Technology Trends You Need to Know Regardless of Your Industry
Business leaders cannot lull themselves into complacency based on present conditions but must keep transforming for the future. As we look to embrace the new normal, we must still deal with the old! Digital transformation is first about the business and how it operates and then about the technology, but we should all be familiar with the trends and concepts.
This doesn’t mean “Remote Workers.” What I am referring to is human-machine collaboration in the new hybrid workforce. This is a new normal for successful businesses. The introduction of digital workers — while still early in its evolution, is gathering momentum quickly based on the tremendous efficiencies and accuracy it can deliver. It is not just mundane, repetitive jobs like data input that new digital colleagues will help human workers complete in the years ahead. The growth of machine learning (ML) through human-centric artificial intelligence (AI) means robot assistants will also help employees make better decisions. In most cases, these technologies enhance rather than replace human capabilities.
A digital worker for every human worker. Expect many digital robots to be taking up minimalist tasks in the office. Digital workers will be trained to carry out a business task just like any employee, only faster and without mistakes. All employees across the enterprise will have digital workers working alongside them in the future. This will become very normal in the workplace and you will surely be seeing more of these technologies in your workplace.
As I’ve talked about recently, the growing use of digital workers is happening across the globe. According to new IDC research, the contribution of digital workers — such as software robots and AI — will grow by over 50% by 2022. (As previously published here.)
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks, or whatever other fancy terms industry is coming out with for what is defined as the sophisticated computer technology that is becoming widely utilized to understand and improve business and customer experiences. I assume you have heard of it before, but the way it is defined today is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans. Machine Learning is essentially a computer’s ability to learn on its own by analyzing data and tracking repeating patterns.
As consumers, we experience AI daily, often without knowing it’s being used. In the enterprise, expect that process owners and those leading improvement initiatives for the customer experience will see a dramatic increase in their involvement and access to artificial intelligence tools.
Cognitive technologies are products of the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning. They are known for their ability to perform tasks that only humans used to be able to do. Examples of cognitive technologies in action include computer vision, machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), speech recognition, and robotics. Cognitive computing has increased the concern about machines replacing humans in the workplace given its ability to automate processes and learn like humans. While Cognitive Computing focuses on mimicking human behavior and reasoning to solve complex problems, they are not able to perform without input and feedback. The goal of cognitive computing is to simulate human thought processes in a computerized model. I talk about this trend more in-depth while focusing on human augmentation in the Top 10 Technology Trends for 2020 and beyond.
Top 10 Technology Trends for 2020
Strategies and things that will change the way we think and work
You can think of the cloud as a remote data center. Cloud computing allows you to access a variety of services, such as data storage and software, online and pay for the services you need as you need them. This can give your business the flexibility to grow and evolve without the need for significant additional IT investment.
Cloud computing generally falls into three categories.
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) remotely provides and manages the infrastructure, including computing power, storage, and networking, that enables cloud computing. Examples include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Infrastructure
- Software as a service (SaaS) provides remote access to many different types of software, such as Dropbox, DocuSign, Slack, and MailChimp. Accessing software via the cloud avoids the need to spend time managing, installing, and upgrading your software.
- Platform as a service (PaaS) remotely provides a platform for software development. It can be particularly useful to allow access to multiple developers and for creating custom applications. Examples include AWS Lambda, Microsoft Azure, and Google App Engine.
The cloud is enabling businesses of all sizes and types to grow and streamline their processes with ease.
Technology, The Future, and You
Many emerging technologies are changing the industries we are all familiar with including banking, eCommerce, healthcare, government, and education. Despite all of the sci-fi movies created around AI, automation, RPA, and robots there will not be a Terminator situation created because of innovative automation in the workplace. Automation is here to help and assist us all. Heck, we already see some of these technologies as we interact with Siri, Alexa, or other technologies. We experience machine learning algorithms while searching Google or scrolling through our social feeds. How will you be a better adopter, leader, and innovator that is a part of reshaping the future of work?
In this exciting and transformative world, where companies are quickly shifting from basic automation to advanced, enterprise-wide, and intelligent hyper-automation with the latest and greatest in machine learning, and cognitive computing, it’s important for organizations to remain flexible and open to change. Change is bound to happen! How you manage and improve with change, will make all the difference.
Many people see artificial intelligence and automation within the enterprise as job killers. The emerging hybrid — human and robotic — workforce is alive and growing. Organizations are swiftly implementing cognitive AI and RPA that can handle high-volume, repetitive tasks at scale. As more and more use cases emerge the hybrid workforce grows, it is critical you understand these concepts to remain competitive.
The one thing that seems clear is that the digital transformation is here to stay and is going to continue to reshape the way we think about business and transform the way business operations and processes are executed. The new digital operation will be a complexly pieced puzzle of business functions and technologies that will deliver rapid change to the way work gets performed. Leaders need to respond with flexible solutions they can adapt to the next development. Most corporations understand this, with 93% of the more than 900 respondents surveyed for the Forbes Insights/KPMG report “Business Transformation and the Corporate Agenda” saying that they have just completed, are planning, or are in the midst of a business transformation.
Overall, technology has the ability to reshape and redefine the way we live and work. The growing trend we should all expect is to see more and more AI-enabled solutions in the workplace. These tools will help create new user experiences, better outcomes, and ensure we are achieving our goals in a timely and efficient fashion. When thinking about the needs of the hybrid workforce, leaders need to decide if simple task-based automation tools are the answer to their problems, or if they will require a mix of AI and other transformative technologies to achieve real intelligent and cognitive automation.
Will you be a leader in enabling successful and sustainable digitization powered by advanced technology will you remain still and stagnant because of the fear of change.