings have raised close to USD 17 billion since January 2020.  


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The Top 5 Telecommunications & Mobility Trends For 2020

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5/5 (2) As we move into a new decade, the Telecommunications industry is ripe for disruption, as it gets reshaped by bountiful bandwidth and software enabled flexibility. Several countries have spent the last decade building  fibre access networks. 5G  is expected to lower latency and provide greater flexibility. As  virtualisation, AI and automation combine to make networks even more cost effective it will broaden use cases to include widespread adoption of IoT.

The Top 5 Telecommunications and Mobility Trends for 2020

Below are the top 5 Telecommunications and Mobility Trends for 2020. It is based on the latest data from the global Ecosystm Mobility Study and is based on qualitative research by Liam Gunson, Director, Product and Solutions at Ecosystm.

  1. 50 Shades of 5G

In 2020, 5G will be a major step change in what a mobile network can do – in terms of capacity, efficiency, stability, and latency. The amount of money and investment associated with it will also keep it in the spotlight. The year will see 5G move beyond trials to actual commercial rollouts – but that will also mean more regulations and a competitive landscape. There will be multiple deployment models:

  • In fixed vs mobile markets, the most obvious choice will be to take a share of the home broadband space first
  • Markets with strong growth in data usage and higher ARPUs will evolve 4G to provide higher bandwidth while looking to 5G for their economic benefits in efficiently managing spectrum
  • In other areas, operators will be forced to explore spectrum or infrastructure sharing to spread costs across lower ARPUs or align with regulators’ desire to limit licenses. This is likely to be more common in emerging markets and low-density areas.
  1. Enterprise Mobility Will Witness a Renaissance

Enterprise mobility will be back on IT teams’ agenda after having taken a backseat for a few years. Ecosystm research shows that over 72% of organisations have a Mobile First strategy. This is set to accelerate for a number of reasons:

  • Companies are increasingly adopting agile or new ways of working to speed up innovation and delivery – and this includes working in new teams and activity-based working
  • As more millennials and the Gen Z enter the workforce, there will be a steady rise of the ‘gig economy’ and a high percentage of contract, part-time and freelance workers
  • As organisations become more agile and the workforce increasingly mobile there will be a bigger drive towards space optimisation, seeing a higher adoption of shared offices and co-working spaces
  1. The Future of the LAN is Cloudy

The next few years will see a re-think of the traditional LAN/WAN set-up, as user needs change with Digital Transformation (DX) initiatives, and new technologies such as GPON, 5G, Wifi 6, WiGig, and software-defined networking bring new capabilities and alter costs. Enterprise network will change in the following ways:

  • Wireless connectivity will move beyond BYOD and guest access and become the primary connection type – the connection points will be sensors and access points, and not PCs
  • AI, virtualisation and software-defined networking will bring more flexibility as they lessen the need for specialised hardware, centralise control, and speed up configuration changes
  • Enterprises will stop thinking of their network as a physical space and start seeing it as a set of capabilities. Equipment will be increasingly centralised in data centres (possibly on the Edge) to allow workers to work from virtually anywhere.
  1. Intelligence at the Edge – from Connected Things to Conscious Things

We have moved past step 1 of IoT, where the focus was on making sensors and chipsets cheap enough to be incorporated in millions of different devices, as well as a to find cost-effective ways to handle the data requirements. 2020 will see IoT move to step 2 – from sensing to responding. AI will become easier to develop and use, while edge compute, high-bandwidth, and low latency networks will make it possible to be embedded into an expanding number of use cases where devices and processes need to make real-time adjustments.

This will become most obvious as we see an increased use of cameras as sensors. With their ability to capture details, they are the most effective sensors we can have. The challenge has been that high definition video is incredibly data heavy, creating issues when trying to transport and analyse it. Edge compute will help to bring the analytics closer to the source lowering the transport costs, while also lowering latency and increasing security.

