The rate of technological change is even more daunting than ever and has even greater repercussions on the way businesses operate and interact with their customers. With each year comes a host of new services, new tools, and new disruptions to the market. With our experience helping translate technology into practical business solutions, here are our predictions for how new technology will shape 2016 for enterprise .
Mobile POS SystemsFed up with legacy infrastructure that is expensive to maintain and lacking in functionality, we predict many operators will be switching to mobile POS as contracts come up for renewal in the new year. In North America alone, mobile POS installs grew by 41% in 2015 – a trend we see accelerating. Cloud-based data, small hardware footprints and new functionality (retailers using tablets to line bust, restaurant servers placing orders at the table) are all driving this trend in 2016.
In terms of functionality, the top POS features requested by executives according to a Hospitality Technology survey are mobile wallets, integration with systems, tablets, loyalty tools and online ordering. As more and more of these features become industry-standard in 2016, make sure you aren’t left behind.
From Omnichannel to Unified CommerceFor many years, businesses have been trying to achieve an omnichannel customer experience by manually integrating different systems and silos, such as POS with e-commerce and inventory. Historically, this piecemeal approach has brought several issues to light, such as fragmented reporting, labor-intensive processes and lack of real-time capability.
In 2016, large enterprises are starting to look at singular platforms and unified commerce solutions that avoid these problems by integrating wide functionality and an omnichannel approach from the start. From a recent survey conducted by Boston Retail partners, these SCP (singular commerce platform) implementations will increase by 663% over the next 4 years.
The Internet of ThingsCES 2016 (Consumer Electronics Show) just wrapped up in Las Vegas and presented us with a future populated with drones and the internet of everything (from fridges, to lightbulbs, to cars). The biggest takeaway: The latest must-have feature is an online connection. Products as diverse as thermostats and baby monitors have already ridden this wave in 2015, but increasingly online customers will be looking for products and services that intelligently incorporate connectivity to give them greater convenience and better service in the year ahead.
New Security ChallengesThe proliferation of always-connected products and platforms has also created another problem – security has not kept up.
This problem was best exemplified in 2015 when a group of white-hat (good) hackers cracked into a Jeep Cherokee and remotely disable the brakes. Vulnerabilities were also found in products as diverse as baby monitors and home security cameras, providing access to any computer on that home network. In the race to populate the Internet of Things, businesses inadvertently endangered customers’ safety and security.
This massive potential customer liability is in addition to the rising occurrence of data breaches hitting major corporations such as Home Depot, Target and Neiman Marcus. Criminals have grown more ingenious, using methods such as POS malware to steal millions of credit card records without being detected. IBM and Ponemon Institute estimate that the average cost of a data breach is $3.79 million -with so much at stake, make sure security is factoring into your business decisions for 2016.