Growing Pains of Opportunity in our Digital Universe

According to research undertaken by IDC there have been 3 major growth spurts for the digital universe in modern memory.

  • Digital camera technology replacing film
  • Analog telephony going digital
  • TV going digital

They also predict that the next growth spurt will be – the migration of analog functions monitoring and managing the physical world to digital functions involving communications and software telemetry.

More commonly referred to these days as the Internet of Things (IoT), our digital data and communications touch points are increasing exponentially. The sheer volume of things now connected to the internet and generating digital data range from cars, consumer white goods, TVs, mobile phones, electronic games and even our consumption of gas/electric/water is generating digital data.

IDC also suggest that the number of connected devices is approaching 200 billion and that the sensors enabling the monitoring of that data is already more than 50 billion. While not all of the current 200 billion devices are communicating on the internet – 20 billion of them are. Predictions suggest that by 2020 this number will increase to 30 billion connected devices. 

Source IDC

Source IDC

All of this growth, on top of an immature ecosystem with no set standards, is creating both opportunities and challenges for businesses that need to collate and manage this information. For the innovative business it is generating endless opportunities to build revenue streams around both consumer and business behavior, as demands for increasingly intelligent solutions, which are capable of analyzing these digital communications, are required.

It is predicted that between 2013 and 2020 the data generated by mobile devices will increase from 17% to 27%, and it is looking like Generation Y will be responsible for the majority of that growth.

Brought up in a digital era and armed with Smartphones, laptops, tablets and other gadgets, our tech-savvy Generation Y is plugged in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are also the fastest growing segment of today's workforce, which means we cannot ignore their needs, attitudes and behaviors. In addition, nearly all Generation Y customers own a mobile phone, with a high percentage of them owning a Smartphone or Tablet - and he know how to use it in anger - which makes them more likely to be power users.

Source IDC

Source IDC

As businesses discover new sources of data they are also finding new ways of analyzing and applying their insights from it across their organization to generate additional revenue. This is helping to satisfy the demand for the more self-serve requirements of today's customers, the impact of this is reduced business costs with faster query resolution times – leading to higher levels of customer satisfaction.

As Generation Y increasingly accelerates their power user behavior we are likely to see service providers and their partners adding more and more innovative self-service options on top of their standard offering - which can be monetized to generate additional income streams.