  1. Expansion Drives Consolidation

Telecommunications operators have been evolving for a while now using measures such as acquiring new companies, establishing disruptive business units and so on. In 2020, these operators will focus on transforming the core – remove unnecessary costs, improve customer experience, capture new opportunities  – and on building telecom networks with scalability, flexibility, efficiency and agility.

As providers become more flexible, they will not only be easier to integrate with, but will also be able to manage more products and niche requirements. Traditionally 80-90% of their revenues have come from consumers and Telecommunications providers own these relationships. Now they will have to start working on their B2B relationships.

Ultimately the network game will be one of scale, and this will force operators to consolidate to survive. Nokia Bell Labs expects global operators to fall from 10 to 5 between 2020 and 2025, and local operators to fall from 800 to 100 – this looks completely plausible at the moment.

 

 


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Top 5 Telecommunications & Mobility Trends for 2020


 

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The Top 5 Fintech Trends For 2020

4.7/5 (3)

4.7/5 (3) Financial institutions are being challenged by and collaborating with Fintech  organisations in equal measures. As their focus on customers increase, they will collaborate and partner with these disruptors. Fintech is also getting attention from governments in both emerging and mature countries as a means to achieve their financial inclusion and digital economy goals. Fintech investments will continue to surge through 2020 across the solution areas.

The Top 5 Fintech Trends For 2020

The Top 5 Fintech Trends are based on the latest data from the global Ecosystm AI and Cybersecurity studies and is also based on qualitative research by Ecosystm CEO Amit Gupta and Principal Advisor Paul Gestro.

  1. One for All and All for One

Fintech will have a much greater impact than we realise, and we will continue to see it drive the induction of the unbanked into the mainstream economy. The growth in mobile phone penetration, however, continues to grow at a faster pace than banking accessibility across emerging economies. We will continue to see Fintech play a significant role in driving greater inclusion, especially to bring in the underserved in the emerging economies and reducing the gender gap when it comes to adoption of financial services – creating greater inclusion overall.

The democratisation and accessibility of financial services will also result in far greater uptake of the sharing economy and we will continue  to see non-traditional companies enter the payments and financial services markets. Fintechs that have environmental and social impact, beyond financial impact, will also find it easier to secure funds from Impact Investors.

  1. The Year of the Banks

2020 is the year banks will need to embrace Fintech – fully.  They know full well that customers are at the centre of their entire operation – and Fintech services can and will provide them with the solutions they need. They have been skeptical about adopting Fintech but as they begin their transformation journeys and face increasingly stringent regulations,  they might no longer have the option of ignoring Fintechs.

Banks are already adopting, evaluating and developing strategies for AI, RPA, and Cybersecurity adoption – but they will feel the need for more innovation and speed in 2020.

  1. Asia Becomes Middle Earth

Asia has fast become the centre for both innovation and investment. Asia’s fast pace of urbanisation and the increasing prosperity of the middle class is attracting investments. Venture capital-backed Fintech companies raised more than USD 40B in 2018 – with the bulk coming out of China. Investments in Asia is expected to grow, and will benefit later stage Fintech startups.

These investments, a lack of strict policies (yet!) and the large number of unbanked and underbanked are also fuelling innovation in Asia. Several large financial institutions in Asia have already made public announcements of the Fintech investments and this will cause a ripple effect.

  1. Nothing Artificial About AI

AI sits at the heart of most Fintech solutions. And AI has slowly made its way in decision-making and process automation.  The first step to AI is automation and  robotic process automation (RPA) will transform customer experience and will allow integration of legacy systems in financial institutions. As IoT and Blockchain mature  they will be increasingly integrated within AI solutions.

Another area which will see AI adoption in financial institutions is Cybersecurity – machine learning can predict the patterns of criminals (or rogue/irresponsible employees) to stop events before they start. Fintech solutions such as Regtech and Suptech has a definite play in this space.

