As 2020 continues to press forward, discussions around this year’s digital trends are coming to light, with familiar topics arising on cloud computing, edge computing, the internet of things, and artificial reality. While this may seem repetitive at first, this year is going to be different, as the latest tech trends are going to be centred around how businesses can digitally transform in order to improve the overall stakeholder experience. This will involve new business models that innovate on artificial intelligence and machine learning, the expansion and further integration of IT, and the rapid scaling of digital initiatives that transform company culture.
As artificial intelligence continues to expand, more businesses are recognizing that it can be used to standardize the digital transformation market. In standardizing and understanding the market, businesses can garner insights into better business outcomes as a result. In order to use artificial intelligence in this way, businesses must run algorithms to gather massive amounts of enterprise data, but with massive amounts of data comes the issue of making sense of it all. To synthesize the data into easy-to-understand insights, IT leaders need to integrate machine-learning algorithms into their business-driven data analytics strategies.
When machine learning and artificial intelligence is paired with modern data architecture paradigms, businesses can automate the data gathering and mitigate the data governance issue by extracting the data into an analytics-ready format. This will give businesses a competitive edge, as they will be able to act first or have a “first-mover” advantage. The reason that artificial intelligence will become front and centre is due to the power that it can provide businesses, not only in the competitive market but also in that AI can permeate all business functions, from sales and marketing to finance and human resources.
Advantages gained from utilizing integrated technologies are becoming essential for businesses to survive and thrive. However, it is vital for business owners to become fluent in understanding how these technologies are to help them. More than anything, integrated technologies specialize in metrics and analytics, allowing businesses to not only quantify their progress throughout a given time period but convey this data in an insightful manner.
While these integrated technologies can do wonders for a business, if they are not integrated from the beginning, it is more likely that a business will fail their digital transformation. As a result, CIOs need to quantify the value that artificial intelligence and the digitization of technologies brings to stakeholders. One way of doing this is illustrating the impact it can have across three key areas; velocity or the speed of processes and how quickly work can be completed; intelligence, the ability to automate and improve on decisions; and experience, understanding which experiences can drive the right economic and behavioural outcomes.
In order to fully benefit from any digital transformation, early implementation is key to garner as much insight as possible. Taking a step back at the start of a project yields much more information and saves a lot more time than diving headfirst into something, only to analyze it halfway through. This is a concept known as ‘Insight-First Innovation’ and is built to deliver short-term solutions with long-term benefits. This is achieved through data capture, integrated in at the start of a project so that as much information as possible can be gathered and used to continuously improve and promote the general progress of business intelligence.
If you are a data-driven business that utilizes analytics to make decisions, artificial intelligence and machine learning must be used to churn through all of the data and information that you have at your fingertips. In the past two years alone, complex data sets can be analyzed at the fraction of the speed that it would take human data analytics and while it may be tempting to just say that it is because computers are faster, this would be wrong. Rather, artificial intelligence and machine learning have become very good at analyzing data sets in a scaled environment (the cloud). Beyond scalability, the value in using AI and machine-learning also comes from speed and convenience. Not only are these tools easier to use, more intuitive, they have also become more reliable and faster to understand. As we continue forward in our fine-tuning of artificial and machine-learning algorithms, their speed, reliability, and accuracy are only going to continue to improve.
Businesses that are taking on digital transformation initiatives are positioning their IT tech at their core. This is because IT efficiency is critical to the success of the business. Why? There is increasing pressure on IT departments to deliver faster, be more adaptive, and deliver more in a shorter time-frame, in the following fields: big data/analytics, security, IoT, multi-cloud strategies, AI/machine learning, blockchain, streaming big data, microservices, and more. As of right now, 92% of businesses recognize that IT integration needs to span further, as it cannot currently keep up with business demands.
APIs are a set of functions or procedures that allow for the creation of applications that access certain features or data sets of an application, service, or operating system. This custom-built public or private APIs are used by companies to increase productivity, provide revenue growth, or innovate on products and services. However, in order to achieve these, the API must be productized and be reusable in order to provide maximum value. Some companies who have figured out how to reuse APIs are enjoying increased productivity speed by up to two-times2, finding that they increase sales, product launches, and overall delivery. The key here is to have a team in place for API management and optimization.
In 2019, there were 2,200 tech acquisitions made, which three-quarters3 were analytics firms, engineering firms, digital agencies, and digital solution providers, which is a record pace set that we have not seen in previous years. If this type of merger and acquisition continues at this rapid pace, then the digital landscape is going to be completely reshaped for service providers and CIOs who take on these new partnerships. Why? CIOs and traditional IT service providers are being forced to recognize that there are potential synergies with engineering, analytics, and digital agencies and that these synergies need to be integrated into their own product lines. Essentially, the disruption that comes from merger and acquisitions is not causing for alarm but a cause to embrace as it brings new digital capabilities to businesses.
While businesses may find that mature foundational technologies continue to be at the heart of digital transformation initiatives, most will find that the focus will need to shift onto cultivating a data-driven company culture that uses the disruption from artificial intelligence and machine learning, to find a competitive edge in the market. By positioning artificial intelligence and machine-learning that their core, businesses can integrate and expand their IT departments further, speed up productivity, glean new insights, and find short-terms solutions that provide long-term value. If you would like to learn more about how to leverage these trends and partner with IT ecosystems, please contact us.