A next phase in consumerisation is tipped to affect mobile devices, apps, wearables, networking, services and cloud – changing the direction of revenues and profits.
That's according to Gartner's latest research, which is hailing "cognisant computing" as the next phase of personal cloud and a strong future force in IT generally.
"Cognisant computing is transforming personal clouds into highly intelligent collections of mobile apps and services," said Jessica Ekholm, research director at Gartner.
What this apparently means for the channel is that business-to-consumer (B2C) providers must adapt their strategies to exploit this change to generate new revenue, find new ways to differentiate themselves and foster loyalty via mobile apps, according to Ekholm.
In cognisant computing, data associated with individuals is used to develop services and activities, such as alarms, payments, monitoring, marketing and management, across multiple devices.
An example might be a system that pushes alerts in real time that enable recipients to manage and monitor their health and fitness via their smartphone or laptop.
"Cognisant computing is already beginning to take shape via many mobile apps, smartphones and wearable devices that collect and sync information about users, their whereabouts and their social graph," said Ekholm.
"Over the next two to five years, the Internet of Things and big data will converge with analytics. Hence, more data will make systems smarter."
Data collected can be used to create new, more targeted products and services, she noted. Gartner reckons that apps, services and cloud will work together to make cognisant computing a critical component for customer retention strategies over the next five years.
Ekholm said that by 2017 smartphones are expected to manage some tasks for users "probably better than we can do them ourselves". One example might be booking in a car for its regular service. Another might involve changing a hotel booking if a plane is cancelled.
Apps and services that are hosted in the personal cloud will interact with smartphones and other devices and the intricate app ecosystems they have created.
"The increased awareness of and implementation of analytics and self-learning systems will force B2C companies to hasten their adoption of these technologies, to stay competitive and better serve the consumer of the future," said Ekholm.
Gartner concedes that critical issues will have to be addressed around privacy, quality, and trust. Yet if consumers spend more on apps and services, B2C device vendors will be forced to team up with app and service providers to meet their needs, providing integrated services and apps to drive hardware sales.
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