  1. Regtech Will Take Centre Stage

In 2020, Regtech will take the centre stage as the emerging Fintech solution. Together with AI, a better ability to use data and predict trends, Regtech will be used to  fight financial crime and reduce costly compliance-related mistakes.

The old way of just employing more people to run the compliance tasks is not sustainable. routine tasks such as KYC, AML and compliance verification are ripe for automation. Moreover, Regtech ROI is relatively easier to set and measure.

 


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Top 5 Fintech Trends for 2020


 

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The Top 5 Workplace Of The Future Trends For 2020

5/5 (2)

5/5 (2) As the ‘Experience Economy’ becomes a reality, organisations will look beyond improving customer experience (CX) to enhancing employee experience (EX). It is estimated that people spend a third of their life at their workplaces. This realisation will drive organisations to focus on EX over priorities such as growing revenue or reducing costs. Retaining employees is important in today’s war for talent – and organisations have started appointing Chief Experience Officers. Ultimately, workplace technology should drive employee productivity – and there is a proven link between happy and productive employees.

The Top 5 Workplace Of The Future Trends For 2020

The Top 5 Workplace of the Future trends are drawn from the findings of the global Ecosystm CX Study and are also based on qualitative research by Ecosystm Principal Advisors,  Tim Sheedy and Audrey William.

  1. Employee Experience as a Business Focus Will Drive Faster Adoption of Consumer Collaboration Tools

Organisations in mature economies already have employee experience (EX) and CX as their top business priorities. This comes with an understanding that offering a great customer and employee experience will lead to revenue growth, profit growth and lower costs.

For communication and collaboration solutions, if the experience is not right, employees will move on to the next best app for the right experience. The competition between the vendors across voice, video and collaboration is heightening. It may sound simple but that is where the innovation needs to happen in the industry. If employees do not like what IT has provided for them, they will download the application of their choice for work. This will be a huge challenge especially in industries that are heavily regulated such as Financial Services and Healthcare.

  1. HR KPIs Will Drive IT Teams to Invest in Workplace Analytics

HR teams are ultimately responsible for driving improved EX. And a happy employee is a productive employee – so an employee’s environment (managed by the Operations or Facilities team) and their technology (managed by the IT team) will have the biggest impact on driving employee satisfaction. To drive these outcomes, we will see these three teams work closer than they ever have – and not just on a project basis, but as a permanent arrangement.

Investments in Workplace Analytics will increase, and there will be more collaboration between IT, HR and Facilities Management to drive best practices for employees. Right now, there is very little collaboration between the three departments in driving better workplace practices. Workplace Analytics will help solve problems related to poor office practices around email overload, long work hours, absenteeism, usage of rooms and other facilities, employee discontent, as well as understand the overall trends on communications and collaboration solutions usage.

  1. 5G Services will Push Organisations to Rethink their Network

Today 5G is not available in many countries – and where it is available coverage is generally spotty. But this will change in 2020 as more operators launch or expand their 5G coverage. The unique capabilities of 5G to offer software-defined networks (SDNs) – designed specifically for organisations’ needs – will help businesses rethink the way they operate. They can stop thinking of their network as a physical place and start thinking of it as a set of capabilities and this takes work beyond designated physical addresses. Retailers will be able to offer complete retail environments from wherever they choose. Banks will be able to offer complete in-branch services from anywhere. Employees will be able to get access to all sorts of data and systems regardless of location. 5G is about much more than a faster network – the potential to transform enterprise networks will see a huge rethink of the network and the way IT teams provide technology services to their employees.

  1. Organisations Will Wake Up to the Need for the Right Knowledge Management Solution

IT has been guilty of dictating the knowledge management (KM) requirements and platforms to the business. Many customer teams are using tools that are inherently wrong for the job. Management is using tools that do not support their needs, and information workers are given generic platforms when they have specific needs. 2020 will see a fragmentation of the KM market as businesses start to buy based on customer and employee needs – not based on what the IT team dictates.

