2018 was the year where emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation, and blockchain tried to prove their business value. Yet despite fierce competition, no clear winner has emerged.
As we enter 2019, what can we expect from such technologies? What type of impact will these technologies have on businesses? Here are our predictions:
The ‘stealthy’ adoption of AI
Artificial intelligence will be key – but only if companies can leverage data and apply it easily within the confines of the business. With Ovum’s ICT Enterprise Insights Survey anticipating that 60 percent of organisations will have an enterprise-wide strategy for AI in 2019, we expect a lot more companies to look for practical ways to bring AI into the business; and a key path will be through having AI embedded into their applications. Why?
In 2019, it’s estimated we’ll generate more data than we did in the previous 5,000 years. Already, companies are challenged when it comes to being able to harness and apply that data intelligently to inform processes and get the insights needed to work more quickly, efficiently and flexibly.
Not only will this give them a way of bringing AI to the masses through means they already feel comfortable with rather than fearing the ‘rise of the robots’, it will also mean that eventually, it’ll be saturated into the infrastructure and become prevalent in all of a business’ systems.
As a result, we’re already seeing applications change before our very eyes. Conventional back office applications are becoming legacy.
They’re being reinvented with innovative front ends and aggressive commercial automation. Looking ahead, transformation is only going to become more widespread.
Doubling down on productivity
One of the key business drivers for AI adoption is its immense power to increase human productivity and business efficiency. We’ve already seen customers such as Spanish Football Club, RCD Espanyol turn to AI to increase its finance’ team’s productivity levels by 20 percent – leaning on it to help make business decisions that don’t need human input.
Looking ahead, we predict that by 2025, the productivity gains delivered by AI and augmented experiences could be as high as 50 percent compared to today’s operations. That’s nothing short of transformational.
Going beyond autonomous cars
Gartner predicts that by 2022, 90 percent of corporate strategies will explicitly mention information as a critical enterprise asset, with analytics becoming an essential competency. As the levels of data currently at hand are too much for humans to handle, a new approach is needed. In fact, it’s critical because businesses are starting to realise they need to be better handling their data if they want to really capitalise on it and execute on AI or IoT investments.
What if the complex data management systems that turn data to insight could be made as self-driving, self-repairing and self-securing. What if it could be made as easy as the concept of the self-driving car?
We believe automation will start to permeate throughout business, with 70 percent of IT functions becoming completely automated. This will enable companies to focus on innovation and business development instead of routine IT tasks. As a case in point, Applied Precision Medicine has automated many key database tasks like patching and performance tuning saving its IT team about a third of its time. In addition, the company’s role in helping companies that develop algorithms that work on DNA data to determine how the human body responds to certain drugs, is very data intensive. By using technologies like Oracle’s autonomous data warehouse the team is able to do that more quickly; a win for everybody involved, DBAs, researchers and patients alike.
Many security tasks, meanwhile, will have to be automated, given the number of security events are predicted to increase 100x. McAfee’s 2019 Cloud Adoption and Risk Report showed the average organisation will find only 1 out of 100 million events to be a threat, but with the volume so high, finding the needle in the haystack will be impossible without automation.
Blockchain will become the cornerstone of trust
Finally, from being the new kid on the block, distrusted for its association with bitcoin, blockchain will not only start to become more commonplace in business, it will also become the king of transparency and trust in 2019. This comes from the realisation that it can be used to do far more than validate monetary transactions.
Already, we’re seeing the technology being used to certify the ethical production of extra virgin olive oil, for tracking solar energy usage and to bring a single source of truth into the documentation processes underpinning the global shipping industry. In 2019, we’ll see it being used in even more broader contexts; from verifying the authenticity of precious stones, to tracking the source of food contaminations and on to confirming drugs are produced in accordance with stringent industry regulations.
If all goes well, 2019 will definitely be the year when we see some of the industry’s biggest buzzwords go from hype to fulfilment. Gone are the days where AI or blockchain are seen as separate entities within the infrastructure; instead, they will be added into applications for organisations to realise the real benefit