These digital services will be highly personalised, based on real-time analytics and contextual. The personalisation will be all pervasive and extend beyond data unique to an individual. Services will constantly learn and tailor themselves to each user or user group based on a vast stream of real-time received and analysed data that is context informed. It is the contextual aspect that fascinates me the most. Truly contextual services will be able to anticipate our needs and deliver unique experiences specific to us or defined user communities. That ability for the digital service to anticipate will come with need for careful design to avoid slipping into being annoyingly intrusive.
The privacy aspects of digital services are complex and fascinating. They could seriously inhibit how services evolve over the next 5 to 10 years. Many commentator are alarmed at how lightly many people trade data privacy to access a desirable service. Some argue that currently services tend to be relatively isolated and so the risk of unexpected data leakage is acceptable. This would seem to be at best naive to me. However, I do accept that refusing to accept provider terms relies on there being viable equally alluring alternatives or strong willpower! The security of the service platforms and volume of connected devices enabling these digital services is also clearly key. Hence the increasing focus on this aspect of the enabling IoT wave in the last 12 months. An interesting report published by HP in 2014 looked at 10 connected devices in the market today to enable various smart home services and all failed their security testing. A similar outcome was reported by the BBC in testing they conducted on various domestic smart devices where their hackers were successful.
If we think the current aaS offerings are flexible and add value then the good news is that we have only begun to see the potential. Digital services are just leaving the infant stage and moving becoming toddlers. Any parent will know that this is both an exciting, challenging and at times worrying period
as the toddler becomes adept in their new skills. Learning to walk is one thing, just remember that after that comes running!
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David Smith is vastly experienced in evolving, communicating & delivering technology enablement. Roles as CIO, CTO, Chief Innovation & Technology Officer and Chief Security Officer at companies such as Fujitsu, PA Consulting and TMP, David views technology through a business value lens, connecting it to current market trends, challenges and opportunities.