Oct. 24, 2013
Omnivex Corp. and Digital Signage Today recently presented a live webinar, "How Shifting Technology Impacts Connecting with People," that looked at how technology megatrends are causing major shifts in society and business — and how those trends are creating big opportunities for digital signage.
The free, hourlong webinar looked at how organizations historically have focused their technology investments around "systems of record," such as ERP, BI and CRM, to handle foundational business requirements. Today, this investment is moving toward "systems of engagement" with customers, employees and partners. These systems help organizations communicate in new and different ways to empower improved decision-making, enhanced customer and employee experience and, ultimately, increased profits.
The webinar was led by Omnivex President Jeff Collard, who said during the event these trends add up to a "sea change" in technology and technology adoption.
Collard offered examples of the pace of technological change facing businesses today: It is now possible to buy a $600 disk drive that would hold all of the world's music; there are now more connected devices on the planet than there are people; and 5 gigabits of data is now being created and collected every 10 minutes, he said.
This increase in data and associated metadata is changing how we operate as a society and how we communicate in business, he said. We have also seen a proliferation of screens in our daily lives, so consumer technologies such as smartphones, tablets and displays are now all around us, driving the adoption of digital signage.
But because of these technology shifts, digital signage also is capable of playing more than mindless loops of ads, he said; it's capable of connecting to a larger ecosystem of smart messages and smart devices.
"We're witnessing a convergence of technologies where devices can communicate between each other that has dramatically changed the world we live in and the way we interact with the things around us," he said.
Microprocessors are now everywhere, from Nike shoes that collect data to cars that do so as well, he said, calling them "a chip with heels" and "a chip with wheels."
All of which is fueling a shift from "systems of record" to handle foundational business requirements and reduce costs toward "systems of engagement" with customers, employees and partners in effort to increase revenues.
Technology used to spread from the top down, he said, diffusing from big businesses to small businesses and individuals. But in today's world, the change in technology adoption in the last decade has turned that equation on its head, he said, so that we now see individuals and small businesses quickly and nimbly adopting technologies while larger businesses struggle with how to implement them.
This "consumerization" of technology has shifted the role of IT from saving money to increasing revenue by increasing engagement, he said.
"So when we think about what digital signage does and what this industry is about," he said, "it's all about engaging people and getting them involved, and you have to look at what are the most effective ways in which you can do that and where do you balance your expenses and your efforts."
Collard also took a look at four big megatrends driving this sea change: mobile, social, the cloud and big data. He also pointed out that where in the past technological innovations might have been more spaced out, these shifts are hitting at once. So these edge technologies are fueling change in IT adoption — and the great promise of digital signage is its ability to take advantage of these trends to increase engagement with people, he said.
While Collard tended to drift into higher altitudes, taking the 10,000-foot view of technology trends, he also brought the view back down to earth, looking to how trends impact digital signage and create opportunities for the digital signage industry.
The webinar ended with a short question-and-answer session, in which Collard addressed questions such as "how do we as end-users of this technology gain the trust of our customers?" and "how do you use big data in these systems of engagement?"
Download the free, on-demand version of the webinar here.
Learn more about digital signage trends.