Disruptive Tech is not just for large corps. SMB’s who integrate these disruptive technologies and trends will benefit at much higher rates than their larger competitors.
Keeping up with the latest technology trends may seem like a very daunting task. With technologies moving as fast as they are, it is more important to try to stay ahead of the curve. These technology integrations will have a huge impact on nearly every industry.
As we come to the end of 2019, it’s time to talk about the coming year! Most likely planning for your next technology upgrade is an ongoing discussion. New and evolving ways of handling the plethora of data will continue to be the focus. Understanding the data and being able to make good decisions from the analysis is the key to your future success.
Innovations in AI, RPA, DataOps, Analytics, Video, and Communications are the technologies that are most likely to disrupt business in the most positive ways.
In 2020 and beyond, enterprises will continue to look at new and evolving ways of getting the most from their data. Finding ways to leverage the innovations in artificial intelligence, edge computing, and software robots for competitive advantage to efficiently use data to make better business decisions will become more important. Organizations that fail to anticipate these and other emerging trends risk a rapidly accelerating existential crisis.
To get a sense of where businesses should focus their efforts, we researched the top publications in software development and business tech trends to find what technology investments experts believe would give businesses the most boost in ROI. We found that the largest benefit would be in tech used with digital transformations. Pros in these fields shared their top picks for what should be on your radar, as well as some insights into the implications of adopting these disruptive technologies.
Robotic process automation (RPA)
What would happen if companies could delegate tedious business process tasks to software robots for automation? It’s called robotic process automation (RPA) and, the technology is already having an impact in streamlining workflows for early adopters — well in advance of when many have thought the technology would be put to use in enterprise situations.
The rate of adoption is low but the rate of advancements in the functionality is high. According to Gartner, RPA is outpacing all other segments of the enterprise software market worldwide, with expected revenue of $1.3 billion this year. The market grew 63 percent last year to $846 million.
The biggest benefit to companies is the ability to remove repetitive and routine tasks from an employee’s daily activities and allows them to focus on higher-value work. Helping the business by increasing innovation or enhancing the customer experience. People do creative work much better when they have reduced their mundane tasks. Boosts in operational efficiency improve quality and enhance regulatory compliance.
Increased business value is being proven every-day with companies who roll out RPA initiatives.
Artificial intelligence & AI as a Service
AI is helping companies attack problems that would be daunting or impossible for tech or business staff, says Tim Jobling, CTO of Imagen.
Most experts don’t believe that there will be a rising-up of machines like in the Terminator movies, but we are seeing more tasks and problems being taken over by AI or ML. The AI and ML strategy will mainly consist of reducing some of the boring workloads or enabling new processing at a scale not possible with humans. Most of these types of large volume scaling would either take a long time manually or not be completed at all.
AI is also playing a big part in helping to secure organizations from security threats. Cybersecurity is a perfect place for analyzing signals and issues within the organization’s network with real-time monitoring 24/7.
The combining of the SaaS business model with AI services could help bring AI to the masses without a heavy price tag. While advances in AI are racing ahead in some areas and lagging in others (e.g. speech recognition), there are already some AI provider platforms offering services such as processing-intensive GPU workloads, and Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and other large companies already offer machine-learning solutions and training materials. Proliferation in this area and a move to more specific AI tasks being offered on subscription is a likely development in 2020.
DataOps & Prescriptive Analytics
Implementing an agile-like approach to handling data with AI and machine learning can help give companies the edge they need to compete and even win in their sector in 2020 and beyond. This combined, cross-functional approach to analytics, known as DataOps, is likely to prove highly disruptive where adopted.
More and more organizations and business are understanding the importance of the people-side of their business rather the adoption of the process. According to Gartner, “the current adoption rate of DataOps at less than 1 percent of the addressable market — but that 1 percent is going to have a huge competitive advantage.”
The industries that are leading this revolution are melding the ones that meld agile and DevOps. Data science teams thrive in this environment. AI models and analytics also help in this arena but to really make strides and help enterprise realize their true goals they must allow their data teams to do their thing. Reporting on the whole enterprise and every task that is quantifiable.
Improving teamwork and reducing manual process that tend to reduce productivity, DataOps helps to transform enterprises from chaotic and slow to high-performance teams. DataOps has a unifying effect on workflows related to data analytics.
