Due to dramatic advances in computing and communication technologies, disruptive innovations can now happen anywhere, at anytime. I recently wrote an article on the Consumerization of Technology in our quarterly journal 'Winsights'. In it, I present a closer look at how the business-led innovation dynamic has flipped and the most innovative technologies are now emerging from the consumer side.
In fact, it is the first time in our history that consumers are leading the way in terms of both technology adoption and spend. Over the past decade, technology development has enjoyed a period of unbridled productivity as development barriers have come crashing down. Innovation is no longer limited to costly R&D labs guarded by the mighty owners of proprietary resources.
Today, consumer trends are driving the development of technology. The communications sector in particular has witnessed one of the fastest phases of technology advancement over the past decade. We have quickly moved from 2G standards to 3G/4G and IP based services such as Skype, Google Talk and FaceTime have revolutionized the way in which family and friends stay in touch. Driven by the popularity of these services, unified communications (UC) including VoIP, instant messaging and video conferencing are now extensively used in business enterprises as collaboration and productivity enhancement tools.
In the present era of globalization, collaboration becomes one of the most critical factors for success. And tele-presence, voice and video chats are helping people collaborate better by transcending the hurdles of geographical distances and time, offering employees a feeling of being in the same room, as they discuss policies, strategies and big ideas.
The advancements in information and communication technologies (ICT)have also paved the way for many new age services. For instance, video conferencing is playing an important role in facilitating e-learning services—allowing subject-matter experts to conduct virtual classes with students from around the world. Telemedicine is also experiencing a boom with the healthcare industry looking to expand into new services areas such as remote monitoring and diagnostics.
Consumers' appetite for online content is at an all-time high driven by a rise of user created media and sharing platforms. Whether it's a movie, game or a smartphone application – if it's original and creates value for the user, consumers are willing to spend money on it. And this has given rise to many disruptive business models and services and such as Netflix, Spotify and YouTube to name a few. Services such as time-shifted television, social TV and 3D TV are also growing, and adding new dimensions to the telco-media industry. Consumer cloud services such as Apple 'iCloud' and Amazon 'Cloud Drive' are promoting anytime, anywhere media by bringing the power of cloud computing to the fingertips of web users. The new 'connected world' presents enormous opportunities for Telco-media companies that can successfully ascend the value chain.