Apiumtech was invited as a Guest speaker to EU Business School in Barcelona to give students an overview of Tech trends in 2016 , share highlights of Mobile World Congress 2016, give examples on how leading companies use technology to increase engagement with their users and make company more efficient and share our vision on where technology is going and how world will be changed in 4 years from now.
Students were very interested in Technology trends and that’s what we discussed the most. We shared with them insights we got from the event we attended last week, called “Takeaways from Mobile World Congress”, organized by Cink. There main speakers were : Aleix Valls – CEO of Mobile World Capital Barcelona, Quim Cardona – Head of Digital Business at FC Barcelona, Álvaro Sanmartín – European growth director at Udacity and Iván Miguel – Project director of ImaginBank, new bank of Caixa Bank.
The main topic was: Digital Transformation. As not all of the students were very familiar with this topic, we decided to start from the beginning and introduce main players in this industry and what they think about it.
MOBILE WORLD CAPITAL BARCELONA
- DIGITAL EMPOWERMENT – mSchools. Work with students, teachers, families and schools to help develop new digital skills and transform learning through mobile technology.
- DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION – mLiving, mHealth. Bolster the digital transformation of the business community and services, exposing productive sectors to the latest digital solutions.
- DIGITAL INNOVATION – mVenturesBcn. Help to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem by drawing upon technological talent to promote new and disruptive products and services.
Founded by Sebastian Thrun, founder of Google X and Professor of ‘Computer Science’ in Stanford University. Udacity created “University that Silicon Valley needs”. Nanodegrees programs developed by engineers from Google, Facebook, Salesforce, etc. that could be done in every device regardless of where you are. Students can even choose the program and rhythm they like, it can be 1 year program, 2 years etc. This is an excellent example of how you can see a new opportunity in the market regardless the economic situation. They came up with a great education solution for people who prefer to study at home or people who want to combine their studies with work etc. Online education is becoming more and more popular every year.
Recognised as number 1 bank in terms of innovation and digital transformation.
CaixaBank came up with a new solution to the mobile shift and launched a new bank, which is called – ImaginBank, that is 100% mobile. As mobile banking is growing exponentially and according to Iván Miguel 71% of CaixaBank clients don’t want to go to the CaixaBank office and stay on a queue, therefore ImaginBank is focused only on mobile, it is the first mobile-only bank in Spain. Of course they will have a web, but it will be informative, all transactions, transfers etc will be done only via mobile. What is more customer service will be based on instant messaging: Whatsapp, Facebook etc.
8 Tech trends in 2016 by FC Barcelona, Caixabank, Mobile World Capital & Udacity
1. VIRTUAL REALITY
This market can be worth $30 billion by 2020. Virtual reality has been promoted as the “next big thing” for years. CCS Insight believes that total sales of virtual and augmented reality devices will soar from 2.5 million in 2015 to 24 million by 2018.
During MWC people shared with VR companies how they would like to use it: gaming, movies, shopping, training, real estate, medicine and travel.
360-degree video content exploded in 2015 and it is expected to grow exponentially in 2016 as well.
The real estate sector has never been known for embracing new technology, but that’s finally starting to change. Brokers and developers are using virtual reality tours to speed up leasing and sales. The analyst firm Wedbush Securities believes one of the reasons Facebook purchased Oculus VR last year for $2 billion is because of VR’s real estate potential. How Mark Zuckerberg explained it: Oculus Rift headset would initially be marketed for “immersive gaming” but eventually expand as “a platform for many other experiences” like real estate tours, attending live events, taking remote lessons, or visiting faraway places. Facebook has also been building a digital ecosystem with Oculus Home, a Steam-like platform which lets users buy VR games or view VR scenes. Facebook also established Oculus Story Studio, a dedicated film studio for VR filmmaking, last year.
Although the medical world has been using advanced and expensive simulators and medical headsets for years, this is the first time in history when affordable VR devices are available. Just last month, a group of surgeons in Miami was able to perform open heart surgery on a four-month-old baby thanks to VR imaging software and a Google Cardboard Viewer. One emerging software developer in this space is Next Galaxy. They provide instructional content for healthcare professionals, as well as patients. Through devices like Google Cardboard and Oculus Rift, medical professionals will be able to practice everything from CPR to rare surgical procedures. Patients are able to learn about the procedures being performed on them so that they fully understand the operation and their recovery needs.
Product teams all over the world are using VR to optimize product engineering, design, manufacturing and operations. For example, Ford Motor Company currently uses Oculus development kits and HTC Vive headsets to design new vehicles, develop autonomous vehicle technologies and collaborate with teammates across the globe. According to Techcrunch, Ford’s immersive Vehicle Environment (FiVE) Lab team has seen a significant increase in productivity, as well as a huge drop in costs and time due to virtual testing and prototyping. At Ford, no vehicle can move forward in the production phase without first being virtually approved.
