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Parks: DIYers Still Value Tech Support

DALLAS — Sixty percent of U.S. broadband households that own smart-home systems set them up themselves or with the help of friends or family, but there’s still a major opportunity to provide tech support to smart-home owners as they add more connected devices to their homes, a Parks Associates study concludes.

“As consumers embrace new categories of devices, support needs will increase dramatically,” said research analyst Patrice Samuels. “Support providers must invest in new tools and solutions that minimize the burden on support resources.”

“Consumers’ home networks are rapidly expanding through the adoption of complex connected devices,” she added, noting that 27 percent of U.S. broadband households owned a connected health device by the end of 2014.

Support services “can ensure a positive user experience, monitor devices for proper operation, and protect the connected home from online attacks,” said the market research and consulting company. More than 60 percent of U.S. broadband/smart-home households find it very appealing to get support services that ensure unauthorized people aren’t monitoring and controlling their home systems, a Parks survey found. Almost 60 percent found it very appealing to have data and video backed up, and more than 60 percent found it very appealing to get repairs or replacement of malfunctioning equipment.

The Parks study outlines how technical support services, processes, tools, and business models must evolve in order to meet the new IoT demands.