Industry wide tech advancements and ecosystem transformations are leading to a market, where enterprise level adoption of market trends is becoming the difference between those who are able to capitalise and create value and those who are left playing catch up. Here are some key technology trends that will shape the future of firms in the hi-tech industry:
1. AI deepens its hold on mainstream adoption
AI is slowly growing from just an industry buzzword with a plethora of promises to actual industrial adoption, with industry specific use cases and large-scale integrations across business verticals. As data becomes more ubiquitous, it becomes easier to train and build better AI models for industrial applications. Gartner research suggests over 70% of organisations plan to deploy AI and 14% have already implemented in their business processes in some form. Implementation areas are many, but enterprise focus is mostly on improving customer experience, cost reduction and on augmenting complex tasks
LG, for example, is successfully using azure machine learning to enable predictive maintenance in its smart factories and detect the probability of defects and helping it avoid system delays, cutting cost in the process. Set to reach USD 71 billion by 2024, AI will have widespread adoption as development progresses and businesses need to find out how to leverage the power of AI or risk becoming irrelevant.
2. Automation will augment the workforce of the future
Automation is slowly evolving. From automating individual discrete tasks and rigid rule based transactions, automation is now focussed on more enhanced and dynamic work with and deals with more variables. This is made possible as a synergistic effect from the development of key technologies such as AI, robotics and industrial IIOT. ABB, a world leader in industrial automation uses their YuMi for small parts assembly, with safety features built in to enable human collaboration as and when required.
Automation will displace a more varied set of the workforce than previously thought. But contrary to the popular belief that automation will replace the workforce, the future is more tilted towards automation augmenting the workforce while creating the need for a different kind of worker with more advanced skillsets. Automation is growing at a rapid pace with the automation industry generating $200+ billion by 2020 and fast reaching maturity in basic industrial applications.
3. Cloud is becoming a fundamental tenet of business
Cloud is no longer leading digital enabler for firms but has rather become an expected approach for enterprise grade asset management. Moreover, Cloud acts as the foundation for using and enabling future technological capabilities. Take the case for Ai and its need for crunching enormous amounts of data to train algorithms. As the ubiquity of data grows more widespread, enterprise level scaling is only possible on cloud. Cloud services now handle problems ranging from on-premise infrastructure needs to critical analytical abilities for platform solutions.
But what is driving this widespread adoption? It’s the very nature of cloud services offered. Cloud services today are scalable and elastic, which is a standard of “as-a-service” models where enterprises can scale usage with ease, while the ability for metered usage means consumers are paying for the space they are utilising and no more. It even enables organisations to cater to any variability in demand, whether immediate or long term for their users and clients.
4. AR/VR is starting to find a comfortable niche
AR / VR applications were already gaining large momentum in consumer applications such as driving HUDs and applications like snapchat. But the use cases for enterprise grade AR/VR/MR are taking off as well. In heavy industries, it is used widely in training, prototyping maintenance, repair, parts visualization and the like. Automotive players like Porsche are already using AR technology to aid servicing and collaboration across teams to reduce service resolution time by 40 %.
Worldwide, big tech vendors are piling investments into the AR/VR/MR space, with apple being the latest to announce AR/VR displays, glasses and headsets. Google is also extending AR support to its almost universal search applications and maps to further differentiate itself with an immersive experience for consumers. Global AR/VR firm valuations now stand at more than $40+ billion globally with an additional $20+ billion for non pure-play AR/VR firms. These investors are already seeing returns of more than $8 billion globally, through M&A, and rightfully have a bullish and optimistic view of a more immersive future for consumers.
5. CX and UX will become differentiators
With more and more channels of product and service delivery becoming available to end customers, and technical capabilities being commoditized across industry players, customer experience will become the key differentiators for companies looking to maintain customer loyalty. CX is also a key differentiator when it comes to customer satisfaction and customer advocacy for organic growth. Whether it’s Spotify modifying and recommending playlists for individual listening patterns, Macy’s deploying a cognitive AI tool for customer assistance during shopping or even KFC’s facial recognition tool to recommend meals, companies today are looking towards CX to create retention through exploiting convenience and creating unique and memorable experiences.
Technological advancements are the key to both enabling CX functionalities and is helping firms enhance the CX that enterprises currently provide. With IOT being used to leverage large amounts of customer data and AI/ML based analytics enabling the discovery of hidden insights bout customer preferences, providing enhanced customer experiences becomes possible for firms to set themselves apart from the competition.
For more insights on tech trends that will influence the way forward , please read the full whitepaper here.