The top 5 enterprise technology trends
The rate of technology innovation is accelerating. Every year new technology trends come to market that promise disruption across all enterprise sectors, and competitive advantage for those businesses that are able to stay on top of the change.
So, what are some of the key technology trends at the moment, and how should organisations look to capitalise on them?
It’s all about data
Without a doubt, data is the critical battleground at the moment. Enterprises are desperate to accumulate as much of it as possible, and then find ways to draw meaningful and actionable insights from this information.
Big data – as it’s known – is difficult to properly analyse. A Harvard Business Review study found that in 2016, bad data cost US businesses over $3 trillion. That number is only going to increase over time. Understanding that, businesses are investing heavily in analytics solutions and automation to help maximise the quality of data analysis within their organisation.
Regulation is getting tougher
Businesses are interested in data and so are regulators, who are increasingly aware of the impact it can have when misused. Remember the controversy over Cambridge Analytica and Facebook: national governments are keen to make sure there isn’t a repeat.
The biggest recent event in data regulation is the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations, or GDPR. This legislation placed a host of new compliance requirements around data security and privacy for businesses that hold customer information. The penalties for non-compliance are severe, at up to €10 million, or 2% of the company’s worldwide annual revenue during the prior financial year, whichever is higher. Given that many modern businesses with a digital presence sell to Europe, this is something that has had global implications.
And yet, according to research, as many as 85% of companies are not ready for GDPR. Compliance is clearly going to be a major trend and investment for organisations over the next few years.
AI and machine learning
Automation is a trend that organisations can’t afford to ignore. By automating simple processes, organisations can free their employees up to concentrate on higher-end tasks, resulting in a more efficient and productive workforce.
For example, consider chatbots. Research shows that 80% of businesses want chatbots by 2020, and as far as AI goes, chatbots are a simple first step. Chatbots allow the AI algorithms to answer the most simple and common questions that are directed at an organisation by that businesses’ consumers. If it’s a question that the chatbot can’t answer, it’s referred to a person on the customer support team, who can step in. The consumer often doesn’t even know they were ever “talking” to a chatbot.
The service and support team, therefore, only needs to answer the complex or more demanding questions, allowing the organisation to answer more questions overall, and at a faster rate, resulting in happier customers and better results.
We can expect, as AI matures, that more and more basic business tasks are handed over to the technology.
Blockchain will continue to grow
Thanks to the rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, “blockchain” has become a household name. It will also impact on enterprise in a big way. It’s so easy to use blockchain to set up cryptocurrencies that we’re going to see organisations use these token systems to launch and manage their own, giving them an even stronger relationship with their customers.
This technology will also allow for more secure interactions, which will also help organisations to meet their regulatory and compliance requirements.
Cloud computing will take on a sharp edge
Cloud isn’t a new concept for enterprises: the benefits have been too big to ignore. But what is new is the trend towards edge computing. Edge computing refers to technology that allows data to be gathered by devices and Internet of Things (IoT) objects at the node where they are located, instead of sending it all the way to far away data centres or Clouds.
In other words, edge computing is a sophisticated application of a hybrid Cloud environment, in which an organisation doesn’t just take applications and stick them on Clouds, but rather carefully designs their infrastructure to feature a blend of on-premise, edge, and Cloud computing applications, designed to maximise efficiency and speed.
For many enterprises, keeping up with technological changes can be time consuming. That is why the common thread across enterprise technology at the moment is a desire to maximise efficiency and productivity. As new innovations become available, the ones that enterprises will find appealing are those which make them more efficient.
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