With 2018 around the corner, IT leaders are already mapping out strategies to follow next year. Considering digital transformation on the tail, businesses would have to gear up to match market expectations and stay in business. Due to the rapid evolution of technology, each day a new trend is coming up and thus the role of leaders is changing frequently. To insulate the businesses from new waves of technology and adapt accordingly, IT leaders must play an active role towards digital transformation. The following technologies are already on the rise and can become a major disruptor in 2018 if not properly harnessed.
It is perhaps the most discussed topic since its inception. Everyone is aware of the potential of AI and how it can change the world as we know it. It’s not particularly a new concept and it has gathered momentum over the years. But, since 2016, application of AI in businesses has evolved. AI is not just a future technology now, it’s a reality. However, owing to the rapid adoption, AI has reached an inflection point in the current market.
Firstly, computing power is growing exponentially and thus it is facilitating the application of AI in businesses. Secondly, as the number of smart devices increases and businesses go through a digital transformation, a huge magnitude of unstructured data is being generated and collected every second. This is helping to deploy AI in dynamic ways. Thirdly, the buzz around AI has never really died down. Its immense potential is acknowledged by everyone. However, the future of AI is uncertain and many debate the consequences of the advanced application of AI. With AI also comes the fear of job loss with automation. The ethics of AI will also be a major concern in future.
Yet, the enthusiasm regarding AI is unlikely to die out in near future. According to a report by Forbes, 80% of the businesses today are investing in AI application. Leading firms like Apple and Google are investing a major share of their expenditure in AI.
With AI application, decision-making and business operations will become much easier and the business costs are also likely to come down. So, it is inevitable that all the businesses will harness this technology eventually. As a result, it is necessary that IT leaders start thinking about the consequences and ramifications of AI and how to incorporate it effectively into businesses. The existing strategy should be modified accordingly. AI coupled with big data analytics can open up new avenues of growth.
Blockchain is one of the fastest growing technologies in 2017 due to its immense application and potential. It’s also known as distributed ledger technology and a method of keeping a track of accounting records. It solves two of the major consequences that firms face today due to digital transformation. Firstly, it solves the issue of control and access. It is secured by cryptography and the data is recorded in coded form. So, it is incorruptible as hacking a code would require one to hack multiple systems, which becomes virtually impossible. This makes it a very secure technology. The automated nature of the technology solves duplication issues and conflicting entries. In the coming years, this technology will get more and more adapted to businesses.
With increased influx of data, one of the major concerns has been a security breach. 2017 has already seen more cyber-attacks than previous years. So, to harness the advanced technologies, securities will have to be more tied up and advanced to be one step ahead of the hackers. However, there is no single technology to tackle the security issue. Organisations will have to adopt security based on their firm’s strategies, objectives, and practices.
The following measures can be adopted by the leaders in 2018 to make the transition to a digital transformation smoother.
• It is essential to do a post-mortem analysis of the performance and strategies of the businesses that were embraced in 2017 to figure out what worked and what didn’t. It becomes important to identify the best and worst performing channels. Based on that, organizations can capitalize on their strengths and analyze the root causes of the lagging strategies.
• The priorities of each business differ based on the objective of the firm. So, it is very important to set the priorities right before coming up with any strategy.
• Human capital evaluation should be done periodically to ensure that the right leaders are in the right place.
• New technologies should be incorporated in businesses in a slow and phased manner instead of rushing in or totally remaining oblivious to them.
It is likely that 2018 will see a more rapid change in technology, growth, and strategies. The challenges that will come up with these technologies will become more sensitive and thus should be dealt with caution. So, it is crucial for the IT leaders to steer the businesses ahead of disruptive technologies and map the course of businesses effectively.