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Top Tech Predictions for 2016

What trends are changing all corners of industry? BI Intelligence weighs in.

Shifting digital technologies have shaped every corner of industry in the last decade. Mobile devices are now the new desktop, on-demand and streaming apps have taken precedence over prime time TV, online payments are the new currency and news outlets have ditched paper for real-time reporting.

These changing tech trends have put some companies out of business, but the well-informed and well-prepared don’t see it as a threat; they see it as an opportunity. That’s the point behind Business Insider’s annual tech predictions report.

BI’s team of analysts known as BI Intelligence predicts more digital disruption will occur in 2016, shaping this year and years to come across all verticals — digital media, mobile, payments, the internet of things (loT), e-commerce and more. BI’s predictions are based on ongoing research, analysis, forecasting and insight from industry executives.

The full report, “25 Big Tech Predictions for 2016,” is available for download, but here are a few top predictions on the list in each category:

Digital Media — The mobile video war rages on

“Thanks to auto play and suggested videos, as well as a growing mobile audience, Facebook will likely become the go-to place for short-form videos in 2016. We expect brands and media companies to accelerate the number of videos they publish directly to Facebook, and Facebook to eventually surpass YouTube in terms of video uploads and views,” says BI Intelligence in the report.

Facebook Live, which launched in early 2016, now lets users share a moment instantly with live video streaming. Friends, family and fans can watch, comment and react all in real-time. According to a Facebook Newsroom report, initial data shows that followers comment over 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than regular videos.

Facebook Newsroom initial data shows that followers comment over 10x more on Facebook Live videos than regular videos.

Snapchat will continue to expand its video features with partnerships with major media companies and brands through the Discover and Live Stories features. YouTube will also remain a huge player, but rely heavily on YouTube stars to drive video views.

Along with this, BI Intelligence says the standards for online video views and tracking will become a major point of dispute. “Facebook, for example, counts views, while YouTube counts view time. Marketers and publishers will start to demand some sort of standard to determine what constitutes a view,” says BI Intelligence.

Internet of Things (loT) – loT devices in auto and smart home connectivity

In 2015, BI Intelligence predicted the smart thermostat and other types of technology in the connected home devices category would see growth stall, in part due to poor user experience. While consumers might not be buying into these devices right away, insurance companies see them as a means to minimize risk and appropriately price policies.

Insurance companies have used loT devices to track insured car owners and monitor driving habits. “In 2016, we expect many insurance companies to expand the use of IoT devices past auto insurance and into home and health insurance. A recent survey from Accenture found that between 2014 and 2015, there has been a significant increase in the percentage of companies that have launched, are in the process of launching, or have a strategy in place to use connected home/building devices and health and fitness monitors — indicating that all segments of the insurance industry are quickly embracing the IoT,” says BI Intelligence.

Mobile — Enterprise apps reach a new high

Mobile solutions for business surged in 2015, as well as “Bring your own device” (BYOD) adoption and enterprise-provided mobile devices. BI Intelligence says this will continue with more investment by large companies in the mobile space: “Numerous players in the mobile space, including Apple, IBM, Google, and Facebook, have invested in new enterprise-driven solutions. Apple and IBM had officially launched 100 iOS enterprise apps as of December 2015, spanning 14 industries and 65 professions.”

“In 2016, we’ll see a number of partnerships between companies like Apple and IBM aimed at enabling mobile devices to have a more useful application in new industries, like they did for transportation industries in 2015. A heightened need for such enterprise apps will result in Apple’s and IBM’s enterprise app solution seeing growth of over 100 percent in terms of volume, and will catalyze similar growth from other enterprise app providers and internal solutions.”

E-Commerce — Facebook adds to online sales

From live video to retail sales, Facebook is expected to play a much larger role in online sales this year. Sales derived from social media platforms are account for a niche area of commerce now says BI Intelligence, but Facebook is making a big push to allow more brands and retailers to use its platform to sell merchandise.

Online shoppers can now use Facebook Messenger for shipping updates and they can use the app to speak to a customer service rep. “Additionally, Facebook integrated transportation services with Messenger, allowing users to reserve a car service, such as Uber. We believe Facebook will build on these efforts in the coming year,” predicts BI Intelligence.

Payments – Mobile ordering drives transactions

Now there’s no need to call ahead for takeout or even to call for delivery, mobile ordering apps and take out delivery services such as 2DineIn have made the ordering process painless. Quick-service restaurants (QSRs) such as Taco Bell are taking advantage of digital ordering platforms to increase ticket size, order frequency, loyalty and ultimately sales, according to BI Intelligence.

“Taco Bell’s average order values are 20 percent higher in its mobile order-ahead app than in its stores. Starbucks recently launched its own mobile order-ahead feature, which is used heavily, according to the company. Other QSRs are seeking a similar boost, and now 80 percent of the top 20 QSR brands in the QSR 50 offer or are testing some type of mobile ordering capability,” says the tech predictions report.

In order to maximize the benefits of mobile ordering, restaurants will likely incentivize customer usage through loyalty programs and rewards. These campaigns, combined with the heightened presence of mobile ordering, will drive up customer adoption.

Download the full BI Intelligence report here.

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