Accenture: The IoT is driving a new era of living services

01 July 2015 Consultancy.uk

The Internet of Things combined with liquid consumer expectations will result in a third wave of transformative digital services, the so-called Living Services, research by Accenture shows. These services will be able to learn and evolve to meet consumer expectations and are expected to affect our lives in a number of ways, including when shopping, exercising or paying.

In its recently released report, titled ‘The Era of Living Services’, professional services firm Accenture explores the so-called ‘Living Services’, which it describes as the result of two forces: the digitisation of everything and ‘liquid’ consumer expectations. The first of which refers to the Internet of Things (IoT), the second to expectations that bleed from one industry to another.

The emergence of Living Services

Living services
Accenture explains that living services are called this way as they are digital services that are close to consumer – think wearables –, are able to learn about consumer needs and preferences and constantly evolve to meet expectations, and are designed and built around individual needs. “In effect, living services breathe life into what is rapidly becoming a vast network of connected machines and objects, enabling branded services to flow through and utilise this connected environment,” explains Brian Whipple, Senior Managing Director at Accenture Interactive.

Technologies that are expected to influence the rise of living services are referred to as the IoT. These include the cloud – allowing for huge amounts of (big) data to be stored and analysed, sensors – following the consumer’s every move, connected devices – allowing information to be transferred, network connectivity and the evolution of interfaces.

Driving factors behind living services

According to Accenture, living services will influence the lives of consumers in almost all areas, including in:

Work
Living services are expected to influence our work live, allowing for the coordination of travel arrangements, the management of diary workload, recommendations for learning and reading, resource management and decision-making advice.

Money
Looking at finances, the services can assist with balance management, the moving of money, provide shopping decision-making and give investment and mortgage advice.

Shopping
Living services will allow consumers to compare prices, search for discounts or promotions, receive automated search and offer comparisons, social share their findings and purchases and receive budget advice.

Family live
For families, the services can be used for everyday schedule management by coordinating diaries, location and status updates – letting each other know where they are, and for recommendations on cultural and social events.

Experiencing Living Services

Health
The services can be used to improve health and prevent health issues by providing fitness and dietary advice, training, illness diagnostics and personal health diary planning. In addition, the living services will enable personalised medicine.

Transport
When travelling, the services can assist consumers with driving management and support, as well as maintenance management. Routes can easier be planned with updated traffic information, roadside attractions and services, and fuel and energy management. Cars will be connected to the internet, allowing for enhanced and personalised media and work communications, social media and entertainment.

Home
Within one’s home, the services will connect different technologies in the house to each other. This will help manage and decrease the energy used, assist with shopping – providing the consumer with up-to-date on needed supplies, provide entertainment and enhanced security.

Education
Using the living services will allow for tailored made learning and career plans, not only taking into account one’s developmental needs, but also the current mood and alertness. In addition, automatic recording of one’s presence in the class is possible as is the real-time parental involvement in classrooms.

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