As I write on the evolution and advancement of a few tech topics, such as the impact of Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, and the Internet of Things on businesses and people, I realize that tech talk is not all that matters.

We have all heard of the benefits that connected cars have achieved through telematics technology within the young driver and other targeted communities. We can now rapidly see the application of similarly connected capabilities in the areas of digitally-enabled glass, home and health. Such successes did not occur without government lobbying, creative awareness campaigns as well as sleek and innovative designs.

Our future may actually include a combination of lots of these things. RFID tags - embedded in wearable tech or sensor-led devices – are already able to track location, behaviour and external events. Other possibilities include TV White Spaces that allow the wireless sharing of digital data from the most remote places, and when connected to unstructured social media feeds can deliver extremely powerful data analysis and visualization.

Connected devices and digital usage are growing at speed. Gartner considers that there are already 4.9 Billion connected Things today, and these will grow to 25 Billion by 2020, with connected home devices potentially representing 25% of Internet of Things Shipments. Statista highlights that the digital health market is expected to reach $233.3 Billion by 2020, driven particularly by the mobile health market.

As more focus is being placed on innovation, data, advanced math and connected devices, businesses must shift their focus on delivering, designing and marketing product offerings that customers really want. When it comes to grabbing the customer’s attention, it is important to make him or her feel, hear, think and experience something relevant and unique. This should be far more important than a simple mix of technological components.

There is one thing I have learnt during my years of talking to people, advising companies and designing customer strategies. The customer, user, or stakeholder is always at the core of any design, from complex and sophisticated tech products to intangible offerings.

Strategic foresight, experience design, value redefinition and reframing, accelerated prototyping and testing techniques are all core skills that make technology alive and relevant for its users. Such skills are often found in digital agencies and experience design consultancies. I have seen the powerful impact of experience design through consultancies and believe in the approach. These experts truly understand the implications of a design, not only in terms of the ultimate customer, but also in terms of a company’s business direction, technology landscape and operating model.