Whether we like it or not, contextual ads and services will be a big part of life.
Cognizant computing, the term that describes using consumers' data to bombard them with tailored ads and services, is set to be one of the next biggest forces in consumer IT.
Dubbed as the next phase of the personal cloud movement by Gartner, the research firm's report on cognizant computing claims it will have an immense impact across a range of industries, including mobile devices, mobile apps, wearables, networking, services and cloud providers, causing further major shifts in revenue and profit flows.
Jessica Ekholm, a research director at Gartner, said: "Cognizant computing is transforming personal clouds into highly intelligent collections of mobile apps and services.
"Business-to-consumer providers must adapt their strategies to exploit this change to generate new revenue, find new ways to differentiate themselves and foster loyalty via mobile apps."
Cognizant computing is labelled a 'consumer experience', where data associated with individuals is used to develop services and activities for that individual such as alarms, bill payments, monitoring health and fitness, and last but by no means least important - targeted, context-specific ads.
Contextual advertising is really the one that's set to be the money maker here, as consumers' smartphones and web history allows web firms and manufacturers to trawl in massive amounts of personal data.
Cognizant computing is already beginning to take shape via many mobile apps, smartphones and wearable devices that collect and sync information about users, their whereabouts and their social graph," said Ms Ekholm. "Over the next two to five years, the Internet of Things and big data will converge with analytics. Hence, more data will make systems smarter."
The practical application of cognizant computing helps business-to-consumer (B2C) companies to acquire deep insights into consumers' preferences and daily lives, which will therefore assist in creating better, more-personalised tailor-made services and offers, as well increase profits from highly lucrative advertising deals.
Any company in the business of providing a service, using apps or selling devices will be affected by cognizant computing in some way.
"The increased awareness of and implementation of analytics and self-learning systems will force B2C companies to hasten their adoption of these technologies, to stay competitive and better serve the consumer of the future," said Ekholm.
"Analytics is the key component and creates the backbone of cognizant computing."
By amalgamating and analyzing data in the cloud from many sources (including apps, smartphones and wearable devices, websites, store purchases, and social interaction), cognizant computing will provide contextual insights. This will help companies expand the lifetime value of their increasingly fickle customers, improve customer care, boost their sales channels and transform the customer relationship -- by making it more personal and relevant.