2011 Trends Poll: Weigh in on what will most impact Technology Services this year

In my monthly article for TechTarget’s SearchCRM website, I published my top trends back in October, but these were specific to customer support. My boss, Thomas Lah, TSIA’s executive director, just launched a poll on his blog to capture input on the top trends for 2011 impacting all of technology services, across support services, professional services, field service and education services. Please weigh in with your thoughts here:

Key Trends: 2011

Thomas included the following areas in his poll:

  • Cloud computing. The move to the cloud is having big impacts on both product companies and customers. Product companies are competing on price more than functionality, and the cost of supporting OnDemand customers may be higher as more procedural questions are received from end users than in traditional on premise deployments. On the customer side, so many products are being ‘dumbed down’ to work easily in the cloud that critical functionality may be missing from applications.
  • Social media. When the topic of social media comes up, everyone seems to immediately start talking about Twitter. But the real heat here is the power of collaboration, with customers answering other customer questions (see my previous blog entry–Forums answer more customer questions than the self-service knowledgebase now), and idea storming models that actively incorporate customer feedback into release priorities.
  • Commoditization. In the endless cycle of technology emergence, growth, maturity, and decline, many products we used to pay top dollar for are becoming commodities. As I said in my 2011 predictions, open source products are maturing and becoming viable options, threatening the revenue stream for vendors in some segments. With all the predictions coming out of CES this week, it looks like the next victim of commoditization will be the laptop. With consumers (and business leaders) moving toward tablet computers, laptop sales and prices will be dipping fast.
  • New major markets. Obviously China is the big driver here, but other areas of Eastern Europe and Asia are becoming more connected, more capitalistic, with a growing population of consumers and businesses hungry for technology. Let’s face it, many companies screwed up their first foray into Japan a decade ago by underestimating how cultural differences impact business practices. You can expect to see that again in China, Singapore, the Philippines, and other countries. We are already seeing questions about partner strategies in emerging markets–old approaches don’t work in these new regions.
  • Engineering the experience. Customer service organizations began embracing “customer experience” a few years ago, and you see more companies today with executives with experience in their titles, like ‘chief experience officer’, or CXO. Thomas is tracking the understanding and importance of the experience shifting from a support issue to an overall sales and service issue, forcing companies to rethink their approach to product development, marketing, the sales cycle, etc.  I’d say social media has some influence here, as poor customer experiences are now being broadcast to millions of people, thanks to social networking sites.
  • Other. If none of these float your boat, write something in. Personally, I wrote in “Mobility,” as I see mobile requirements driving both hardware and software in 2011 and beyond.

Please take a moment and weigh in on the poll, it will greatly help us prioritize our research by understanding the topics you see as most impactful to the industry in the year ahead.

Explore posts in the same categories: customer experience, customer support, Education, field service, Professional Services, social media, Technology

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2 Comments on “2011 Trends Poll: Weigh in on what will most impact Technology Services this year”

  1. John, Another trend we are seeing is in enterprise demand for SaaS for the Service Desk, especially rapid integration and upgrade or patch update capabilities. Issues we are hearing about related to traditional premise-based is that the customization for integration was so complex and time consuming that it is often “undesirable” to upgrade…even if security issues are at risk…because of the complexity. Also a modular approach to Service Desk SaaS as offered by NTR Service Desk allows IT to choose what they need, when they need it. So it can offer a phased approach that’s easy to implement with exisiting business software as well as mashups. For more information: http://www.ntrglobal.com/service-desk

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