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Key tech trends for 2021: Agile, AI and user experience
By Benjamin Bohle-Roitelet, CIO, Sportnco
Agile development, artificial intelligence and focus on user experience are the key trends that will drive Sportnco in 2021, says Sportnco CIO Benjamin Bohle-Roitelet.
Making end-of-year predictions can be a risky thing, even more so after the year we have just had.
However, for a betting solutions specialist like Sportnco, technology is such an integral part of our activity, and that of our clients, that it would be remiss not to provide my vision of the role it will play in driving sports betting in 2021.
But before we broach topics like Agile or AI or automation, first and foremost the past year has shown how vital online platforms have become. From Zoom to Skype and myriad other tools, they have enabled businesses across the world to keep functioning and workers to maintain contact.
For all the businesses that have adapted and for our sports betting operators, online and remote channels have, literally, saved their businesses. If that sounds dramatic, industry statistics demonstrate this clearly.
In the US, monthly state betting revenues show that up to 98% of bets are now placed online or through mobile betting. On a worldwide basis online has increased its share of betting activity in dramatic fashion.
Data from H2 Gambling Capital shows that:
- in 2010 online accounted for around 10% of all global gambling gross win.
- just before the start of the pandemic, this rose to 13%, by early September it was 18%, by November 19%, and
- it is likely to reach 20% of global GGW by the end of the year,
- the global sector’s revenues have dropped 26% and are predicted to hit $350bn in 2020, a level not seen since 2010.
- Land-based global revenues meanwhile have dropped 39%, but just 7% for online compared with 2019.
To build on this, the three following trends will be key features in 2021.
The most agile will win out
The Agile way of working will continue to be very important for software development teams. It brings adaptability to distributed and remote teams and the ability to change and evolve quickly to face new situations and challenges.
Of course, real agility also comes from the ability to learn and measure processes, usage patterns and implementation projects.
Being agile also means taking advantage of the need to distribute teams remotely, and the ability to do it well. This brings further benefits in having more multicultural teams than ever, which is very useful in a so called ‘flat world’.
Artificial Intelligence - add Intelligence in the right place
AI is already very much present throughout the business world and its influence is set to grow even further. It brings scale and speed to how businesses operate, while digital platforms add knowledge and value through automation and efficiency.
For example in sports betting this can be seen with how odds are generated and updated and how markets are open and closed during live events. It can also play a key role in managing risk, processing vast amounts of data at speed and helping traders take the right decisions under pressure.
We now know where AI and big data can provide their value and it's up to every software producer to add this value to its products.
User Experience is key in remote world
The business world and consumers rely even more on remote platforms in 2020 and it is our responsibility to provide the best experience possible. As a provider of online solutions and experiences we strive to provide even more high quality, realistic and intense experiences through digital.
Supported by a strong technical architecture, we will focus on providing the right data and offers to targeted users, to iterate quickly, while analysing and managing the risks across all markets.
Agile, AI and experience: I believe these features will be even more important in 2021 than they already are, especially for companies like ours that work in the sports betting industry.
They enable us to provide the best experience to our corporate partners and their players. Sportnco will continue to deliver on this in 2021 by continuously working on Agile, AI and offering the best user experience to our customers.