A tech-savvy duo from Deloitte Winnipeg offered up prognostications for 2016, and it's no surprise they predict things are moving more and more towards mobile.
Andrea Legary, a manager in Deloitte’s Prairie Global R&D and Government Incentives group, and Matthew Hlynsky, a senior associate in the Financial Advisory group in Deloitte's Winnipeg office, spoke about key technology trends Manitoba businesses should focus on this year.
The lunchtime crowd learned about these trends first-hand at the Tech Mash Up, hosted by the Information and Communication Technologies Association of Manitoba (ICTAM) on February 23 at the NRC building in downtown Winnipeg.
“It's absolutely no surprise people are using their mobile devices more than ever, but the extent is very surprising,” Hlynsky said.
Mobile Usage On the Fast Track
Mobile is very much the centre of the tech universe now. In 2008, people averaged 19 minutes per day on a mobile device. Now, we're up to 171 minutes a day, on average. That's almost three hours every day on your mobile device.
“It's an 800 per cent increase in seven years,” Hlynsky said. “Mobile is taking the cake.”
With a replacement cycle of about two years for smartphones — compared to about four or five years for personal computers — mobile devices are starting to dominate in terms of consumption, ownership and the supply chain, Hlynsky says.
Step Aside PCs? No way.
But that's not to say personal computers (PCs) are dead, even among the so-called “trailing millennial” generation, consisting of 18 to 24-year-olds, among whom mobile use is highest.
“They consider smartphones to be complements, not substitutes,” Hlynsky said. “People do prefer (PCs) for computer games, watching long videos and streaming content, but the biggest use is actually for creating content. It's just so much easier to do it on a laptop than on a mobile device.”
Hlynsky predicts aging trailing millennials will actually use PCs more over the years.
“Having a mobile strategy is very important in 2016, and for a lot of people that makes sense to be the dominant strategy,” Hlynsky said. “But it does not make sense to completely ditch the PC-based strategy.”
Making Purchases With Your PC vs. Mobile
Hlynsky and Legary also pointed to data that shows PC use is still high for things like online banking and shopping.
“Mobile devices are very commonly used for browsing and discovering content or products, but the actual transactions, by and large, are still occurring on PCs,” Hlynsky said.
From 2014 to 2015, the percentage of shoppers who had ever paid digitally jumped from five per cent to 18 per cent, and Deloitte is predicting another three-fold jump this year, Legary said. But businesses still have to work to smooth out the process.
“The improvement in touch commerce will see all your data pre-populated so you'll be able to check out of your shopping cart just using your fingerprint, or a direct link to another service provider so you could just log into your PayPal account and hit ‘purchase’,” Legary said. “They're trying to take the pain out of the purchase.”
More Text, Less Talk?
Legary also pointed to the fact that we tend to do a lot more typing than talking on our mobiles these days.
“One of Deloitte's predictions is that, in 2016, 26 per cent of all smartphone users will be data-exclusive — they won't use any voice minutes on their phones,” Legary said, even if they're still using FaceTime or 'voice over Wi-Fi' to talk.
“That will change how service providers are marketing their packages,” Legary said. “As we move away from making voice calls, those larger screens will also become more attractive.”
Regarding customer service, you may want to develop an app (if you haven't already done so).
“Businesses need to shift to using these platforms,” Legary said. “Whether you're ordering fast food or a taxi, we don't make as many phone calls anymore.”
It's All Fun and Games, Wherever You Go
On the fun and games side of tech, Hlynsky predicts that mobile gaming will overtake console and PC gaming this year, forecasting 20 per cent growth from 2014 levels, up to $35 billion in revenue worldwide. But far from killing off console or PC gaming, mobile gaming will continue to fill a different role.
“It's more of a pastime,” Hlynsky said of mobile gaming. “There's less involvement, less engagement. With PC or console games, there's heavy investment and it's an active experience with online play. It's a different niche. The expectation is that the growth in (mobile gaming) revenue is not going to cannibalize PC or console gaming anytime soon.”