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Amazon vs. Google: The Battle for Smart Speaker Market Share

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Amazon vs. Google: The Battle for Smart Speaker Market Share

Amazon vs. Google: The Battle for Smart Speaker Market Share

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Steve Rabuchin, the VP of Amazon Alexa, has a vision. He dreams of customers having a conversation – not just with voice-enabled devices like the Amazon Echo, but with appliances, cars, and everything in between.

Though that dream may not be realized in the short term, sales of smart speakers are increasing as people warm up to the idea of using voice-assisted devices in their homes.

Today’s infographic, from Raconteur, sheds light on the fight for smart speaker market share, how early adopters are using the devices, and the growing array of voice-enabled devices currently on the market.

Moving into the Mainstream

When the Amazon Echo entered the market in 2015, it kicked off a new wave of demand for voice-activated smart speakers. At the time, it was unclear whether a large segment of the population would use a smart speaker, but consecutive years of rising sales are putting those worries to rest.

A recent study from Juniper Research found that smart speakers such as Amazon Echo, Google Home, and the Sonos One will be installed in over 70 million U.S. households by 2022, reaching 55% of all homes.

The recent flurry of holiday device buying seems to support this prediction. Smart speaker sales in the U.S. rose sharply to nearly 25 million in 2017, with close to 11 million purchased during the holiday season. Thanks to lower price points and wider distribution, this trend will likely continue through 2018 and beyond.

Competition is Heating Up

Amazon’s first-mover advantage resulted in an imposing 94% market share by Q3 2016 – but since then, Google Home has been eating into that lead. Experts predict that Echo will remain the top smart speaker in the future, but that Google and Chinese brands like JD and Xiaomi will continue to grow in popularity.

The two tech giants are fighting hard for the early majority because smart speakers are such a powerful gateway into their ecosystem of services and data collection.

Perhaps anticipating a binary market, Sonos is looking to win by taking a slightly different approach. Since the company is doesn’t have an existing suite of consumer services, it’s shipping devices with Alexa integration and opening up the platform to developers (think voice-activated apps). Customers who are suspicious of ulterior motives and integration limitations of the larger brands may gravitate toward a more open, agnostic approach.

You have no idea what people are going to build. When Apple opened iOS, the first thing people made was the fart app.

– Antoine Leblond, VP of Software Development at Sonos

To add even more excitement to the race for market share dominance, Apple is launching a smart speaker called HomePod in early 2018.

The Path to IoT is Voice Enabled

For now, smart speakers are primarily a fancy way to people to stream music or get tomorrow’s weather forecast, but they are a critical first step in the impending shift toward the “connected home”.

Most people don’t currently live in a place that supports full-on integration with smart speakers, but once they begin using voice-enabled devices, they are more likely to take smaller steps such as rewiring light switches.

The shift towards smart homes is predicted to generate a lot of revenue in coming years – and companies like Amazon and Google see smart speakers as a foot-in-the-door. If trends continue, these tech giants stand a good chance of taking over as the nerve center for peoples’ homes as an IoT-driven future unfolds.

smart home forecast

33 years after the debut of The Clapper, tech companies have found a better (and far more profitable) hands-free way to turn the lights out.

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Banks

Visualizing the Future of Banking Talent

Banking talent is undergoing a fundamental shift. This infographic explores how banks are adapting to rapid automation and digitization in the industry.

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Visualizing the Future of Banking Talent

View the full-size version of the infographic by clicking here

Many organizations say that their greatest asset is their people. In fact, Richard Branson has famously stated that employees come first at Virgin, ranking ahead of customers and shareholders. So, how do businesses effectively manage this talent to drive success?

This question is top of mind for many bank CEOs. As processes become increasingly automated and digitized, the composition of banking talent is changing – and banks will need to become adept at hitting a moving target.

Six Ways Banks are Becoming Talent-First

Today’s infographic comes from McKinsey & Company, and it explores six ways banks are becoming talent-first organizations:

1. They understand future talent requirements.

43% of all bank working hours can be automated with current technologies.

Consequently, talent requirements are shifting from basic cognitive skills to socio-emotional and technological skills. Banks will need to analyze where they have long-term gaps and develop a plan to close them.

