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PubNub 2020 Predictions: Realtime Experience Will Dominate Markets like Gaming and Healthcare in 2020

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

By Casey Clegg, Chief Revenue Officer, PubNub

Realtime Experience Will Dominate Markets like Gaming and Healthcare in 2020

Looking back at 2019, instant access to data, information, and communication across markets was paramount, as shown in everything from food delivery apps, dating and rideshare "Unicorns." As larger sums of data stream through organizations and applications hit scale, unexpected limitations and challenges appear from connection limits to network fragility, to geographical delivery complexity. Once these problems are solved, new types industries can be fully transformed, and we predict the next wave of new communication experiences for customers (and provide new puzzles to solve for developers) will fall into the gaming and healthcare spaces.

Realtime Gaming

There has been a trend over the past few years around social gaming interactions by users moving into platforms like Discord. Game studios have largely ignored this trend because users expect social interactions through chats and forums to mirror the realtime communications they have with popular platforms like WhatsApp and Slack. Small cues and design elements determine whether a user will communicate over the channel provided by the game or seek an out-of-band communication method.

In the last year there have been large innovations in machine learning and artificial intelligence that both bring down the cost of compliance and enable game studios to better make use of the data from social interactions within their games to drive user retention and monetization. In addition, several platforms for realtime communications, such as chat, have made it drastically more cost-effective to deliver a social interaction experience that users expect. In 2020 we will see a move by gaming studios to add in-game social interactions and move their users away from interactions on social platforms like Discord.

There are three primary happenings in gaming that will affect how both players and developers think about the games they play and the interactions in which they participate. The first trend surrounds where gamers interact with each other, whether that's in-game using developer-provided communication methods such as in-game chat and voice communication, or whether they go out-of-band to use a service like Discord.

The challenge here lies in providing an experience for gamers that is at least at parity with the experience they have come to expect from other services. Advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence, as well as the rise of technologies that bring down the cost of developing services such as chat have started to chip away at both of these difficulties and gaming studios will aim to leverage the both of these in 2020 to create better gaming experiences.

In 2020 you can expect gaming studios to leverage technologies that will simplify these key problems and enable them to focus on the core experience that they want to deliver and then capitalize on down the line. With the level of competition in the market, game studios recognize the value of creating these experiences but to date have been unable to justify the investment required. In 2020 we expect that to change as gaming studios aim to drive user retention and monetization in a competitive market.

Gaming experiences are increasingly in realtime, both as part of the game mechanics and in how gamers interact with each other. Whether it's building a chat that reliably delivers messages, updating in-game location as soon as it happens, or displaying a live leaderboard to foster competition, gaming studios are hard-pressed to deliver on this promise as well as be compliant, and on top of that provide additional value to gamers and derive additional value from their player base. This creates the situation where game studios in 2020 will increasingly seek to leverage data and create better realtime experiences in competitive markets by capitalizing on opportunities to make use of emerging technologies that simplify their pain points and minimize opportunity cost to ultimately get that "Win" on their record.

Realtime Healthcare

Healthcare providers are constantly looking for ways to provide better patient care. This stems not only from the desire to have happy and healthy patients, but also from the business need to streamline operations to maximize profit, and to ensure customer satisfaction and retention. We're already seeing this change happen with smaller healthcare firms, who aim to focus on delivering quality care to patients in ways that are both convenient for their patients as well as for the firms themselves. The advent of always-on technology and the mass-market adoption of such technologies and ways of living have spurred on healthcare providers to create ways to communicate with their patients and deliver care in a way that makes it easy for everyone involved.

We can expect that coordination of patient care will be a hot topic in 2020 for those in the healthcare industry. With realtime technologies and cost-saving approaches made possible by the new economy and machine learning and artificial intelligence, we can surmise that the focus on logistics and operations will only intensify to leverage these new opportunities and improve both patient care coordination and profit margins.

Healthcare moves at a much slower pace than other sectors due to the vast array of regulations and the legwork that comes into play in order to make the smallest changes. Established healthcare particularly struggle to keep up with the pace of innovation even where they want to, while new firms are hard-pressed to even compete with the big firms due to the deep pockets required to even start up. In this sense, both sides struggle with the time it takes to get to market in any scenario, and we expect in 2020 they'll start to look at vendors and methods that enable them to move more quickly and guarantee compliance with HIPAA and other regulations so that they can focus on improving patient care instead of investing heavily in making sure that their new technology investment is always compliant with federal and state regulations.

We're excited to see what 2020 has in store for these major markets to fully transform and create a more instant, immersive customer experience, as the tools for developers to provide these services continue to get more comprehensive.

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About the Author

Casey Clegg 

Casey Clegg is Chief Revenue Officer at PubNub, with over a decade of experience building developer-focused sales teams. Prior to joining PubNub, Casey was part of the sales leadership team at Twilio that drove 15x growth in revenue over five years culminating in the 2016 IPO. Before that, Casey started and built the API business unit at Yodlee, growing the division to half of all revenues in the years leading up to the company's IPO. Casey is a graduate of New York University and has an MBA from UCLA Anderson.

Published Tuesday, February 04, 2020 7:43 AM by David Marshall
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