  1. 2020 Will See a Rise in CPaaS Adoption

Cloud-based platforms that enable developers to add real-time communications features within the workflow of their own business applications will be the next big area of innovation in the unified communications space. Through the use of APIs, developers can embed communication capabilities into their existing business applications, without extra hardware or software costs. Developers can embed it directly into the cloud platform so the time to market is fast. Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) will see greater adoption as more organisations look to build code and apply agile and DevOps methodologies.

 


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Top 5 workplace of the future trends for 2020


 

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The top 5 Customer Experience trends for 2020

5/5 (2)

5/5 (2) Increasingly organisations are looking to improve customer and employee experience over other traditional metrics such as growing revenue or reducing costs. Organisations are transitioning from business metrics to customer experience (CX) ones, and  employing CX leaders. 2020 will see many businesses make significant breakthroughs in improving the CX.

The top 5 Customer Experience trends for 2020

Here are the top 5 CX trends and the related technology markets in 2020.  It draws on the latest data from the global Ecosystm CX Study that is live and ongoing on the Ecosystm platform and based on qualitative analyses by Ecosystm Principal Advisors Tim Sheedy and Audrey William.

  1. Asia will Catch up with North America and ANZ in Customer Obsession

Many Asian economies – particularly those in Southeast Asia – have not needed to focus too much on CX. The proportion of businesses starting to map customer journeys is accelerating, and there is a growing focus on making those journeys easier, more effective and more enjoyable. We are seeing this play out in the levels of interest in – and deployment of – cloud contact centres. Australia and New Zealand have been leading the deployments in the last two years. Deploying cloud and using machine learning and AI at the core to understand how to deliver personalised CX is part of a wider CX strategy for several organisations.

In 2020 we expect large organisations in Southeast Asia and North Asia to transform their CX and contact centre capabilities and make the move to cloud-based contact centre environments.

  1. CX Initiatives will Dovetail with Broader Digital Ones

Many businesses have taken a bimodal IT approach to their technology platforms – driving customer-centric changes at pace while keeping their back-end systems slow. In the drive to make the entire business fast and innovative, these back-end systems are being modernised. But over 90% of businesses have not yet seen a customer or business benefit from this digital agenda.

This will change in 2020 as more businesses get some competitive advantage from the digital initiatives they are driving inside of their business. This will be driven by the linking of the customer-centric technology initiatives with the back-end ones. This means that customer applications will be infused with data and analytics from other systems, making them smarter and increasing the potential for automation and AI to drive down costs and increase personalisation and customisation.

  1. Hyper-personalisation will Move from Concept to Reality – Powered by Customer Journey Analytics

The idea of creating unique experiences for each customer has been discussed for years – but few businesses are really doing it today. 2020 will see businesses outside of the top 5% experiment and deploy hyper-personalised CX. It will move from the top web brands to mass market as more companies invest in automation, predictive analytics and AI.

But hyper-personalisation is not possible without Customer Journey Analytics. Businesses need to understand the end-to-end journey of each customer to understand how to personalise it. Therefore, Customer Journey Analytics will take centre-stage in 2020. The challenge for years has been that customer teams have focused on the traditional inbound and outbound interaction with the customer. Brands now need to understand and personalise the experience before the customer interacts with the brand and after they are done interacting with the brand. The ability to apply machine learning and AI to offer insights to predict the movement and journey of the customer will be a significant focus – and challenge – for customer teams. Customer Journey Analytics will allow brands to deliver that “frictionless” service.

  1. There will be a Renewed Focus on Compliance and Security in CX

With the recent banking royal commission hearings in Australia to GDPR and other global regulations around privacy and customer data handling, customer teams will now have to make sure that all forms of voice and non-voice interactions are monitored close to 100% of the time. Very few customer teams do that today and are at risk of non-compliance. As monitoring can be labour intensive, there will be a need for organisations to invest in analytics and AI applications around compliance and monitoring.