Visual content will definitely continue as a trend in 2016. Brands will create more videos, utilise live streaming apps, and embrace interactive features within a content. According to Forbes, by 2019, it has been predicted that 80 percent of all Internet traffic will be to videos. That figure would be 64 percent higher than 2014 and a significant portion of the growth will probably occur in 2016.
In other words, video content is on the rise and visual content will play a major role in digital marketing. According to Momentology, YouTube announced that 400 hours of video were being uploaded to the site every minute. Facebook announced that they are generating 8 billion video views per day. And according to Tubular Labs, 654.7 million videos have been uploaded by 66.7 million creators to more than 30 video platforms last year. And these videos have 2.8 trillion views, or an average of 4,390 views per video.
Mobile devices have redefined the way we live our lives and online video is in the midst of that redefinition. For example, YouTube has seen a 100 percent growth in watch-time on mobile devices in 2015 vs. 2014. Understanding and taking advantage of the changes in consumer behavior is more critical than ever for brands.
According to statistics from YouTube: YouTube has over a billion users- almost one-third of all people on the internet and every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views.The number of hours that people spend watching videos on YouTube is increasing 60 percent year-over-year. The number of people watching YouTube has increased 40 percent year-over-year since March 2014.
What is more, businesses see 500% Lift in Email Conversion with Personalized Video. For example, Lenovo: 4.5x increase in click-through rate and 400% higher open rates, Act-On: 2x more engagement and 62% more time on page, Tradeshift: 10x increase in click-through rate and 231% more page views, Cetera Financial Group: 600% increase in click-through rates.
3. MOBILE FIRST
A mobile-first approach ensures that all content is more engaging and companies of all sizes get smarter with technology to monitor results and drive conversions.
According to a Forrester report, by 2017 the number of mobile phone users will reach 4.8 billion, with 46% of these smartphone users. Forrester also foresees that mobile and tablet commerce sales will hit €86 billion in the EU, 32% of all online transactions. In the US, 1/3 of all sales will have a mobile element, from product research to an in store experience.
Mobile first approach puts mobile at the forefront and set priorities of the content; first you do a UX design for mobile and only then start working on other devices. Now, leading UX designers will confirm you that they all follow mobile first approach.
IBM invested $3 billion in its IoT business unit. Samsung declared its commitment to connecting everything it sells by 2020.IOT really changes our lives, making it more convenient, allowing us control everything we want with our smartphone. Good example is Smart luggage, you can control your luggage location with a mobile app, you can put a password using your app or use your fingerprint, you can even charge your phone connecting it to your luggage.
More and more devices becoming connected and people love more and more idea of smarter homes, smarter cars, smarter everything. IoT experts claimed on Mobile World Congress 2016 that in the nearest future no object will just be an object, it will all be wirelessly connected to something else.
5. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
We’ve seen promising movement in artificial intelligence in 2015. Robots are doing great work in factories. Driverless cars have become a reality. WiFi-enabled Barbie uses speech-recognition to talk to children. Companies are using AI to improve their product and increase sales. AI saw significant advances in machine learning.
Nowadays AI that can detect human emotion is one of the most important new areas of research. And AI experts believe that our computers’ ability to understand speech will lead to an almost seamless interaction between human and computer. With increasingly accurate cameras, voice and facial recognition, computers are better able to detect our emotional state. Researchers are exploring how this new knowledge can be used in education, to treat depression, to accurately predict medical diagnoses, and to improve customer service and shopping online. Microsoft researchers make their big tech predictions for 2016, and artificial intelligence takes center stage.
6. INSTANT MESSAGING
Mobile usage is booming: we bring our smartphones everywhere with us and spend more and more time browsing on them each day. Mobile is all about real time and you don’t get much more real time than instant messaging (IM). WhatsApp, Telegram, Line, Facebook Messenger are very popular for millennials segment, nearly half – 49% of smartphone owners, who are 18-29 use messaging apps, and 41% use apps like Snapchat that automatically delete sent messages. Some IM evangelists have gone as far as saying instant messaging platforms represent the future of a mobile-dominant Internet.
Instant messaging has been the fastest growing technology – behavior nowadays. It’s the default way for more than one generation to communicate about every aspect of their lives.
Instant messaging allows every smartphone owner reach people that matter to them in a personal, secure, immediate and convenient manner.
