As 2015 draws to a close, the Voxware team celebrates another successful year marked by significant growth of our flagship Cloud VMS product and growing interest in Intellestra™, our new predictive analytics platform purpose-built for the supply chain. At the same time, we look forward to 2016 and to the many advances it will bring for the supply chain. As technology continues to offer companies new opportunities to drive better decision-making, here are three predictions for what to expect in 2016.

More Companies Will Move to the Cloud: Companies of all sizes benefit from implementing new Cloud-based technologies or upgrading existing on-premise legacy software to SaaS delivery models. Not only does the Cloud reduce the need to build supporting databases and other technology infrastructure but it also increases the time to value. Companies that experience seasonal fluctuations are especially well suited the advantages of the Cloud, making it easier to scale operations to meet changing demands. This prediction is born out of our own experience in 2015: not only has subscription revenue experienced high double digit growth for the third consecutive year but many existing customers (including Kohl’s, Mohawk Industries, Tannis Foods, and Haddon House) have upgraded their VMS to a SaaS delivery model.

The Internet of Things Will Enable Better Decision-Making: As more companies deploy technology to modernize the warehouse, the Internet of Things will allow companies to gather data from more places throughout the supply chain—and to analyze that data to make decisions in real time. Earlier this year we introduced Intellestra™, predictive analytics software purpose-built for the supply chain. By pulling data from multiple sources into a single portal, warehouse managers will be able to make better decisions. Voxware predicts that more companies will modernize warehouse facilities with data-gathering technologies in 2016 and that technologies like Intellestra™ will drive better decision-making that leads to a superior customer experience.

Consumer Demand and Expectations Will Continue to Rise, Especially in Omnichannel: Recent research published by Deloitte projected that 2015 omnichannel shoppers would spend more than those shoppers who shopped exclusively at brick and mortar stores ($1,829 per omnichannel shopper compared to $1,040 per brick and mortar only shopper). Not only will omnichannel shoppers continue to spend more in 2016 but they will also demand faster shipping for free. Deloitte research indicates that 86% of customers expect free shipping and 35% expect items to arrive in 2 days or less without paying a surcharge. Voxware predicts that the most successful companies will be the ones who have developed supply chain infrastructure to meet these demands.

The customer experience begins in the warehouse and companies that implement Cloud-based technologies like Voxware’s Cloud VMS and predictive analytics platforms like Intellestra™ will be better positioned to meet rising consumer demands. In 2016, the most successful supply chains will be the ones that leverage technology to drive better decision-making.