The recording of customer calls means that highly sensitive information could be stored for years and the risk of the contact centre breaching regulatory compliance requirements enhances. Solutions today have various ways to block the recording of key phrases or sections and some solutions apply APIs to the flow of the recording. As soon as the agent enters sensitive information such as credit card details, the recording stops to resume after the sensitive data is blocked or deleted. That way the sensitive conversation is not recorded or heard by anyone monitoring the call. Contact centres must adhere to this strictly, but few do. Businesses also need to know real time if an agent is misinforming the customer. Contact Centre Outsourcers will also have to re-look at how compliant they are and how much they have invested in securing customer data. There will be greater pressure on them to take on greater risks and share the risk burden with their clients.

  1. Businesses will Use AI and Analytics to Measure CX

The drive to improve CX has every business and government department measuring the experience at every opportunity. A one-minute transaction in a store can prompt a five-minute survey asking for feedback. As a consequence, customers are experiencing survey fatigue. Surveys are also not the best way to measure how customers feel after they have interacted with a brand. Already, many will not participate unless there is a discount or incentive, which eats into future margins. Smart businesses will begin to use AI to detect emotions and mood, and analytics to measure experiences.

 


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top 5 Customer Experience Trends for 2020


 

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The Top 5 Cities of the Future trends for 2020

5/5 (1)

5/5 (1) The future of cities is critical to the future of the global economy, given that they now account for more than half of the world’s population and more than 80% of global GDP. Cities around the world have very similar struggles and objectives: ensuring a competitive economy, a sustainable environment, and a high quality of life for their citizens. We look at the  trends for cities in 2020 from the lens of data, mobility, energy, public safety, and jobs.

This article presents the top 5 Cities of the Future trends for 2020 and the related technology markets. It draws on the latest data from the global Ecosystm IoT Study that is live and ongoing on the Ecosystm platform and based on qualitative analysis by Ecosystm Board Advisor Randeep Sudan and Ecosystm Principal Analyst Sash Mukherjee.

 

The top 5 Cities of the Future trends for 2020

Here are the top 5 Cities of the Future trends for 2020 that we believe will impact governments, businesses and citizens in 2020:

  1. The Emergence of Data Smart Cities

The global economy is fast becoming digital, and data is at the very heart of a growing digital economy. Cities are increasingly adopting Data Smart strategies, a trend that will dominate the market in 2020.

Data Smart strategies focus on addressing data silos and making data available across organisational boundaries for better decision making. They expand the availability of data through real-time capture with the help of IoT devices and leverage the power and promise of data by using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data analytics. Singapore is an excellent example of how Data Smart cities are designing their data strategies. Singapore‘s data governance framework includes the concept of Single Sources of Truth (SSOT) – where all government stakeholders have access to the same data. To make access easier, there are data aggregators, the Trusted Centers (TCs).  Not only has the Government thought out the data aggregation and management angle, but also of digital enablers for the use of AI, including a code repository for AI and platform for the rapid development of AI-based solutions.

  1. Intelligent Infrastructure for Smart Mobility

Traffic congestion and pollution have become an inevitable by-product of urbanisation, especially with the rise of individually owned cars. Several cities across the world have tried wide-ranging initiatives such as road space rationing and congestion pricing.  However, the success of these initiatives will lie with intelligent infrastructure and smart enforcement.

2020 will see several cities making investments in demand-responsive services, where public transportation systems can respond in real-time to the changing traffic needs of the city rather than run on predetermined routes and schedules. There will also be a rise in the number of transport options, including mass transit, car-sharing, bike-sharing, ride-sharing, and personal mobility devices.

  1. Smart Energy Ecosystem

Urbanisation will see higher energy costs, and a fierce competition for resources. Smart Cities are actively focusing on smarter energy options that focus on reducing energy consumption, lowering emissions, and providing better service and support to consumers.

