Game-changing technologies are being steadily adopted across industries. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, robotics, and virtual and augmented reality are converging to deliver compelling outcomes for businesses. This trend is set to accelerate in 2019. Dimension Data, a global technology integrator and managed services provider, has released Tech Trends 2019, a report that identifies business technology trends related to customer experience, cybersecurity, digital business, digital infrastructure, digital workplace and technology. Dimension Data group CTO Ettienne Reinecke claims that 2019 will see digital transformation becoming a reality.
In 2019, businesses will look at managed service providers to deliver defined business outcomes. As competition increases, regulation tightens and security threats become more sophisticated, organisations will look at consulting services that can help them achieve flexible technology capabilities to adapt to changes quickly. Further, managed services will emerge as the preferred route for rapid digital transformation, and organisations will choose to execute this transformation through outsourcing and partnerships.
In 2019, organisations will take more proactive steps to engage with and empower their employees through technology. To this end, IT teams will make a concerted effort to better understand how employees work and how technology can empower them, specifically their everyday tasks, how they collaborate with their teams, where they access the information they need, and the areas of compliance they need to be aware of. Organisations will use AI and machine learning to empower employees. Further, applications will continue to get more intelligent and help improve the user experience and streamline business processes.
Tighter regulations have led to a shift in risk profiles and how organisations prioritise governance and compliance strategies. In 2019, cybersecurity, along with continuous risk profiling, will become more intelligence-driven, and machine learning will play a critical role in gathering this intelligence. Machines will start making their own decisions and executing changes to minimise an organisation’s cyber risk.
Digital business solutions
Going forward, enterprises will abandon their “technology-first” attempts at digital transformation and embrace a customer-centric approach. Customer relationship management systems will feature AI and robotic process automation. This will allow consumers to reach right back to a supplier’s inventory through their mobile apps. In 2019, profitability from the internet of things (IoT) will accelerate.
Robotic process automation technology is set to grow exponentially in the coming years and will redefine the customer experience. The ability to process natural language has become very sophisticated and normalised. Organisations are now using the data generated to understand the context and the content of customer interactions, and to develop increasingly accurate algorithms and models for more effective interactions. In addition, the technology is enabling companies to predict customer behaviour in terms of their propensity to buy a product, or the likelihood of a service issue arising.
Businesses are constantly on the lookout for ways to improve efficiency and productivity. One of the ways that this will happen is through evolving digital infrastructure, one that is programmable end-to-end. To reap the benefits of end-to-end programmability, companies will have to become more mature in selecting the levels of abstraction, understanding APIs, and getting acquainted with the programming toolset required to maximise flexibility. Here too, managed services will emerge as the preferred route to ensure that all the components of an enterprise’s infrastructure are programmable, to drive innovation and control costs. Data is another driver of infrastructure decisions. And the rise of IoT, analytics, artificial intelligence and data science is changing the way clients derive value from data.
Blockchain is one of the innovative technologies that have seen a lot of investment in the past year. It is expected that over the next few years, identity management will move into a blockchain environment. Further, data value management – where the value of the data generated by a company’s existing activities supersedes the value of traditional revenue activities – is set to dominate over the next three to five years.
The world of enterprise technology is constantly evolving as the application and adoption of disruptive technologies become more widespread. According to Kiran Bhagwanani, chief executive officer (South Asia, Japan and New Zealand), Dimension Data, “Employee empowerment, accurate data use, intelligent and connected applications, and technology delivered as a cloud-based or a managed service are at the forefront of the technology trends for 2019.” Mastering these will be crucial for businesses to improve how they work and engage customers, and ultimately, how they evolve.