Five cutting edge technologies shaping tomorrow’s business landscape
The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the pace of digital transformation in businesses across the world. According to a recent McKinsey report, which surveyed executives around the globe, 32% of customer interactions in Asia were digital pre-crisis (July 2019). During the peak of the pandemic, that figure grew to 53% of all customer interactions—and that trend looks set to stay.
At leading organizations, digital and corporate strategies are one and the same. So, what are the possibly cutting edge technologies that will transform the digital landscape over the next five years? Pega’s Future Proof 2025: Technology Trends Report surveyed more than 1,300 global leaders in varying roles across enterprises ranging from healthcare, manufacturing and retail to communications, life sciences and the public sector.
The survey identified the top five tech trends shaping the future: hyperautomation, distributed cloud, AI governance, extended edge, and extended reality. Here’s a deeper dive into these cutting edge technologies, and the impact they will have on businesses starting from now and into the future.
Hyperautomation is the use of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA), business process management (BPM), and machine learning (ML) to automate and simplify work. This year, the value of automation has never been clearer, with business leaders in this space automating 80%of business processes like ticketing and data processing. This automation leads to more efficient processes and improves the experiences of both customers and employees.
Hyperautomation isn’t one particular technology. Instead, it’s the application of a range of technologies such as AI and ML working together to achieve better business outcomes. Organizations doing well with hyperautomation are taking an iterative approach, getting quick wins through smart platforms that continually develop, test, and deliver solutions.
Cloud became an essential platform throughout the pandemic. Cloud is seen as essential to business by 73% of business leaders. Why? Because of its speed. Scalability and the ability for remote workforces to tap into a wide network of applications.
AI governance is all about establishing standards and guidelines for the responsible use of data in AI and ML. AI governance must be taken seriously, particularly as the technology is being applied to a wide range of applications. Many companies are also struggling with the regulatory implications of AI, and many people fear AI, particularly in industries like healthcare and finance where a lot of personal data is at stake.
The takeaway is to not wait for regulators to determine what AI usage guidelines will be. Business is driven on trust and leaders need to develop guidelines now that meet customer expectations for AI that is explainable, ethical, and empathetic.
The edge of the network is becoming powerful via the internet of things (IoT). The global edge computing market is expected to reach USD40 billion by 2027, and the majority of business leaders expect it to be emergent by 2025. The problem is that those same respondents are also waiting for edge computing to mature—which isn’t recommended.
The pandemic emphasized a need for edge processing, particularly in industries that need data processed close to its source, such as healthcare, manufacturing and retail. Edge computing is already having an impact, and businesses that lead the way will have an advantage.
Extended reality (XR)
Extended reality is all about delivering simulated real-world experiences through technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Some 81% of business leaders expect XR to be an important differentiator in customer engagement over the next five years. Despite that, only 12% have budgeted for it.
XR will have a major impact in retail, manufacturing, and healthcare. This example of cutting-edge technologies will see XR finding its way into business use-cases where richer team-to-team or business-to-partner experiences will enhance operational ecosystems.
Businesses need to find ways to be agile and forward-thinking. These five technologies are all business strategies that need to be invested in today to maintain customer and partner experiences, as well as delivering staff the workplaces of the future that they are demanding.
Article contributed by Michael Evans, vice president ANZ at Pega
21 July 2021