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What's to come in 2015 - IT Trends in Customer Service

By Michael Ringman, CIO, VP-IT, TELUS International

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Michael Ringman, CIO, VP-IT, TELUS International

As many of us wrestle with the proper allocation of technology resources, especially during the budget planning season, some insight into what’s to come in the year ahead as it relates to IT trends in customer service might assist you as you plan for 2015 spending. With the rapid pace of change, particularly in the IT sector, simply tracking the evolving trends can be a challenge, never mind trying to take advantage of the trends to reduce costs and simplify employee workload. While I don’t have a crystal ball, I wanted to share a few things I see continuing to shape our industry, in the hopes this perspective might help you as you consider how you can use these trends to your own advantage:

Millennials’ expectations influence the IT industry:

Make no mistake, adults now in their 20s and 30s are defining the new workplace. Tech savvy, impatient and information hungry, Millennials expect technology to be accessible and reliable 24/7. They are the new driving force in business and, as employees and consumers, they are shaping the IT industry now and in the future.

"More and more, people are looking for the power of IT to drive positive change that delivers value for customers. We are making significant strides to get there as an industry. The future is bright!"

Cloud services continue to dominate IT discussions:

The adoption of cloud services will continue to shape the industry as the technology becomes more mainstream, mature, advantageous and cost effective. This also includes call centers and BPOs moving their services to the cloud, from CRM systems to entire telephony platforms. This trend is set to continue because it’s infinitely scalable and doesn’t require large investments in equipment or space. Further, young professionals – our future IT leaders – are very comfortable with technology and data being stored somewhere “out there” and will continue to seek these convenient and easily deployed cloud solutions. Gartner predicts that by 2016, more than 50 percent of global 1,000 companies will have customer sensitive data stored in the public cloud.

The ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) offers real opportunity for businesses:

A TELUS-commissioned IDC survey found only 6 per cent of Canadian businesses have implemented an IoT solution (machine-to-machine technology), and that another 7 percent are preparing to deploy in 2014. However, the technology is on the cusp of rapid growth, with an additional 30 percent of businesses intending to deploy in the next 24 months and annual IoT spending in Canada predicted to grow from $5.6 billion in 2013 to $21 billion in 2018 – a 375 percent increase in IoT systems collecting, analyzing and acting on information in real time, without human interaction, and are being deployed to create “smart”, connected businesses, homes, cars and cities.

IT gets more ‘customer-centric’ by using big data fast:

Companies will focus more on big-data experience metrics over efficiency metrics. Data will increasingly be collected in real-time, and a whole new set of tools to capitalize on this data will emerge. For IT, the challenge presented by big data is to get the right information to the right person at the right time (i.e. right away) to make a customer service or business difference.

IT empowers the workforce – anywhere:

Employees are embracing flexible and remote work styles, adding pressure on IT to support new work environments including, but not limited to, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work. Millennials in particular expect to be able to work like they live and that means using the device – and technology – of their choice. They want access to the apps, software and tools they use in their personal lives at work as well. IT will become more of an enabler rather than a roadblock, and move at the speed of business, rather than the speed of IT.

More and more, people are looking for the power of IT to drive positive change that delivers value for customers. We are making significant strides to get there as an industry. The future is bright!

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