Industrial Automation & Sensors Blog

Evolving User Expectations Driving Vendor Strategy

by Jared Weiner | 11/14/2016

Among the greatest challenges data acquisition (DAQ) vendors face today is adapting to the evolving expectations of their customers. Consider the nature of the current wave of startups and kickstarters; more than ever before, the entrepreneurial spirit is centered on the creation of actual devices and physical products as opposed to the websites and mobile applications that dominated the earlier part of this millennium. However, while this so-called “maker movement” has created a greater need for measurement and heightened the demand for DAQ products and technologies, it has also served to lower the technical proficiency of the average DAQ user.

This phenomenon has been particularly impactful when it comes to DAQ software. Despite the rising need for measurement and the corresponding increase in demand for DAQ solutions, new users frequently do not have the technical skillset (or desire) to program a measurement system from scratch. Accordingly, vendors have been pushed by these new users to provide easy-to-use DAQ software, with higher-level starting points and a faster time to first measurement. Mobile enablement, interactive measurements, and visualization are among the key features driving DAQ software innovation.

What remains to be seen is how the surging importance of software as a differentiator in DAQ systems will impact the competitive environment. New entrants and niche vendors looking to expand their portfolios should focus on providing superior time-to-value through easy-to-use components and turnkey software targeting less-technical users. The charge for market leaders is mostly the same. While product innovation obviously remains a priority, vendors should push for technical implementation to become invisible to users, enabling value-adding customer support services at the application level. By focusing on addressing the challenges DAQ users truly care about – getting business value from their data – leading vendors will strengthen their existing customer relationships and help stave off the threats posed by new market entrants.

To learn more about this and other trends impacting the market for DAQ systems and technologies, be on the lookout for our upcoming research service Strategic Insights 2016: DAQ Systems & Associated Technologies. Contact us for more details!