Wearables the new way to track and engage customers

CanalysGoogle Glass and Samsung Gear are two of the most talked about developments in wearable devices. And many more are set to follow in their footsteps.

Canalys believes that consumerisation of IT is paving the way for even bigger transitions that will rock the IT industry. Smaller app-enabled devices (‘appcessories’) enable customers and employees to do more on the move. Adoption of wearables, such as wristbands, eyewear and sensors in clothing, will lead to a new era in which location, movement, fitness, health and potentially visual focus and interest points are tracked. The data generated by these devices creates possibilities for brands to understand, segment, target and service customers. Through functional apps, buyers and sellers are also finding new ways to interact.

‘Apps have emerged as the accelerator of current industry transitions. In place of large code bases and years of development, we now have the possibility of turning out multi-platform apps in weeks, or even days,’ said Tim Shepherd, Senior Analyst of Canalys. ‘By focusing on user experience, app developers have revolutionized how new functionality is brought to market and how behavior and activity are measured. Enterprise customers have started to exploit this capability across several disciplines, including product design, marketing, customer services and operations, and buying points are changing as a result.’

‘The trend is for every enterprise to become a software company,’ said Steve Brazier, President and CEO of Canalys. ‘We are familiar with the role software has played in automating operations and improving efficiency, but we now see software being part of product design, and software as the medium for marketing and customer service delivery. Decades-old business processes and practices are being challenged by customers and employees using apps to engage with each other.’

‘Channel partners have continued to outperform most enterprise technology vendors on revenue and profit growth, largely because, unlike vendors who depend heavily on annual shipments, channel partners have their entire installed base of customers to service,’ added Alastair Edwards, Principal Analyst of Canalys. ‘As this installed base embraces software’s new role and the effect on people, decisions and processes, alert partners stand to expand their influence and share of wallet.’

Technology industry innovation is driving more and better ways for customers and employees to use devices and apps. Businesses are spending more, but in different ways to the past. Channel partners with analytics and app capabilities are poised to capture higher revenue and profit growth in the coming years.