2. They identify critical roles and manage talent accordingly.

It is estimated that just 50 key roles drive 80% of bank business value. Banks will need to identify these roles based on data rather than traditional hierarchy. In fact, 90% of critical talent is missed when organizations only focus at the top.

Then, banks must match the best performers to these roles and actively manage their development.

3. They adopt an agile business model.

Banks will need to shift from a hierarchical structure to an agile one, where leadership enables networks of teams to achieve their missions. As opportunities come and go, teams are reallocated accordingly.

This flexible structure has many potential benefits, including fewer product defects, lower costs, shorter time-to-market, increases in customer satisfaction, and a bump in employee engagement.

4. They use data to make people decisions.

Instead of making decisions based on subjective biases or customary practices, banks will need to rely on the power of data to:

  • Recruit
  • Retain
  • Motivate
  • Promote

For example, company data can be used to develop a heatmap of the roles with the highest attrition rates. Leaders can then focus their retention efforts accordingly.

5. They focus on inclusion and diversity.

Gender and ethnicity diversification leads to higher financial performance, better decision making, higher employee satisfaction, and an enhanced company image.

Industry-leading banks will set measurable diversity goals, and re-evaluate all processes to expose unconscious biases. For example, one organization saw 15% more women pass resume screening when they automated the process.

6. They ensure the board is focused on talent.

Only 5% of corporate directors believe they are effective at developing talent.

To be successful, boards will need to recognize Human Resources (HR) as a strategic partner rather than as a primarily transactional function. The CEO, CFO, and CHRO (Chief Human Resources Officer) form a group of three that makes major decisions on human and financial capital allocation.

CEOs worldwide see human capital as a top challenge, and yet they rank HR as only the eighth or ninth most important function in a business. Clearly, this is a disconnect that needs to be addressed. To keep up with rapid change, banks will need to bring HR to the forefront – or risk being left behind.

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Business

The Reputational Risks That CEOs are Most Worried About

It takes decades to earn a reputation, and just one mistake to ruin it. Here’s what business leaders see as the biggest reputational risks.

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The Reputational Risks That CEOs are Most Worried About

View the full-size version of the infographic by clicking here

Building an enduring business isn’t easy work.

It can take decades to earn trust and respect in a given market, and it only takes one terrible miscue to unravel all of that goodwill.

As a result, it’s no surprise that the world’s best CEOs think a lot about evaluating these kinds of risks. So what do executives see as being the biggest reputational risks lingering over the next 12 months for their businesses?

Risky Business

Today’s infographic comes to us from Raconteur, and it breaks down the near-term reputational risks seen by CEOs as based on research by Deloitte.

The concerns highlighted in the survey fall into three major categories:

  1. Security risks: including physical and cyber breaches (41%)
  2. Supply chain: risks arising from extended enterprise and key partners (37%)
  3. Crisis response capabilities: how the organization deals with crises (35%)

Let’s dive a little deeper, to see why these broad areas are such a concern.

Security Risks

As more people work remotely, CEOs see a rising risk stemming from data breaches.

Although 89% of the C-suite believes that employees will do everything they can do to safeguard information, about 22% say their employees aren’t aware of offsite data policies. The devices most at risk, according to this group, are company mobile phones (50%), company laptops (45%) and USB storage devices (41%).

Supply Chain Risk

When it comes to maintaining the quality of your product or service, it’s not optimal to be reliant on third-parties.

However, it’s also unlikely for companies to be fully vertically integrated – somewhere along the way, you need to get raw materials from a supplier, or you need to rely on a logistics company to deliver your goods to market. The more borders that need to be crossed, and the further an item has to go, the more complicated it all gets.

In terms of supply chain risk, CEOs are mostly concerned about government action (or inaction): uncertainty about policy, over-regulation, trade conflicts, geopolitical uncertainty, and protectionism were all items that registered high on the list.

Crisis Management

It pays to be prepared when it comes to crises.

The only problem? It would seem the data that C-level execs need to make emergency decisions is not up to snuff. For example, 95% of CEOs see customer and client data as being necessary in such a situation, but only 15% of companies are successfully collecting such data.

The same gap seems to occur when it comes to other types of data, including brand reputation data, financial forecasts and projections, employee needs and views, industry peer benchmarking, and supply chain data.

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