The Five Major Tech Trends of 2016


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convenience and personalization. In the past three years, according to Customer Experience Insight, the use of alternative contact channels has risen – Web self-service and chat by 18 percent and 43 percent respectively.

Through predictive analytics, companies can derive meaningful insights to satisfy customers with personalized products and services, while at the same time using their enhanced market knowledge to evolve business strategy and planning.

4. Training Transformation through Virtual Reality and Gamification

Tools and techniques used in gaming to motivate and engage users can be adopted by digital training programs. Virtual reality has the potential to reinvent training by immersing trainees in near real-life scenarios, enabling them to learn by actually doing and to fail safely.

Gamification is now used by companies keen to enhance the learning experience and increase learner performance. Methods include story-based games, animations, simulations, instant learner feedback, and recognition of achievements.

It can make learning more fun, while at the same time raising information retention and learner engagement rates. So much so, that when Deloitte incorporated elements of gamification into its online Leadership Academy it saw a 50 percent increase in course completions.

5. Security Shortcomings Tackled with Biometrics

The use of biometric data to authenticate and validate user access to devices, applications, and systems is on the increase. Over a quarter of smartphones now have a fingerprint reader, Deloitte’s Global Mobile Consumer Survey 2016 reveals, and about a fifth of smartphone users in the U.K. use this for authentication.

The use of biometrics will continue to increase. Identity verification through a fingerprint or voice pattern offers advantages over username and password combinations. It gets around the long-standing problem of forgotten passwords, and is more secure than a written-down password or reuse of the same one across services.

The security benefits of biometrics are particularly important now that we process more sensitive information online, including payments from our phones, banking transactions, and management of our social lives through social media.

These five developments show us that we’ve come a long way. Technology, as it becomes more pervasive in our personal and professional lives, will continue to evolve to provide more seamless device-agnostic user experiences, help companies safeguard their assets and perform better, while also delighting and engaging end users.

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Shellye Archambeau is CEO of MetricStream, a Palo Alto, CA-based company offering governance, risk, compliance, and quality management solutions to enterprises in the pharmaceutical, medical device, high tech manufacturing, energy, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, food and beverage, and automotive industries. Follow @metricstream

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