With the onset of driver-less cars and drones delivering packages to your doorstep, technology is now facing a period of great disruption. Businesses will need to keep a close eye on three major shift that if they want to enable data-driven innovation and improve competitiveness.
Historically, technology has followed a pretty predictable path. It’s become smaller, faster and definitely more powerful. Many of our once manual processes have become automated, productivity has increased, and human life has improved (apparently)!!
We’re now at a point of change...you can smell it in the air. Businesses and Individuals are facing a period of great disruption. Instead of replacing labour, technology is starting to automate routine cognitive work. Innovation is occurring at a lightning pace and business leaders are being forced to manage this continuous change, as emerging technologies become more mainstream (thank goodness for start-ups).
In our current phase of digital transformation, every business seems to be undergoing a shift. New technologies and start-ups are fuelling globalisation, redefining our concepts of software and computing, slashing costs, and powering data-driven decision-making.
Here are three areas that really stand out.
AI, ML and automation.
Artificial Intelligence is not a futuristic notion. It’s already up and running. As are automation and machine learning (ML). In a lot of instances, robots are now performing certain tasks in a much more efficient way than humans.
There is always the argument that automation is taking away jobs, however, I see it a little differently. When we free people from mundane, time-intensive tasks such as data entry, it allows them to deliver high-value and enjoyable work. It actually puts human intuition at the centre of data and advanced algorithms. By combining human intuition and real-time data to make decisions, companies will be better positioned to change processes on the fly to deliver the best results.
Cloud computing vs edge computing
Cloud computing has become a real trend over the last decade. It helps many businesses reduce their physical IT hardware and cuts down many of the time-intensive processes associated with backup and recovery.
In saying that, businesses need to access more information, faster than ever before and one of the drawbacks has always been their slow speed in running analytics. This is where 'edge' computing comes into play. More recently, companies are switching to these 'edge' locations to enhance their overall performance. It also makes apps and related services more reliable by shortening the distance data has to travel and significantly mitigates latency issues.
AR & VR
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are a new reality. Digi-Capital, a leading research company in AR and VR technology predicts that AR could bring in around US$70 billion revenue by 2023. Granted, they aren't widely in use, however, these technologies will soon be deployed by more companies to create unique, engaging and meaningful experiences for their customers and users (think IKEA's app).
There’s no doubt in my mind that the pace of digital disruption will continue at a ridiculous pace. It will create significant opportunities for enterprises to create innovative solutions and improve their competitiveness. The key to success with this type of pace is understanding the tectonic shifts before they become mainstream, experimenting and learning about them, and also using technology that enables data-driven innovation in this complex, fast-paced digital economy.