Tag Archives: business

2020 Technology Trends and Predictions

Here are my technology predictions for 2020. I try to predict technology trends that are outside the mainstream, and with high expectations. It seems to get harder every year.

Every year I score my own previous year’s predictions– see how I fared for digital predictions for 2019 and work backwards. Hopefully my technology predictions for 2020 will fare a little better!

1. Alerts from voice assistants

Alexa prank to set an alarm at 3am
Alexa practical jokes were invented in 2015

If 2018 was the year of mass adoption of Alexa and Google Home devices, 2019 was the year of releasing a lot more skills. At the end of 2019, the Google Home device in our kitchen started answers requests with more suggestions of other skills. Cross-selling perhaps.

But this is nothing compared to where these devices are heading. I predict that by the end of 2020 these devices will be making proactive recommendations to us.

“Rain is due today, take an umbrella.”

“You still have 30 unread emails, why not deal with some of them?”

“You ordered XYZ from Amazon recently, and it’s due to arrive today”.

2. Wearables beyond your wrist

In 2020 we’ll see many more wearable devices.

In 2019, several devices for pets became available, from activity trackers to GPS trackers to smart collars.

Next year we’ll start seeing many more devices, such as spectacles from Vue or ByNorth (my favourites). With the announcement of the iPhone 12, we’ll probably hear Apple launch a new type of wearable beyond the Apple Watch.

And remember the $2.1 billion Google acquisition of Fitbit? Expect to see a new type of wearable from Fitbit in 2020. Continue reading 2020 Technology Trends and Predictions

Future digital business models

Snapchat - behind the streak feature lies clever digital business models
Snapchat – behind the streak feature lies a clever digital business model

One of the interesting principles we’re seeing with new digital companies are the new digital business models.

Most internet services we use are supported by advertising (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google). Media companies offer a range of digital business models from monthly subscription (e.g. Netflix), advertising funded (e.g. YouTube), both subscription and advertising (e.g. NOW TV) and freemium (e.g. Spotify).

The internet coined the term ‘as a Service’ (with the postfix ‘aaS’), which essentially rents shared platform ‘space’ or utilisation. These are usually available on a minimal-term contract of a month. One example here is Amazon’s hosting facility, AWS (Amazon Web Services) which offers hourly pricing, in a market which used to have annual contracts.

Linked to this are ‘marketplaces’ which combined large numbers of sellers and buyers. The biggest examples here are eBay, Alibaba, and Amazon. Apple App Store and Google Play fall into this category.

These marketplaces transformed into other offerings, such as what we now call crowdfunding (e.g. Kickstarter) and charity sponsorship (e.g. JustGiving). Continue reading Future digital business models

How to improve all your business metrics through digital best practices

This article is a summary of the keynote presentation I gave at the Nimbus 90 Ignite event in London on Monday.

Modern businesses need to become more engaging, responsive and efficient. To achieve this, they need to focus on stronger digital deliverables, agile processes and automate much more than they do today.

Many businesses still struggle to define what digital really means, so we have come up with 12 “best practices” which include:

  1. Business Focussed Solutions (not technical)
  2. Self-service (for everyone)
  3. Try stuff (Fail fast/ learn quickly)
  4. (Very) regular releases
  5. Easy to use and regular multi variate testing
  6. Value dashboards
  7. Easier integration (e.g. APIs)
  8. Multi-device
  9. New business models (e.g. marketplace, sharing economy…)
  10. Culture of Innovation
  11. Bots/ automation
  12. Two way conversations

When we start a workshop with a customer, we focus on each of these digital best practices. We then challenge existing processes or applications. For example, we might ask the sales team how customers can self-service themselves, or how many customers are frustrated that they can’t use a specific app on a mobile or tablet device. Continue reading How to improve all your business metrics through digital best practices

UK small businesses and charities still not digital

Six stats from the Lloyds UK Business Digital Index 2016
Six stats from the Lloyds UK Business Digital Index 2016

For many of us who work in the digital industry, we take it for granted that we can use services such as Facebook, JustGiving charity fundraising and email services. According to a survey released this week by Lloyds Bank, only half of UK businesses and charities have the necessary digital skills to improve their business or fundraising.

The number of charities who accept online donations has doubled since 2015 – from 24% to 53%. But even those charities struggle with other digital skills such as email campaigns, using mobile correctly and other optimisation. And back to the figure of 53% of charities accept online donations – this highlights how 47% do not. Continue reading UK small businesses and charities still not digital

Deloitte TMT Predictions 2016 event

The cover doesn't exactly scream out "interesting stuff inside"
The cover doesn’t exactly scream out “interesting stuff inside”

The latest Deloitte TMT Predictions 2016 event today was as good as previous years. The author of the report, and Deloitte partner, David Lee, is an excellent presenter (a sense of humour and perspective helps with publishing predictions).

Although the full report is available on Deloitte’s website, I wait until David’s event each year – he highlights the most interesting ones, and only then do I read the report. This year David chose to focus on 6 specific predictions for 2016:

  • Connectivity
  • Communication
  • Commerce & Mobile
  • Virtual Reality
  • Business Models
  • eSports

Continue reading Deloitte TMT Predictions 2016 event

Friends Reunited: 5 reasons why it went so wrong

Friends Reunited - 5 things that went wrong
Friends Reunited – 5 things that went wrong. One of which was this poor design

Friends Reunited, one of the UK’s Internet stars, announced yesterday that it will be closing in a month’s time.

In the UK, Friends Reunited was the Internet version of Woolworths – it’s a site which we all had some affinity to, but didn’t use, and are sad to see depart. How could this household name fail to succeed?

There are five reasons why the site couldn’t compete with later social networks. Continue reading Friends Reunited: 5 reasons why it went so wrong

Agile London at Thomas Cook

Agile London - worth attending if you work in software development
Agile London – worth attending if you work in software development

This evening I went to the latest Agile London event, hosted at Thomas Cook, at a supremely convenient location about quarter of a mile away from the Endava office.

Our host for the evening was Jesus Fernandez, the Development Manager at Thomas Cook. In a concise introduction he described how Thomas Cook has been consolidation pretty much everything – from its management team to the brands it was selling, to its technology platforms.

Thomas Cook is an £8bn ($13bn) public company which has recently gone through a Digital Transformation programme. Continue reading Agile London at Thomas Cook