‘If you are not moving forward, you are moving backward’, is a saying that holds true in the current business ecosystem. In this era of ever-changing technology and business dynamics, one doesn’t have the luxury of time and hence the ability to wait for the right occasion. If one doesn’t pace up and stride along the shifting tides of innovation and technology the likely outcome is to be left behind. While 2017 was a year of boardroom discussions about a lot of the disruptive technologies, 2018 is predicted to be the year of action where most of the disruptive technologies will see the limelight. Technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and the Internet of Things, etc., are all pushing us to the Edge and have become an integral part of every companies’ future goals. With no further ado let’s take a deep dive into the world of disruptive technology and list down some of the Digital Trends that the year 2018 will witness.
1. IoT Gets Bigger and Better
Since 1982, when the concept of “a network of smart devices” was discussed, until today, when the Internet of Things has become a key enabler to the digital future, this technology has shown enough endurance and potential to make it to the top of this list. The year 2018 will witness IoT enter into the next stage of business, where it will not be just about ‘Connected Things,’ but more about what do we do with the enormous amount of data that these connected things provide us. Thus, giving way to the need for three most important technologies, Data Analytics, Edge Computing and 5G. IoT will now become more mainstream rather than working in niches. According to Carrie MacGillivray, VP of IoT and Mobility at IDC “By 2021, more than 55 percent of spending on IoT projects will be for software and services.”
2. Data Analytics
Gartner, Inc. forecasts that “8.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2017, up 31 percent from 2016, and will reach 20.4 billion by 2020.” Given that scenario, we will have an enormous amount of real-time data streams. It is crucial to apply analytics on top of these data to unearth the only relevant information in the crowd of millions and uncover actionable insights that will help take controlled decisions for the future, thus finally harnessing the power of IoT and making it worthier for businesses.
3. Edge Computing
While the companies have just accepted the fact that Cloud Computing was necessary for their business, the digital transformation now calls for a more integrated approach, and the key to it is Intelligent Edge. Driven by the sheer volume of data and speed that Internet of Things demands, it had become highly impractical to use the cloud as storage, therefore, creating a market for Edge computing that will power real-time responses and processing. It will help reduce latency, lower the dependency on the Cloud and better manage the massive data generated by the IoT. “By 2020, IT spend on Edge Infrastructure will reach up to 18% of the total spend on IoT Infrastructure,” predicts IDC.
4. 5G Mobile Technologies
While 4G will continue to evolve among the smartphone users for many years to come, the 5G network is specially designed to handle the hyper-connected digital world of the Internet of Things and Digital reality. Asha Keddy, the general manager of mobile standards for advance tech at Intel, says, “The 2G networks were designed for voice, 3G for voice and data, and 4G for broadband internet experiences. With 5G, we’ll see computing capabilities getting fused with communications everywhere, so trillions of things like wearable devices don’t have to worry about computing power because the network can do any processing needed.”
5. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence is no more just discussion over the coffee table. With ‘Hey Siri,’ ‘Alexa’ and ‘Ok Google’ Artificial Intelligence is already a crowd puller. From Machine Learning to AI-powered chatbots in customer service and support, to using natural language processing as a new form of human-computer interface, AI Technology is paving the way to success. It is anticipated that AI can have the power to help companies to strategize marketing and business plans by aggregating data and deriving actionable insights, helping manufacturers inefficient production, the government in deploying resources efficiently, and many more such used cases.
6. Augmented Reality goes mainstream
If you have ever used the new Snapchat lens or played Pokemon Go last year, then you have already had the experience of Augmented Reality. With the extensive use of smartphone apps, headsets, and glasses, this technology is growing at an explosive rate. Augmented Reality is going to become indispensable in our lives owing to its ability to create a physical world (Physical + digital) and by adding virtual computer graphics. This industry is projected to reach $7 trillion by 2027, with nearly $50 billion in expected revenue by 2021.
Blockchain initially devised for Bitcoin, is not just a financial technology. It has its business application in many other sectors like healthcare, education, manufacturing, Government, energy, supply chain, etc. According to Gartner, “by 2030, the business value added by Blockchain will grow to $3.1 trillion.” International Data Corp’s Health Insights Report predicts that one-fifth of healthcare providers will have operationalized Blockchain by 2020, which means that year 2018, will see a lot of adoption of this technology mostly in the healthcare sector.
8. Retail – The Amazon way!
Amazon has brought a revolution in the world of Retail. Retailers have not started realizing that going digital with their store is not just an extension of their physical store. The year 2018 will be for the brands which will go the Amazon way and start bridging the gap between digital and physical shopping. According to Bloomberg Business, “50 percent” of the shoppers in the US turn to Amazon first when shopping for a product online. Amazon’s “Day1 Mantra”, its loyalty program with “Amazon Prime,” have all worked together well to create a brand value for its customers. 2018 Retail brands are expected to work in providing an Immersive and Omnichannel experiences for the shoppers with exceptional in-store as well as online experience for them.
9. Event Driven
With the advent of technologies like Artificial Intelligence, IoT, etc., business events can be delivered more quickly and analyzed in preeminent details. Thus, pushing Enterprises to think seriously about “Event Driven Architecture.” EDA is a design model of software that responds when it receives one or more event notifications. According to Gartner, “By 2020, event-sourced, real-time situational awareness will be a required characteristic for 80% of digital business solutions, and 80% of new business ecosystems will require support for event processing.”
10. Digital Twin
Digital Twin is a digital representation of the physical assets, process or system. These digital representations are linked to the real-world counterparts and derive information that will add value and improve the operational efficiency of the physical entity. According to IDC, “By 2020, 30% of G2000 companies will be using data from digital twins of IoT connected products and assets to improve product innovation success rates and organizational productivity, achieving gains of up to 25%.” However, Digital Twin will not just be limited to IoT and connected things. Half of the large industrial companies will use Digital Twins in their organizations to gain 10% more effectiveness, says Gartner.
Change is inevitable, and the above-listed technologies are mere tools in the process of building smarter, efficient and well-connected World. There would be a lot of arguments about whether making the world into a technology unit is a wise decision or not. Like I said earlier, “If you are not moving forward, you are moving backward.” It’s your choice to make a strategic business move into the world of evolving technology. I believe that we should providing innovative technologies with a dash of Happiness. Let’s harnessing the next gen technologies to create the ‘Digital Capital’ to achieve ‘digital Transformation.
Author: Rajiv Peddada
Originally Published in: TTI newsletter May 2018
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