What’s the best route to robust growth for consumer technology firms? Today, it’s not selling more tech products but, rather, using technology as the springboard for creating compelling cross-industry experiences. In fact, in our research and work with a wide range of tech firms, we find more and more companies setting their sights on opportunities outside their core tech business to unlock much greater growth, which is leading to an acceleration of tech-driven industry convergence the likes of which we’ve never seen before.

Consumer tech firms, in particular, are uniquely positioned to drive this convergence as they are closest to today’s customers’ growing expectations for on-demand and customized services and engagement that go beyond simple products and services.

With this blog post, we launch a new series in which we explore how convergence is unfolding across multiple industries beginning with four prominent industries—health, payments, automotive, and industrial equipment—and discuss opportunities that it is creating for consumer tech companies.

Health

In our experience by working with a wide range of tech firms, arguably the biggest disruption opportunities are in the High-tech - Health convergence arena. In the US, healthcare represents nearly 19% of the country’s GDP (approximately $4 trillion). A globally aging population, growing markets, and costly inefficiencies make the healthcare industry a huge target for technological disruption. Not surprisingly, the tech giants have recognized this and have made significant inroads in bringing analytics, devices, data and AI, technology platforms, and healthcare apps that are beginning to revolutionize how healthcare is managed and delivered.

  • Analytics: Google has used predictive analytics and deep learning models to reduce hospital readmission
  • Devices: Use of wearable devices by consumers has nearly quadrupled in the past four years. Roughly three-fourths of health consumers view wearables that monitor glucose, heart rate, physical activity and sleep as beneficial to understanding their health condition or of their loved ones (73 percent)
  • Patient Engagement Platforms: Microsoft, Cisco (in partnership with Luma Health), Intel (Connected Care) have developed patient engagement platforms for health systems
  • Health Apps: Samsung’s HeartWise or Apple Health apps tracks a plethora of health data related to sleep, exercise, heart rate, while Apple’s Fitness+ provides a personalized fitness experience. 

    In the coming decade, consumer tech firms will play a significant and growing role in the health industry. A couple of the prominent ones are below and we will go into the details on this in our next blog on High-Tech and Health convergence:

    • Improving health outcomes and predictive health insights by applying advanced analytics on data from wearables enhanced with electronic patient data
    • Building on key learnings from the mobile and wearables space to deliver carefully crafted customer-centric experiences in high-growth areas such as telehealth and telemedicine

    Payments

    Global payments is a $1.5 trillion industry as of 2019 that’s growing at 5.5% year over year and is one of the most disrupted spaces fueled by fintech startups and big tech firms alike. The Tech firms have long eyed the synergies with Payment’s industry but have preferred to stay away from traditional regulated banking services. With significant cash reserves, rising consumer expectations on one-touch solutions and growth in fin-tech companies and innovation, high tech firms have been expected to scale their presence in these areas in a big way, or partner with banks to offer a suite of services.

    • Apple: Apple Pay currently accounts for - 5 percent of global card transactions - according to financial research firm Bernstein, and is set to reach 10 percent by 2024. Apple, also launched its credit card with Goldman Sachs in 2019.
    • Google: Google stepped up its fin-tech ambitions by announcing launch of checking account product in conjunction with Citigroup in 2020 that’ll be available through the Google Pay app.
    • Amazon: Amazon — a leader in the everything business, offers mature financial services offerings across payments and lending to 100 million Prime customers.
    • Samsung: Samsung Pay, launched in 2015, topped 1 billion transactions and continues to grow.

    The payments industry will continue to be a hotbed for innovation, with below areas offering significant potential for consumer tech firms to create additional value. We will discuss below and a few more in our upcoming blog on Convergence across High Tech and Payments:

    • Providing personalized insights, experiences, and services based on payments data combined with users’ digital footprint including likes/dislikes, location, and search history
    • Facilitating the delivery of financial services to the unbanked or underbanked which, in the US alone, is one-quarter of the population, according to the FDIC

    Automotive

    It’s no secret the automotive industry has seen an incredible infusion of technology in the past decade, first with increasingly sophisticated infotainment systems, followed by greater connectivity that’s turning cars and trucks into huge mobile devices in their own right. Automotive cybersecurity is an emerging area and an even bigger prize is the autonomous car arena which is attracting the attention of large consumer tech companies. Here are some industry examples from our research:

    • Autonomous Cars: Intel has invested in Mobileye that develops vision-based self-driving cars and Advanced-Driver-Assistance-Systems (ADAS). Waymo owned by Alphabet- is a safer and easier driverless transportation for people and freights. This has been built on shared transportation. Sony unveiled concept car Vison- S featuring 33 sensors highlighting its strong foot in camera sensors (LiDAR, time of Flight and other CMOS sensor for precision vision) to entertainment (huge dashboard screen in car)
    • Infotainment: Google is pushing ahead with Android Automotive OS, its new car operating system (CarOS) It offers a comprehensive suite that can be adapted to automaker-specific needs at minimal up-front investment. Apple Car Play offers connectivity experience to use the features of iPhone on the car dashboard from calling to navigation to using other apps.
    • Connected Cars Experience: Samsung’s subsidiary, Harman is well known for its connected car solution harnessing its cloud platform, HARMAN Ignite that offers highly-integrated Digital Cockpit Platforms, ADAS (Driver Assistance), cybersecurity, telematics and more. Microsoft in partnership with LG, Volkswagen demonstrated approach to build in-vehicle compute and software architecture.

    We see big near-term opportunities in auto industry for consumer tech firms and will deep-dive into these in our blog in Convergence and High Tech and Auto Industry:

    • Connected car solutions that integrate hardware and software to deliver truly immersive and connected experiences
    • Development of cybersecurity standards and solutions as cyber risk increases with the mainstream adoption of connected cars

    Industrial Equipment

    While it may not intuitively seem like an area in which consumer tech firms could play, the business-to-business (B2B) industrial equipment sector provides a wide range of opportunities to use technology to create better, more powerful experiences for such companies’ own workers as well as B2B customers. For instance, AR and VR are already being deployed at some industrial equipment companies to improve product design efficiency, train workers on complex equipment, power remote working environments, and enable virtual, 3D sales and marketing that let B2B customers experience equipment from the comfort of their own office.

    Here are some industry examples in this space:

    • Firms like Caterpillar are leveraging augmented reality to improve design efficiency and assist in service heavy equipment
    • Siemens Building Technology (technologies and services for commercial, industrial and public buildings and infrastructures) is using AR/VR for 3d product tour

    Consumer tech firms can capitalize on these opportunities by co-creating solutions incorporating wearables, hearables, and smart eyewear that can completely disrupt the way these firms engage with their employees and customers, which we will explore in our blog on Convergence in High-Tech and Industrials.

    We have plenty more to say about these four industries and their respective opportunities for consumer tech firms, which we’ll cover in future installments of this series. Stay tuned!

    Disclaimer: This document is intended for general informational purposes only and does not take into account the reader’s specific circumstances, and may not reflect the most current developments. Accenture disclaims, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, any and all liability for the accuracy and completeness of the information in this presentation and for any acts or omissions made based on such information. Accenture does not provide legal, regulatory, audit, or tax advice. Readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel or other licensed professionals.

    Monil Ruparel

    Management Consulting Senior Manager – Strategy & Consulting, Consumer Tech


    Amit Kumar

    Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting


    Gaurav Chauhan

    Management Consultant – Strategy & Consulting, High Tech

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