Prescriptive analytics has been a holy grail since data-analytics products began to proliferate. Until now, analytics tools have been mostly focused on both descriptive and predictive applications. This means they would allow for historical data to be better arranged and represented to allow for a “better understanding of changes that have occurred,” and for data to be used to make predictions about future events and behavior. Now with real-time data accessible, changes can be made with the most up-to-date data analysis.
Video and unified communication
The employee experience is becoming a crucial factor for an enterprise’s success — not just in terms of productivity but as a key element in drawing the “right” talent through the door. A recent survey at MIT of nearly 300 companies to determine what makes a great employee experience, researchers found a surprise at the top of the list: video. Investments in video technology lead to innovation, as well as improved collaboration and productivity, researchers found.
“We see firms investing significantly in interactive video technologies particularly as they spread the use of agile methodology beyond their software development teams to the rest of the business,” says Kristine Dery, a research scientist at MIT’s Sloan Center for Information Systems Research. “This highly interactive agile method of project delivery — with daily stand-ups —which requires teams to either be face to face, or to have the technologies that replicate those more intimate situations as closely as possible.”
Dery predicts that video tech will continue to simulate and improve face-to-face communication with new features, such as virtual reality (VR) and another immersive tech, especially as organizations work to fill the skills gap with distributed teams.
Unified communication tech has improved significantly over the years and is actually having an exponential positive impact beyond what face-to-face interactions used to have in the past. With broader inclusion and active participation in today’s highly-distributed work environments.
The 5G hoopla tends to overlook the fact that a nationwide rollout of the technology will take years to complete. But that’s not stopping firms from making detailed plans for high-speed, low-latency technologies to improve their business functions.
It’s the 5G WiFi, that is lightning-fast internet straight from our cellular networks. You can expect more of this in the future. The increased bandwidth will provide faster internet speeds with a simpler setup process. If that’s not enough reason to get on the band-wagon, the 5G networks will also facilitate the development and use of drones and driverless cars, allowing them to rapidly communicate with any other smart vehicles in their vicinity, an essential component for futuristic, smart cities.
A serious benefit to the business is that companies will be able to implement scalable, real-time data architectures that go beyond simply ingesting data and ultimately driving actions by making intelligent, dynamic decisions across multiple data streams.
Containers & Microservices
Containers and microservices continue to attract interest from organizations that need to quickly develop and scale code, especially when dealing with IoT or the cloud.
Kubernetes’ widespread adoption is facilitated by the need to enable new architecture that can scale up quickly. Kubernetes, an open-source container orchestration system automates container deployment, scaling, and management. Although there are other technology platforms, there is much vendor attention being focused on Kubernetes. Kubernetes has also helped spawn or amplified a host of other technologies such as service mesh and container-based CI/CD pipeline automation products.”
Kubernetes is the most popular way of working with containerized applications and services running across on-premises and cloud environments as well as devices of all sizes. Kubernetes has allowed a better way to manage, automating the deployment and orchestration of infrastructure and applications is integral to software-defined infrastructures.”
Virtual, augmented and mixed reality experiences
The latest virtual and augmented reality experiences have been well noted and glorified in the media but somewhat slow to deliver. The promise of these personalized reality experiences is tempting and sees augmented reality (AR) in particular providing business benefits to a mix of industries, from brick-and-mortar retailers to industrial applications and training.
AR has the hope to augment store shelves and products in real-time. In maintenance, repair, and many industrial applications, the belief is that we can create informational overlays on mechanical or electrical equipment, putting key instrumentation metrics directly in the hands of the people servicing the area.
Many industries will benefit from the AR and VR experiences; we see many examples in the travel industry, with airports providing virtual displays, personalized to the traveler and with the retail industry with being able to see clothes on your virtual self or with a display of a new piece of furniture in your living room. Some believe that immersive experiences will also begin to help with training and education programs allowing a new level of learning using the areas of the brain that come from being involved in the action and not just learning about it..
Internet of Things integrations
Businesses who integrate the internet of things strategies will help drive revenue with boosting production, monetizing data or by helping to sell services as a product.
Being able to analyze big data will allow businesses to figure out the best way to utilize the data for business purposes including using it for IoT technology integrations. Machine learning tech is becoming more accessible to more companies and will be able to provide improved customer experience, especially IoT which is more likely to monetize through customer interactions with the data they have accumulated over the years, making the data work harder.