Contributed by Mphasis
Written by Dinesh Venugopal, President – Mphasis Direct and Digital

AI, Hyper-personalization & Quantum Computing Lead the Way

Today, cognitive enterprises are overturning the traditional models of engaging with customers. Forward-thinking organizations are re-thinking how best to innovatively employ the latest technology trends to ramp up their business models in 2019. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning and blockchain are guiding businesses through the disruptive and challenging digital journey, en route to becoming a smart enterprise—one that continually develops and adapts to changing marketplace realities. As newer technologies are set to make inroads, let us look at how they are changing the standard enterprise structure and revolutionizing the way business is done. Hopefully, these top trends will serve as a compass of sorts for companies looking to move their business and digital transformation forward.

Organizations are moving from analytics to deep learning and AI

Enterprises have realized that data is key to making the right decisions about products, services, and strategy. Global firms across industries, from Citibank to Amazon, are converting data into meaningful business analytics and customer insights, showing their ability to adopt and leverage advanced AI-based analytics and deep learning techniques. In fact, IDC estimates that enterprise investment in AI and cognitive computing rose by 50 percent from 2017 to 2018, finally touching US$19.1 billion worldwide. These intelligent technologies are driving the optimal course of action and decision making for businesses. They are being used to solve complex problems ranging from pattern recognition, computer vision, and natural language processing to robotics and semantic web technology. Further, applications of machine learning, like chatbots, are even being delivered as off-the-shelf solutions.

Hyper-personalization is the way forward

Hyper-personalization is redefining customer satisfaction across industries. Enterprises are gathering key customer data from multiple interaction channels to build an accurate customer profile. This process is especially benefitting the banking and retail sectors as big data analytics is helping customers receive personalized offerings, such as service and product recommendations. Take Netflix movie recommendations that split its users into over 2000 taste groups to arrive at its final picks. This apart, AI-driven techniques, such as text analytics, natural language processing, as well as social network analysis, are also helping organizations generate targeted and actionable insights.

Digital twins are here to stay

A digital twin is the digital representation of a real-world entity. For example, the retail industry is using the technology to pull data from IoT sensors embedded in supermarket shelves. This helps retailers create a virtual replica of a brick-and-mortar store. As per Gartner, by 2020, there will be more than 20 billion connected sensors, endpoints, and digital twins for potentially billions of things. The technology will enable organizations to evolve, nurture their ability to collect and visualize the right data, and improve their analytics applicability and responsiveness to business objectives.  The concept of a digital twin is all set to drive business efficiency, enhance problem-solving, and create automated processes that can swiftly react to changing market conditions.

Empowered edge computing is gaining acceptance

Empowered edge computing can be defined as the processing of decentralized data at the edge of a network; for example, endpoint devices used by people. In the near term, edge computing will not only be driven by the Internet of Things (IoT), but it will also evolve as a complementary model to centralized cloud computing. Therefore, enterprises will be able to leverage edge intelligence for connecting with end customers, managing traffic, and reducing latency, among other applications. Currently, enterprise adoption of smart environments in offices, buildings, utilities, factory floors, and logistics is on the upswing, supported by edge computing and deep learning algorithms. These technologies can also be run on a smaller end-user device footprint.

The future is in immersive experience

With the digital world witnessing how conversational platforms change the way customers interact, technologies like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) are changing the way in which the digital world is perceived. This combined shift in perception and interaction models has led to users immersing themselves in the virtual world in a whole new way. These technologies are differentiating user experience, increasing consumer reach, improving conversion rates on the website, and sustaining consumer loyalty. For instance, organizations can replicate and reuse immersive experiences across multiple user screens to enhance the shopping experience. It is estimated that in the coming years, a multichannel experience that employs all human as well as advanced computer senses, will result in an ambient experience that would revolutionize our daily lives.

Blockchain is finally going mainstream

Governments around the world are making massive commitments to blockchain, making it a significant buzzword in technology and business circles. In fact, Sweden is already leading the way, with AI and blockchain going mainstream in its government functions. Alongside, the financial and logistics industries are now looking more closely at this technology, and other sectors are following suit. For instance, blockchain is all set to disrupt the real estate industry by simplifying the complex paperwork involved through smart contracts and other beneficial features. However, despite such successful applications, the technology is poorly understood and yet unproven in large-scale business operations. While it may take a few more years to realize the full potential of blockchain, CIOs and IT leaders must begin evaluating this technology on account of its considerable disruption potential.

Cybersecurity and privacy remain concerns

With massive data breaches on the rise, organizations are more focused than ever on building a robust security system that ensures that the privacy of their customers is protected. Other safeguards include multi-factor and biometric authentications.  Also, as hackers use increasingly sophisticated devices to commit cybercrime, machines are now embedded with self-healing capabilities that swiftly respond to destructive firmware and hardware attacks. Agtech is another industry where cybersecurity is gaining relevance. Since the sector compiles a vast amount of data in precision agriculture to aid farmers with timely insights, the threat of security breaches is an imminent possibility.

With all these new measures in place for a variety of risk situations, an organization’s position on privacy and security will be driven by its commitment to digital ethics and the safety of its stakeholders.

Quantum computing now has increasing real-world relevance

Quantum computing (QC) is a type of non-classical computing that operates based on quantum mechanical states. The technology helps find solutions that are complex for conventional computers or it can be used where traditional algorithms would take too long. Industries such as automotive, financial, insurance, pharmaceuticals, military, and research organizations are expected to gain the maximum from advancements in QC. Early adopters like Google are already using quantum computing to design software for driverless cars. QC is also being used to model molecular interactions at atomic levels to fast-track time to market for new cancer-treating drugs. As the quantum race heats up, the technology holds immense promise to help fight terrorism. For instance, quantum computing is already being deployed by governments to trawl through huge datasets that alert intelligence agencies about potential terrorist threats.

Since this technology has many real-world use-cases, IT leaders need to identify more such areas where QC can be effectively applied. And while enterprises gear up for a cognitive future that will re-imagine how business is done in every industry, IT leaders must seize the incredible opportunities that await them. Perhaps the time has come to raise the bar and embrace newer, game-changing technologies that will change the course of tomorrow.

 

For more information, please contact: Deepa Nagaraj, deepa.nagaraj@mphasis.com