Digital Transformation Trends to Look Forward to in 2019..

 In Our Thinking

Digital Transformation has emerged as one of the top priorities of the enterprise as a whole. While 2018 has been more focused on optimizing existing processes and operations, 2019 aims to leverage technology to create new business models that will take the enterprises’ digital transformation journey to fruition. Some of the main focus areas promise to be security and an increased focus to improve customer experience by leveraging technology. However, if 2018 has taught us anything it is that while Digital Transformation is technology-focused it is more about an organizational change that includes business and people as much as the tech at play. As we are entering 2019, here’s a look at some technology trends that I feel will drive digital transformation in the coming year.

Blockchain
Deloitte predicts that Blockchain will soon overtake other technologies such as cloud computing, IoT and data analytics in the VC investment race.

Given that digital transformation focuses heavily on customer experience, technologies like Blockchain significantly impact the speed at which elevated customer experiences can be delivered. Blockchain will mature considerably in the coming year owing to the data preservation, security and networking capabilities of this technology.

With Blockchain, enterprises can circumvent traditional cybersecurity barriers and support the information sharing needs of the new digital enterprise of today. Blockchain gives enterprises the structure that they need to overcome and mitigate the threats that arise with the digitally-charged enterprise that is more connected and integrated. Marco Lansiti and Karim R. Lakhani in a Harvard Business Review article aptly state that Blockchain “has the potential to become the system of record for all transactions. If that happens, the economy will once again undergo a radical shift, as new, blockchain-based sources of influence and control emerge.”

IoT
IoT will be one of the trends spearheading business transformation in 2019. It is expected that IoT is heading for wider adoption in the year ahead owing to the strong gains in business efficiency and charged up innovation and business profitability. Enterprises are jumping on the IoT train to create smart workplaces for greater productivity and efficiency. Research shows that 78% of businesses say that IoT introduction has improved their IT team efficiency. The industrial sector has shown a great affinity towards this technology with six out of ten respondents already having implemented IoT.

Next-gen IoT platforms are giving enterprises the capability to merge new data sources with traditional ones, provide more precise data inputs, examine data in real-time and consequently help businesses with the capability to gather new data correlations, analyze important data and question institutional thinking.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Digital Transformation thrives on data. And while data analytics has proved its merit to the enterprise in their digital transformation journey, it’s time to supercharge it. As data becomes more strategic to organizations to make intelligent decisions about services, products, employees etc. the need for better, faster and smarter analytics is pushing the enterprise towards AI and Machine Learning.

AI and Machine learning will gain a stronghold in 2019 as the technologies that hold the key to solve pressing business problems, drive data-driven decisions, enhance customer experience, optimize and automate processes.

The transition to an API-based economy will also be driven with AI as analytics become more pervasive in the enterprise ecosystem in their digital transformation journey. In the ensuing year, we can expect enterprises to progressively weave AI all through their innovation stacks to weed out a portion of the experimentation that CIO’s feel compelled to undertake in their digital transformation initiatives.

The Rise and Rise of Real-Time Edge Analytics

As the connected ecosystem proliferates in 2019 as organizations continue on their digital transformation journey, the spending on real-time analytics is only going to rise.

In the coming year, we can expect to see wider adoption of real-time edge analytics to find co-relations within internal and external data. We can expect a greater push to move from batch to stream data processing to get real-time actionable insights.

This also becomes more relevant in the digital transformation context as the consumer lies in the heart of all digital transformation initiatives. We can also expect to see an increased AI-cloud interdependency with most leading cloud giants pursuing an AI-lock in approach by providing open source AI-related services to reduce complexity and the burden on IT departments.

While 2019 looks promising for digital transformation, enterprises need to ensure that they contain their technical debt, and strategically organize the posture of enterprise data so that the data is not inconsistent, fragmented, duplicated, and siloed. We need to focus on loosening parochial data ownership and adopt disruptive emerging technology to support digital transformation efforts to usher in the enterprise of tomorrow.

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