NEXT year will finally see digital transformation become a reality and a spate of industry-wide disruption will be expected as innovative companies see long-term projects bear fruit, says Dimension Data group chief technology officer Ettienne Reinecke.
Dimension Data, the US$8bil global technology integrator and managed services provider, recently launched its Tech Trends 2019 Report which identifies fundamental industry trends that will come to define the business technology landscape in 2019 across customer experience, cybersecurity, digital business, digital infrastructure, digital workplace, technology futures, and services.
Reinecke notes that the often referenced but rarely accomplished transformation projects will start coming to life thanks to the maturity of game-changing technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and robotic process automation.
“Until now, our industry has spoken about innovative technologies somewhat theoretically, without providing a clear picture of how these powerful new innovations will be used. Think analytics, machine learning, AI, blockchain, and containers, just to name a few.
“That’s starting to change. The application of disruptive technologies is becoming more pervasive and their adoption is growing steadily. We’ll see the most innovative companies showing off truly impactful examples of digital transformation in action in 2019 with many more coming to the market over the next three years. They will then become so firmly embedded in the core processes and technologies we use that we’ll consider them commonplace.
“Next year is the year that trailblazers will pull-away from fast-followers and we start to see significant power shifts across industries,” Reinecke says.
The Tech Trends 2019 report also identifies five further trends that will come to define the business technology landscape in 2019.
This includes robotic process automation which will reshape customer experience. It notes that the exponential growth in robotic process automation – such as machine learning, AI, and heuristic neural networks – will give companies the ability to combine scenarios, increase understanding, and make real-time predictive decisions about their customers’ needs and behaviours.
It also predicts that organisations will focus on cloud-based cybersecurity platforms. Regular high-profile cybersecurity breaches in 2018 will cause cloud-based security providers to gain traction in 2019.
Cloud-based security systems are built with open APIs, meaning security teams can integrate new technologies into the platform quickly and with relative ease. This will ensure clients can keep up with the rapidly evolving threat landscape.
Infrastructure will also become programmable from end to end. Companies will start subscribing to multiple cloud platforms and increasing their use of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). End-to-end programmability means organisations will be able to quickly adapt to changing business landscape and demand more from their applications and data.
The report also notes that applications will become more intelligent and customised.
“In the coming year, we’ll see applications gathering input from users and making changes to their own functionality to improve the user experience. AI and machine learning will play a significant role in helping employees work more productively,” it says.
Another trend that is expected to happen is that the value of data will become the centre of the value universe. In the coming period, the focus will increasingly shift to the true value of data, driving a renewed quest to embed telemetry, collect and enrich data.
“It is data that will form the core of true digital transformation and become the source of new revenue streams that will surpass traditional revenue streams. This will lead to a change in information architectures, with the need to establish rich data starting to drive IT investments,” it says.