The Energy & Utilities industry has been the first adopters of Smart Energy solutions and as they introduce smart meters for the consumers, they open the market up. The initiatives range from promoting a greener environment, expanding the use of renewable energy, and introducing ‘smart’ solutions to utility providers, enterprises, and homes.They can also help Energy and Utilities companies to comply with government regulations and meet sustainability and carbon emission goals. On the consumer side, going forward, the Construction industry is expected to be the frontrunner in promoting energy efficiency, with increasing uptake of Smart Building solutions.

  1. The Rise of the Gig Economy

All Cities of the Future need to prepare for the workforce of the future. The gig economy will have a huge number of part-time, contract workers and freelance workers. This trend will only go up as more millennials and the Gen Z enter the workforce. They will force organisations to innovate and make employee experience a key business priority.

Simultaneously, there has been a steep rise in the sharing economy, seeing peer-to-peer (P2P) economic activities, based primarily on providing a service or sharing access to goods and services. Community-based online platforms are on the rise, and several industries – such as financial services, hospitality, and retail – are being disrupted in both mature and emerging economies.

  1. Increased Use of AI in Public Safety

In this world of hyper-surveillance, cities use CCTV cameras for multiple reasons ranging from traffic monitoring, remote asset tracking, and crime prevention. Airports and police departments have been actively using facial recognition. They have also been experimenting with advanced video analytics that can identify persons of interest through other parameters such as gait.

Surveillance is not the only use of AI in governments. Predictive analytics is being used by police departments and the judiciary, for risk assessment and crime reduction. AI for process optimisation also impacts public safety. While discussions and debates on ethics will be rampant, most governments will invest in AI for public safety.

 

Ecosystm in partnership with SGInnovate, the government-backed organisation that promotes Deep Tech in Singapore, released a series of four reports covering areas of mutual interest: Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence, Cities of the Future and Healthtech.

‘Ecosystm Predicts: The Top 5 Cities of the Future Trends for 2020’ report is a part of this collaboration and is available for download from Ecosystm and SGInnovate websites.

 


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The full findings and implications of the report ‘Ecosystm Predicts: The Top 5 Cities of the Future trends for 2020’ are available for download from the Ecosystm platform. Signup for Free to download the report and gain insight into ‘Top 5 Cities of the Future trends for 2020’, implications for tech buyers, implications for tech vendors, insights, and more resources. Download Link Below ?


Top 5 Cities of the Future Trends for 2020


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The Top 5 Healthtech trends for 2020

5/5 (2)

5/5 (2) As the Healthcare industry becomes more consumer-focused, and consumers more tech savvy, even the most traditional healthcare organisations will have to innovate. The industry will see several instances of innovation whether new clinical research-backed, scientific solutions, technology disruptors such as IoT, Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and Blockchain or business model and process changes.

This article presents the Top 5 Healthtech Trends for 2020 for the Healthcare market in 2020. The trends are drawn from the findings of the global Ecosystm Customer Experience (CX) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) studies and is based on qualitative research by Ecosystm Principal Analyst Principal Analyst Sash Mukherjee.

 

 The Top 5 Trends for Healthtech for 2020

Here are the top 5 healthtech trends for 2020 that we believe will impact healthcare organisations (provider, payer and life sciences), patients and consumers in 2020.

 

  1. The Shift from Patients to Customers Will Become Real

As more devices (consumer and enterprise) and applications enter the market, people will take ownership and interest in their own health outcomes. This will see a continued growth in online communities and comparison sites (on physicians, hospitals, and pharmaceutical products). Increasingly, insurance providers will use data from wearable devices for a more personalised approach, promoting and rewarding good health practices.

Beyond the use of wearables and health and wellness apps, we will also see an exponential increase in uptake of home-based healthcare products and services, whether for primary care and chronic disease management, or long-term and palliative care. The desire for real-time access to healthcare has led to a rapid consumerisation of the industry and has forced healthcare providers to actively focus on customer experience (CX), which according to the global Ecosystm CX study is the top business priority for healthcare organisations today.

