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Last year, we discussed how 2020 had been a year of adaptation, both to the new business challenges that came about by the pandemic and to the behavioral changes in all individuals.
In 2021, adaptation gave way to adoption: of new technologies to better cope with business needs, of data-driven processes that guide product development, and guidelines for digital-first collaboration across teams with varying degrees of remote availability.
What is there to 2022 that will make our heads turn? What are product managers paying the most attention to? Where should efforts be put when shaping the product analytics of the future?
Let’s begin with what we thought 2021 was going to look like. The beginning of each year is always a time to flex the ‘researched futurology’ muscle and, to various degrees, many of Gartner and others’ predictions have been correct, including the true value that product analytics have for all product life-cycles, no matter the industry.
On top of that, we have observed how some trends that started in 2020 have evolved further, in particular those revolving around data privacy. This is obviously underscored by the moves of big industry players, such as Facebook and Apple.
Despite the volatility in both tech stack development and market trends, each business and organization will always have to make the decisions that they believe will benefit their users, and ultimately, their revenue. And Countly is no exception.
In a time of accelerated digital transformation and mass migration to digital environments, the ‘era of data’ — as Gartner called it a while back — seems to have arrived in full force. And 2021 has shown the world how the commoditization of data is a real risk that organizations must resolve or, at the very least, take a stance on. This is because of the heightening tensions arising from viewing data as a liquid asset, with all the ethical and privacy concerns that come along.
As if that wasn’t enough, and as the world settles into a data-oriented way of interaction, we believe there are a few things that will grab our attention in 2022 and which no organization should lose sight of:
This is no new concept: it basically implies that the organization lets the product do the work and the whole organization gets behind the product. As productled.org poses, “it creates company-wide alignment across teams — from engineering to sales and marketing — around the product as the largest source of sustainable, scalable business growth.”
By allowing the product to be the true voice of the organization, businesses can save time and effort. For example, in some transactions, such as in the progression from trial to onboarding to product upgrade or subscription renewal, the human element can be allocated to the stages where it can reach a higher potential.
Another reason why product-led growth will be more than relevant is because the ramifications of the pandemic will most likely continue in the new year. As more and more real-life processes change to being digital-first, the ‘new normality’ will put pressure on every task that was formerly handled on a physical or face-to-face basis. Therefore, more bots, KYC, user verification, AI, video-calling embedded in the products themselves, etc. will dominate every customer interaction.
Making a product that will present itself as both the means and medium for whatever the customer needs is nonetheless a two-way street: the product will do everything for the customer, but also the customer will be able to guide themselves through it, so the product needs to adjust to every customer and every need. This means you need to ensure that you…
No two people are the same: different people, different backgrounds, different needs, different A-to-B paths. If the human interaction between a customer and your product or service — and, ultimately, your brand — is digitalized, it needs to be able to cater to all the possible variations in customer usage. Obviously, this means that you need to be on top of every possible customer journey, which is no easy task.
To save yourself from the eternal caveats of figuring out every customer journey variation, your product needs to offer a solid customer experience by means of being self-sufficient. This leads to one thing: self-service automation.
Imagine a scenario where customers don’t pay for things they are not using and where your organization can maximize the offering to customers. It’s a win-win situation where, by letting the customer work their own way through the product in the best possible way for them, it provides your organization with the opportunity of automation scalable infinitely. Why? Because in a self-service architecture, everything is the product, from selling to onboarding, and from the tailoring of the product to the production.
None of this would have been possible without the fast growth of digital-native companies, as system deployments have changed to be able to do everything remotely, including the decisions organizations are forced to make over…
Resource allocation in terms of money, human capital, hardware investments, and even geographical space looks nothing today like it did only some months ago. With the widespread emergence of fully remote teams, many digital native organizations based their business around cloud deployments. Start-ups make a big portion of this group, as owning hardware normally increases security, upkeep, and other costs, jeopardizing nascent IT and product development budgets.
Many organizations continue to use on-premises solutions for some of their tech needs. However, transformative organizations or those that currently operate with an on-prem framework have either accelerated their efforts or at least started considering moving operations to the cloud. Part of this is justified by the context of high volatility over the boundaries of how much physical work can be done (i.e., if workers can even go to offices due to fast-changing hygiene regulations).
Curiosity knows no boundaries. Listed above are not just some things that we are curious to follow in 2022, but concepts that any business should be hungry to learn more about if they are looking to harness the new opportunities that the analysis of data might bring.
That said, we are also excited about a future of analytics in a context where data ownership is not only important, but the only way to survive. And this is particularly true for Web 3.0 and the mass adoption of blockchain.
Even though we are at the beginning of a new year that will bring a lot of unexpected developments, we are truly looking forward to continuing to provide the most comprehensive products analytics solution for organizations that always put the privacy and security of their users’ data first. Your organization can also be one of them — get a demo with our team today!