We shook the Magic 8-Ball and here’s what we see for 2019

The Aussie PM has just passed 6 months in office (strewth!), Kiwi MPs are back arguing in Wellington, NZ now has more cities than Aussie with Lime Scooters (4 to Australia’s 3) so with 2019 in full swing and (believe it or not) Super Rugby underway it’s a good time to look at the 8 big bold bets that will drive how businesses on both sides of the ditch engage – and make a difference with - technology this year (and beyond).

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CX or die

Put customer experience at the heart of what you do, or face extinction. Customer loyalty isn’t earned in a day, it’s earned day-by-day, and with an overwhelming amount of choice at their disposal customers will look to your competition as fast as you can say “please raise a helpdesk ticket”. In 2019, customers will start to rival boards in terms of operational influence.

Old Fashioned Values

A return to old fashioned values of respect, personal service and value will (ironically) be driven by social media. On social you can’t hide from an audience of millions, so any dirty laundry - bureaucracy, complexity or poor customer service - will be shared and become a barrier to winning business.

Power to the User!

2019 will see businesses of all types demanding technology that not only achieves an operational goal, but helps people collaborate, is fun to use and provides the right information so they can better perform their role. The expectations of what software looks like and how it works to empower users are higher than ever. Software must meet these expectations

Privacy.......

2018 saw the EU’s GDPR come into force, which has driven New Zealand and Australia to enforce stronger personal data privacy protections and mandatory data breach reporting. Despite this, most businesses are not taking privacy or security seriously. No one believes their data is safe online anymore. 2019 will see the relevant agencies test their powers and drive the message that data privacy must be taken seriously.

Speed of Business – Agile becomes the norm...

Business is going to align their internal development processes closer to Agile development methodologies like DevOps. This cultural change, combined with public cloud, allows rapid prototype ideas to reach critical mass without huge investments in hardware, licensing or software.  Public cloud continues to evolve, and business will prototype more, innovate more and disrupt more when they can move faster.

Back to life, back to reality

AI and Machine Learning will replace repetitive tasks and workloads, challenge current processes and, ultimately, drive higher demand for human interaction. Companies who want to differentiate themselves will evolve their customer engagement and service strategies to include personalised ‘concierge’ type services, because customers will want to interact with people for complex issues that are not handled by online self-service tools and processes.

Voice

Despite some well publicised hiccups, Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana (and others) will allow customers to do more and more as voice identification and security improve. Just as mobile devices now dominate web browsing, voice will soon dominate customer transactions as the need for a keyboard disappears.

In the workplace

EQ, common sense, ‘can-do’ attitude, flexibility and empathy will become the most sought-after skills for staff. The Internet, peers and YouTube can teach most skills, and machines can do the rest.

We see plenty of disruption on the horizon in these areas for every business, from competitors, legal and regulatory frameworks, and the internal demands of a changing workforce dynamic. As a partner with the strategic savvy and technical expertise to meet these challenges, Fusion5 can help shape predictions into reality.

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