Context aware IT provides competitive advantage

CIOs should focus on context says Gartner

September 29, 2009

CIOs should focus on context says Gartner

Enterprises can leverage context-aware computing to better target prospects, increase customer intimacy, and enhance associate productivity and collaboration, according to Gartner.

By 2012, the typical Global 2000 company will be managing between two and 10 business relationships with context providers, and by 2015, context will be as influential in mobile consumer services and relationships as search engines are to the Web.

Gartner defines context-aware computing as the concept of leveraging information about the end user to improve the quality of the interaction. Emerging context-enriched services will use location, presence, social attributes, and other environmental information to anticipate an end user’s immediate needs, offering more-sophisticated, situation-aware and usable functions.

“Although the rudiments of context-aware computing have been around for some time now, it is a disruptive technology that has the potential to be a real ‘game changer’ in terms of competitive advantage,” said Anne Lapkin, research vice president at Gartner. “Initial implementations of context-enriched services are already in play, and early adopters will find it easier to implement more-sophisticated services in the future.”

Context-aware computing has the potential to solve a wide variety of business problems. Gartner believes that, as more users employ a greater variety of applications, operating systems, browsers and devices, user experience problems will increase; new business opportunities will emerge, by virtue of knowing the customer more intimately; and productivity will improve as systems eliminate complexity for the user.

Gartner also believes advances in networks, mobile hardware capabilities, social computing, service-oriented architecture (SOA), and unified communication will make it easier to build and use context-enriched services. This will present a significant business opportunity for service providers, mobile device manufacturers and suppliers of communication infrastructure.