 

  1. Healthtech Will Take Lessons from Fintech

Healthcare organisations will take lessons from other customer-focused industries such as hospitality, retail and financial services. A focus on CX will also require an omni-channel strategy.

Given the similarities between the financial and healthcare industries (stringent regulations, process-based legacy systems and so on) Fintech organisations will teach Healthtech organisations how to disrupt the industry.  Like Fintech, Healthtech play a greater role in inclusion – ensuring health and wellness for all, including universal health coverage.  As the industry focuses on value-based outcomes, governments introduce more regulations around accountability and transparency, and people expect the CX that they get out of their retail interactions, Healthtech start-ups will become as mainstream as Fintech start-ups.

 

  1. Healthcare Providers Will Jump on the Innovation Bandwagon

Traditionally, healthcare providers have lagged behind payer and life sciences organisations when it comes to innovation. However, that is changing fast as several provider organisations now have innovation centres, where ideas on how to improve operational parameters and clinical outcomes are incubated. They are also being creative when it comes to getting funds for these programs.

Incorporating the newest scientific advances into care protocol is largely driven by finances. But technology disrupters such as IoT, AI and machine learning are being incorporated with Operations as the key area of focus. As provider organisations increase their customer-focus, CX initiatives such as access to records, reducing waiting periods, streamlining billing and so on, will be addressed in several organisations. Innovative payment solutions (involving both patients and insurance providers) may well be the low-hanging fruit for innovators as they have the potential to significantly improve both revenue cycle management and CX.

 

  1. Data Will Cause the Next Healthcare Divide

There has always been a divide in healthcare – based on economic and geographic parameters. A new divide will open up based on how organisations are able to leverage the huge amount of data that they are sitting on. How they leverage the data will impact an organisation’s ability to improve patient loyalty and to gain an edge over their competition.

On the one hand, governments are encouraging the  three main branches of the healthcare industry that have depended on each other but worked in silos, to be more collaborative and share data. On the other hand, if we ask  healthcare organisations about their biggest challenge in implementing emerging technologies such as AI, they will cite lack of data access.  Organisations must also bear in mind that introducing tech innovations will be largely useless without changes in business processes that allow for these innovations, and without education and involvement of the entire organisation.

 

  1. Life Sciences and Medical Devices Organisations Will be Forced to Rethink their R&D

The responsibility of cutting-edge research in Healthcare has always been on life sciences and medical devices organisations. Life sciences companies operate in an extremely competitive global market where they have to work on new products against a backdrop of competition from generics and a global concern over rising healthcare expenditure. Apart from regulatory challenges, medical devices manufacturers also face immense competition from local manufacturers as they enter each new market.

Sales and distribution for these organisations have been traditional – using agents, distributors, clinicians and healthcare providers. But now they need to change their go-to-market strategies, target patients and consumers directly and package their product offerings into value-added services. This will require them to incorporate CX enhancers in their R&D, going beyond drug discovery and product innovation.

 

Ecosystm in partnership with SGInnovate, the government-backed organisation that promotes Deep Tech in Singapore, released a series of four reports covering areas of mutual interest: Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence, Cities of the Future and Healthtech. ‘Ecosystm Predicts: The Top 5 Cities of the Future Trends for 2020’ report is a part of this collaboration and is available for download from Ecosystm and SGInnovate websites.

 


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The top 5 Artificial Intelligence trends for 2020

5/5 (1)

5/5 (1) Artificial Intelligence has come a long way and was one of the growing areas in 2019. Over the last few years, we have seen a growing number of AI based platforms, applications and tools that developers and scientists have worked to mimic a human brain. We believe that in 2020, AI will come out from the experimentation stage to the implementation and businesses will make deeper investments in AI to embed them in business applications.

