|Looking for revenue? Context-based services could be a driver|
Information technology leaders stand to drive new revenue streams for their businesses by leveraging “context-based services.” The emerging technology aggregates real world and digital customer data to understand “who you are, where you are, and what you are doing” to give consumers an “extremely rich experience,” according to a new report from Accenture.
The firm predicts that a surge in context-based services is imminent, enabled by the convergence of and easy access to many sources of contextual information, including soaring smartphone usage, the expansion of cloud computing, an explosion of social media participation, and the development of powerful tools for aggregating and analyzing multiple forms of data.
“CIOs and other IT leaders who have started to leverage contextual data to build a deeper understanding of consumer preferences and habits are establishing themselves as strategic players within their companies,” says Gavin Michael, Accenture’s chief technology innovation officer who spearheaded the project. “They are teaming more effectively with functions such as sales and marketing and leveraging contextual services to drive new revenue and deliver more value for their businesses.”
As an example, consider one travel company that scans Twitter accounts in search of mentions about upcoming trips. It then alerts hotels located in the communities where the traveler is headed. The traveler benefits because the hotel—via Twitter—might offer discounted rates as an enticement. The hotel benefits by potentially gaining a new customer.
In another example, several mobile phone service providers are experimenting with technology that automatically deactivates phones for motorists, thereby preventing them from violating laws against driving while texting or speaking on the phone.
The big difference is that technology now enables rapid aggregation of data from multiple sources and delivers new insights that can give users a much more immersive and valuable experience, according to the report.
Accenture identifies context-based services as one of six key trends in its Technology Vision 2012, an annual outlook of the most important emerging technology trends that are predicted to have a critical impact on businesses. Accenture has been researching and predicting the future of technology trends for more than a decade.
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