5 Digital Technology Trends for 2020

November 21, 2019

Contributor: Manasi Sakpal

CIOs must understand how people interact with and experience digital technology along with understanding the technology itself.

Dominos, a leading pizza restaurant chain, wanted to offer its customers the ability to place an order via as many devices and platforms as possible with the use of digital technology. The solution was to create a multiexperience strategy. Customers could order their favorite meal using any device from a phone to a smart speaker, and the order would be trackable via a pizza tracker and delivered via an autonomous vehicle. 

How consumers interact with brands has evolved over past decades. Digital experiences are not native to “digital only” enterprises any longer. As enterprises adopt digital solutions, it is important for business leaders to understand the trends that are revolutionizing how customers experience digital.

CIOs should take the lead in promoting an IT and CX vision for multiexperience design and development 

Enterprises understand the value that seamless digital experience adds to overall customer satisfaction. “It is important for CIOs to understand how digital experiences are built and delivered,” says Daniel Sun, Vice President Analyst, Gartner. 

Trend No. 1: Multiexperience

Multiexperience refers to the various devices and apps with which users interact on their digital journeys. This includes creating fit-for-purpose apps based on touchpoint-specific modalities while at the same time ensuring a consistent and unified user experience (UX) across web, mobile, wearables, conversational and immersive touchpoints. 

New devices and new modes of interaction — from natural-language-based chat and voice to gestures used in 3D or virtual environments — coexist with the ever-popular web browser and mobile apps. Any combination of these new touchpoints can be used by customers along their journey. 

CIOs should take the lead in promoting an IT and CX vision for multiexperience design and development that engages business partners in meaningful collaboration for the overall digital experience.

“Development teams should master mobile app design, development and architecture because ‘mobile’ is typically the gateway to multiexperience,” Sun says. 

Trend No. 2: Interfaceless machines

Manufacturers across industries are abandoning on-machine controls or traditional interface models in favor of apps that run on their customers’ mobile devices. Larger screens on mobile devices, high resolutions and rich device APIs allow for device control experiences far beyond what can be achieved with on-machine interfaces. 

Interfaceless machines offer CIOs an entirely new perspective on digital product management. CIOs can also consider the possibility of extending digital product management capabilities to the digital extensions of the organization’s main products.

Read more: Is Your Product Development Ready for Zero-Touch User Interfaces?

Trend No. 3: Agent interfaces

Agent interfaces represent a new paradigm of human-computer interaction and have broad implications that will greatly influence how enterprises interact with customers, offer services and provide tools to employees. Conversational UIs (or chatbots) are good examples. One of the most common applications of conversational UI is virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa. 

With chatbots, the number of steps required to provide a command are reduced to a simple conversation. Agent interfaces employ artificial intelligence (AI) to predict what users intend to do using data from past interactions on a master interface. 

“CIOs will need to build the skills required as agent interfaces become more mainstream,” says Sun.

Trend No. 4: Facial recognition payment

Facial recognition payment is a digital experience trend emerging mainly in China, although it is quickly spreading elsewhere. It will increase the use of QR code payments and further diminish the use of bank cards and cash. This technology requires a high degree of confidence and trust in the provider. The trend is slowly gaining popularity outside China with Apple’s Face ID with Apple Pay, with the trust existing between the user and the ecosystem provider (such as a bank). 

Trend No. 5: Inclusive design

Inclusive design is the principle that the best way to serve the needs of the broad community is to consider the special needs of all possible communities

Designers need to think about all potential users of the products and services that they design. The data sources used in their design efforts need to reflect all potential user segments and avoid datasets that are too narrow or non inclusive.

Sun says, “Designers should work with data and analytics professionals to ensure that the data reflects the needs, values and behaviors of all segments of targeted customers.” 

Read more: How CIOs Design for the Everything Customer

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