According to a study released by Adobe this week, nine out of 10 companies are currently investing in voice technologies, including things like voice-based commerce. Of the 401 companies surveyed, just over one-fifth have already released a voice app, while 44 percent plan to release one this year. A total of 88 percent are building apps for both Amazon and Google smart speakers and other voice-enabled devices, while only 39 percent are building for Apple’s iOS ecosystem; even fewer are building for Microsoft’s Cortana or Samsung’s Bixby.
“Clearly, wherever companies are developing voice assistant technology, there’s not one single reason driving it. Rather, it’s a basket of different strategic objectives,” according to VentureBeat.
One such popular objective is voice-based ordering. A total of 45 percent of companies reported that to be a priority, along with a view of “voice technology as an opportunity for answering customer searches around sales, promotional offerings, or data acquisition,” reports VB.
In terms of specific verticals, travel seems particularly poised to take voice-enabled technology to the next step. While 39 percent of all companies indicated that they plan to release search-focused voice apps this year, a whopping 70 percent of companies within travel indicated that same goal.
“The biggest challenge, however, is where to place this technology in a company,” notes VB. “In other words, who owns it? For 65 percent of the 400 companies Adobe surveyed, the answer is depressingly familiar: IT.”
Why does that matter? According to VB, IT has a high rate of failure relative to project completion, plus it also indicates that those closest to customers (in marketing, for example) are potentially too far from the project.
“A voice project by definition is a close and tight connection with the customer. As such, customer experience people (probably in marketing but possibly in other areas of the company) should be leading the project. IT needs to be involved, of course, but a critical customer connection project should be led by a marketing, product, or customer experience executive,” explains VB.
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