In a way, 2018 has been like the TV series of Ninja Warrior for emerging technologies with artificial intelligence, automation, data and blockchain the key competitors trying to surmount the many obstacles and challenges in their way. And, like the programme, so far these technologies have played hard and achieved much, but failed to win the big cash prize and become the overall winner.
So, with 2019 looming, which of these will become the overall champion? In fact, will there be an overall champion?
Artificial intelligence will be key, but only if companies can tame this data athlete, and understand how to apply it within the confines of the business. With Ovum’s ICT Enterprise Insights Survey anticipating that 60% of organisations will have an enterprise-wide strategy for artificial intelligence in 2019, we expect a lot more companies to look for practical ways to bring artificial intelligence into the business. A key path will be through having artificial intelligence embedded into their applications. Why?
In 2019, it is estimated we will generate more data than we did in the previous 5,000 years. Already, companies are challenged when it comes to being able to harness and apply that data intelligently to inform processes and get the insights needed to work more quickly, efficiently and flexibly.
Not only will this give them a way of bringing artificial intelligence to the masses through means they already feel comfortable with rather than fearing the rise of the robots, it will also mean that eventually, it will be saturated into the infrastructure and become prevalent in all of a business system.
As a result, we are already seeing applications change before our very eyes. Conventional back office applications are becoming legacy. They are being reinvented with innovative front ends and aggressive commercial automation. Looking ahead, transformation is only going to become more widespread.
One of the key business drivers for artificial intelligence adoption is its immense power to increase human productivity and business efficiency. A recent Oracle survey of international senior decision makers showed 42% are already looking to artificial intelligence technology to improve efficiency within their organisation. And, with ongoing improvements to its cognitive artificial intelligence capabilities, those gains are only going to get bigger.
Looking ahead, we predict that by 2025, the productivity gains delivered by artificial intelligence and augmented experiences could be as high as 50% compared to today’s operations. That’s nothing short of transformational.
Gartner predicts that by 2022, 90% of corporate strategies will explicitly mention information as a critical enterprise asset, with analytics becoming an essential competency. As the levels of data currently at hand are too much for humans to handle, a new approach is needed.
In fact, it is critical because businesses are starting to realise they need to be better handling their data if they want to really capitalise on it and execute on artificial intelligence or IoT investments.
What if the complex data management systems that turn data to insight could be made as self-driving, self-repairing and self-securing. What if it could be made as easy as the concept of the self-driving car?
Oracle has already taken the next step in extreme automation with the Oracle Autonomous Database and, looking forward, we expect a huge proportion of businesses to explore similar capabilities for every aspect of data management.
In fact, we believe automation will start to permeate throughout business, with 70% of IT functions completely automated, enabling companies to refocus teams from the billions of work hours spent performing routine and even mundane IT tasks each year and instead on innovation and business development. As a case in point, QMP Health has automated its infrastructure to tune and manage itself with no downtime, with means faster response times and quicker decisions for the organisation – and its patients.
Many security tasks, meanwhile, will have to be automated, given the number of security events are predicted to increase 100x. McAfee’s 2019 Cloud Adoption and Risk Report showed the average organisation will find only 1 out of 100 million events to be a threat, but with the volume so high, finding the needle in the haystack will be impossible without automation.
Furthermore, customer experience and automation will go hand-n-hand, with 70% of customer interactions automated and artificial intelligence-enabled chatbots ushering in a new era of experiences. Already today, 89% of people use voice assistants for customer service, and 69% of enterprise customer service functions use chatbots for easy, frictionless, anywhere, anytime engagement.
Increasingly, this will move from being a nice to have to becoming a basic customer expectation across nearly all markets. For that reason, we predict 85% of all interactions will be automated.
Blockchain will not only start to become more commonplace in business, it will also become the king of transparency and trust in 2019. This comes from the realisation that it can be used to do far more than validate monetary transactions.
Already, we are seeing the technology being used to certify the ethical production of extra virgin olive oil, for tracking solar energy usage and to bring a single source of truth into the documentation processes underpinning the global shipping industry.
In 2019, we will see it being used in even more broader contexts; from verifying the authenticity of precious stones, to tracking the source of food contaminations and on to confirming drugs are produced in accordance with stringent industry regulations.
It will also, like artificial intelligence, creep into day to day business as it too becomes integrated into business applications, and as they say, out of sight is out of mind. So, which will win? All will fare well, and 2019 will definitely be the year when we see some of the industry’s biggest buzzwords go from hype to fulfilment.
- By 2022, 90% of corporate strategies will explicitly mention information as a critical asset with analytics an essential competency.
- As the levels of data currently at hand are too much for humans to handle a new approach is needed.
- McAfee’s 2019 Cloud Adoption and Risk Report showed the average organisation will find only 1 out of 100 million events to be a threat.
- What if the complex data management systems that turn data to insight could be made as self-driving, self-repairing and self-securing.
- Automation will start to permeate throughout business with 70% of IT functions completely automated.
- Companies can refocus teams from billions of work hours spent performing routine IT tasks instead on innovation and business development.
- Blockchain will not only start to become more commonplace in business it will also become the king of transparency and trust in 2019.
The confluence of artificial intelligence, automation and blockchain will drive real productivity gains across business, explains Ahmed Adly at Oracle.