This is one of the greatest opportunities to move business to the next level. Many IM experts believe that commerce, communication and service will primarily move to an IM platform. This won’t happen in one year, it will take maybe 4 years, but 2016 will see a very fast IM adoption by brands. Now banks and retailers already started to integrate IM into their apps and this is just the beginning. Messaging apps are changing mobile customer engagement; it seems like they meet users’ expectations in terms of customer engagement: they are intuitive and extremely easy to use. Messaging apps are popular because they are instantaneous, conversational, they personalize customer experience and enable the ongoing and opened relation with brands required by customers. By 2018, Messaging Platforms will acquire 1 billion additional users.
7. BIG DATA
According to a recent study from LinkedIn, the number of data scientists has doubled over the last four years. Number of Job posts grew up extremely fast, and these trends lead to increased demand for sophisticated data analysis skills. With this demand has also emerged a variety of different ways of working with data, which will shape the Big Data landscape in 2016 and beyond.
Big data analytics helps organizations harness their data and use it to identify new opportunities. That, in turn, leads to smarter business moves, more efficient operations, higher profits and happier customers.
$19 milliards – price Facebook paid to acquire Whatsapp. Why? to have access to the big data and get more insights about the users. According to Forbes, 69.6% of firms view big data as very important or critical to their business success, up from 54.5% in 2014 . 72% of companies that have launched some form of big data initiative say that their results have exceeded expectations. Developing greater insights about : the business and customers – 37% and speed; faster time-to-answer; faster time-to-decision, faster time-to-market – 29.7% are stated as the biggest drivers of big data investments. 63% rely on data for day-to-day operations, 60% use data to better understand customers, and 59% rely on data to measure business objectives.
Today’s consumers are difficult, it is hard to convince them to buy your product and to choose your brand. They look around a lot before they buy, talk to their entire social network about their purchases, demand to be treated as unique and want to be sincerely thanked for buying your products. Big Data allows you to profile your target so that you can engage in an almost one-on-one, real-time conversation with them. If you don’t treat them like they want to, they will chose your competitor who offers them more relevant products and promotions. Big Data can also help you understand how others perceive your products to use it for your marketing strategy.
On top of that, Big Data lets you test new ideas so that you can check how small changes in material for example affect costs, lead times and performance. It helps you to increase the efficiency of your production process.
Predictive analytics by Big Data allows you to scan and analyze newspaper reports or social media feeds so that you follow latest developments in your industry.
Big Data analytics allows you to personalize the content and look and feel of your website in real time to satisfy each consumer entering your website, depending on their sex, preference, nationality or from where they ended up on your site. Good example is LinkedIn, suggesting people you may know or companies you may want to follow, jobs you maybe interested in etc.
For example, Amazon generates about 20% more revenue by using big data.
Big Data will move us to the next level, improving our quality of life and giving us enormous opportunities. For example, with human genome mapping and Big Data tools, it will soon be possible for everyone to have their genes mapped as part of their medical record. This allows medicine to find the genetic determinants that cause a disease and develop drugs for those causes.
In 2016 there will be a significant progress towards simplification; how data is stored, analyzed and processed is transforming businesses.
According to MWC 16, 30% of companies will include cloud in their top 3 priorities for 2016.
Cloud-based services are ideal for businesses with growing and fluctuating demands. If your needs increase it’s easy to scale up your cloud capacity. If you need to scale down again, cloud is all about flexibility. This level of agility can give businesses using cloud computing a real advantage over competitors and CIOs and IT Directors rank operational agility as a top driver for cloud adoption.
Moreover, Cloud computing cuts out the high cost of hardware. You simply pay as you go and enjoy a subscription-based model.
When your teams can access, edit and share documents anytime, from anywhere, they’re able to do more together, and do it better. Cloud-based workflow and file sharing apps help them make updates in real time and it gives them full visibility of their collaborations. Before the cloud, workers had to send files back and forth as email attachments to be worked on by one user at a time, cloud gives businesses control over the documents and saves precious time. Lost laptops are a billion dollar business problem. Cloud computing gives you greater security when this happens. Because your data is stored in the cloud, you can access it no matter what happens to your computer. And you can even delete data from lost laptops so it doesn’t get into the wrong hands.
Wrapping it up, according to Aleix Valls, Barcelona moves 6.000 million annually in the digital sector. Digital Industry created new job opportunities in the companies. For example these years we see new job positions like: Chief Marketing Technologist or Chief Digital Officer etc. Regardless of your education background and department you are working in, knowing these tech innovations is a must to stay up to date with fast moving world and come up with relevant strategies to grow your business.
This session was very interesting as for us as for students, we had interesting conversations about new products in the market, new methodologies, new opportunities and we tried to see it all from different angles.