By Jagat Pal Singh
The most talked about subject, yet, not well understood—2019 will not be a different year. Technology advancement and disrupters have forced every organization to take note of it. However, many times, companies simply leverage new technologies to improve the past under the illusion of transformation. This is mainly due to lack of big picture and disruptive technology understanding.
In the past we saw the early adopters introduce the role of a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) with a view to bring business knowledge and technology together. However, they missed including an important aspect—people. Consequently, 2019 will see a greater involvement of the CEO. The big picture, fear of lagging behind, or being outsmarted by some innovative idea is pushing CEOs towards it. Nevertheless, their involvement in driving digital transformation efforts will help organizations in cohesive communication and integrated initiatives for creating a culture of transformation.
My conversation with an European manufacturing CFO (organization having majority share in its market segment across the globe with revenue of over a billion euros) and few other companies suggests that factors such as processes to document floating ideas, decisions, and rationales behind the decisions are essential for identifying the right opportunity and enhancing the capability of an organization to embrace rapid transformational capability (read nimble). This is the hardest part, but without this competitive advantage cannot be sustained.
Since the audience here is technically inclined, I’ll be skipping the business and organization trends and focus more on the technology aspects. To me technology is the most important area. After all, it is the advancement of technology that has enabled businesses and organizations to really think about digital transformation.
The top five technologies that I believe will trend in the coming years are not unknown. They are for real and getting ourselves skilled in these areas will ensure competitive edge not only for us but also for the IT industry in India.
Predictive/Prescriptive Analytics, Machine Learning (ML), and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
There is nothing unknown and organizations have realized that data is at the centre of the transformation. Many organizations are yet to execute their data strategy, but those who have data strategy in place, will start their journey of predictive/prescriptive analytics with the help of ML and AI. Year 2019 should see good adoption of predictive/prescriptive analytics across the industries.
Blockchain, undoubtedly, is the most talked about technology after ML/AI. Its potential to reduce corruption in governance, and optimize supply chain for visibility and efficiency will make this technology thrive in 2019.
Internet of Things (IoT) and Autonomous Devices
For industries, IOT has been there for some time and has become mainstream solution for many business problems. So, year 2019 should see a lot more IOT applications on the end user side. In the context of autonomous devices, it’s the autonomous car that dominates our memory but a lot of autonomous/smart devices are becoming mainstream in the next two years, for example, drones, appliances, and robots.
Connected Clouds and Edge Computing
Cloud providers have built a great infrastructure and are now adding capabilities to provide those services to the on premises part of the hybrid cloud. This is making it a lot easier for many organizations that had data issues. On the other side; Edge computing (which helps reduce network latency and improve quality of service) makes it easy to process enough on the client side to provide better customer experience. Focus of customer experience is not new but its intensity is increasing every passing quarter. Yeah 2019 shouldn’t be any different.
Chatbots are already being widely leveraged. Given the advancement in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and efficacy of AI in enhancing customer experience while extracting cost efficiencies, chatbots will become pervasive—a hygiene for enterprises in the next two years.
The author is the CTO at Cybage.
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