This article presents the Top 5 Artificial Intelligence Trends for 2020 for the AI/Analytics market in 2020. It is based on the latest data from the global Ecosystm AI Study, and qualitative research by Ecosystm Principal Advisor Tim Sheedy.

 

The Top 5 Artificial Intelligence Trends for 2020

Here are the Top 5 Artificial Intelligence trends for 2020 that we believe will impact both businesses and consumers in 2020.

 

  1. Digital Transformation puts Analytics Back on Top of the Tech Priority List

In an effort to help the business operate faster, IT teams are looking to better analytics to drive functions and decisions more accurately. While many business teams deploy their own technologies and systems – only the IT team is in a higher position to gather data from multiple systems of record in order to create the detailed insights that business users demand. Getting a view across the entire customer journey means analysing data across many systems – both front and back-end. Business teams struggle to get these types of insights on their own, which is why IT excels at providing great analytics to help make better and faster decisions.

Just like in previous generations of BI, the analytics market is starting to consolidate. While the ability to display data visually will always be important, it is the analytics that drives automated decisions that will often be of the most business value.

 

  1. Automation will Lead Organisations to AI

RPA is increasingly moving beyond the usual task and process automation, to now being a business transformation lever. Additionally, there is an immense focus on incorporating AI/machine learning within RPA to make automation smart and intelligent. This allows software robots to mimic human behaviour and handle complex use cases, which was earlier not possible without human intervention.

Businesses will spend more money on their simple automation activities (RPA and analytics applications that do not learn) – but those that have already invested in automation are likely to want to take the next steps to AI.

 

  1. AI will Start to be Embedded in Most Business Applications

To date AI has been an overlay to most applications – data is extracted from processes, learnings are made, and then the process is altered based on those learnings. In 2020 we will see mass availability of self-learning intelligent applications. The standard ERP, CRM, SCM, knowledge management solution and other business applications will have embedded intelligence. This will make it easier and faster for businesses to get the benefits of machine learning and AI without the need to hire expensive data scientists, or the requirement to learn the tools and platforms required for creating smart applications.

 

  1. 2020 will see the Democratisation of AI

Typically organisations required data scientists, AI coders, AI platforms and so on to do well in AI but with the increasing availability of AI in business applications, typical business users will begin to get a glimpse of what will be available at their fingertips in the next few years.

We expect templatised approaches to machine learning and associated technologies. Business users and data owners will be able to create algorithms that will improve business and customer outcomes. In some cases, we even expect AI to be available to consumers. We will start to see banking and finance applications that help better money management through learning – not just basic analytics, we will see more intelligent services in the market in 2020.

 

  1. More Businesses Will Require AI on the Edge

In the next decade or two, it is estimated that there will be 100 billion IoT devices generating and exchanging data into the cloud, without any human intervention. With so many IoT devices generating a huge quantum of data, decisions will need to be made in real-time and the current cloud environments will be a bottleneck in data processing due to latency rates, network speed and traditional data architectures. To overcome this, Edge Computing solutions will be essential to work with a variety of sensor and data input devices, information processing and decisions driven by machine learning and AI, and additionally work with cloud for the next level of analytics, decisions and management.

 

Ecosystm in partnership with SGInnovate, the government-backed organisation that promotes Deep Tech in Singapore, released a series of four reports covering areas of mutual interest: Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence, Cities of the Future and Healthtech. ‘Ecosystm Predicts: The top 5 Artificial Intelligence trends for 2020’ report is a part of this collaboration and is available for download from Ecosystm and SGInnovate websites.

 


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The full findings and implications of the report ‘Ecosystm Predicts: The Top 5 Artificial Intelligence Trends for 2020’ are available for download from the Ecosystm website. Signup for Free to download the report and gain insight into ‘the Top 5 Artificial Intelligence Trends for 2020’, implications for tech buyers, implications for tech vendors, insights, and more resources. Download Link Below ?


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