For years, experts in the industry have discussed what 2020 has in store for us. Let’s see which predicted trends will come to the fore.
We have seen some enterprises achieve a nirvana of hyperspeed, hyperscale and hyperconnectivity, while others have lagged behind, struggling with siloed digital transformation initiatives. The time for action is now because a new decade has arrived. Stay ahead by paying attention to these IT technology trends for 2020.
Start moving to a self-service model: According to IDC FutureScape: Worldwide CIO Agenda 2020 Predictions, by 2024, 80% of digitally advanced enterprises will replace the IT-as-an-enabler model with a self-service model. This means that we’ll need to provide libraries of cloud solutions, functions-as-a-service and low-code tools that are easy to use. A self-service model will allow businesses to rapidly respond to changing markets without the need to involve IT. According to research firm Forrester: “Immersive, adaptive IT will take hold. IT will follow the broader organisational future of matrixed, shape-shifting organisations that form and morph to changing priorities.”
To accommodate this type of environment, it is recommended that:
- You partner with vendors to leverage their expertise;
- Create open, self-service environments and develop digital platforms with data and application programming interfaces or microservices; and
- Create labs for line-of-business developers to work with IT staff to accelerate knowledge transfer.
Enter hyper-automation: Automating tasks and processes and integrating processes across the enterprise can now be accomplished by combining multiple machine learning, packaged software and automation tools. This trend started with robotic process automation (RPA).
There are businesses that combine AI building-block technologies, such as machine learning and text analytics, with RPA features to drive greater value for digital workers. They handle tasks such as delivering analytics that solve nagging platform issues; chatbots that boss around RPA bots and Internet of things (IOT) events that trigger digital workers. Rajeev Mishra, process automation lead at Ovations, believes it will take a while for South African enterprises to achieve this.
Keep your eye on AI: The AI revolution is already under way across the globe, but South Africa might not be there just yet. South African businesses have begun to embrace AI, but more work needs to be done. Notable concerns holding us back include data quality, data privacy, workforce readiness, reskilling and potential job losses. Accenture paints a clear picture of why we need to build competencies to participate in an AI-driven future. An economic growth forecast in 2035 without AI is 3.5% compared to 4.5% with AI.
Empowering the edge: Edge computing processes data near the edge of your network where it’s being generated. It then pushes this aggregate data to a centralised plant to be used in a meaningful way. This application is useful in an IoT ecosystem as there are a large number of devices involved. Empowered edge looks more specifically at how devices are increasing and to move key services closer to the people that use them. According to Gartner: “By 2023, there could be more than 20 times as many smart devices at the edge of the network as in conventional IT roles.”
South African companies in the industrial, insurance and healthcare segments have already embraced computing on the edge. Time is saved when data analysis happens at the point of origin because it removes the delay that occurs when transferring information to the data centre.
Systems are becoming more complex and the number of IoT devices is increasing. Data is coming in from all sides. It’s forcing businesses to pay attention to what data analysis on the edge could mean for their competitive advantage.
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