TechnoVision 2020 aims to bring simplicity to complexity around emerging trends in information technology. Our guide provides a simple but effective way for all business leaders to acquire the knowledge they need about digital technology trends and innovations. It includes 37 Technology Business trends, grouped into seven containers and placed within a proven framework.
The first six containers cover the “what” of future technology predictions. This analysis provides an end-to-end analysis of the new emerging trends impacting, changing and creating a modern Technology Business from infrastructure to applications, from data to processes, and from experiences to collaboration.
The final, seventh container of TechnoVision 2020 details the design principles that you and your colleagues should keep in mind as you consider these new emerging technologies and complete your route to digital success. To help you on your way, here’s a top-level description of containers and trends, including key use cases.
Future Technology Trends – 1: Invisible Infostructure
Evolving the IT Infrastructure into the simple, pluggable utility it was always supposed to be.
The infrastructure part of the IT landscape is a crucial foundation for any organization with business technology ambitions. Although increasingly invisible to the naked eye, it needs to provide fast, secure, agile and cost-effective access to any data or application service. The key to an invisible infrastructure is keeping to an “as a service” principle, that covers traditional and cloud-native deployments. An Invisible Infostructure platform is fully software driven.
The Soft, the Hard and the Virtual
Infrastructure turns virtual, software-driven and automated, delivered as easy-to-consume services.
- One example is a major US cruise line that has a library of infrastructure modules, enabling the speedy creation of new platforms and reducing build time by up to 90%.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Container
All the complex infrastructure an application needs to run on, nothing to see but containers.
- UK Government departments are using containers to accelerate their deployment times and reduce infrastructure complexity.
Simply the Edge
5G and The Fog expand the edges of IT infrastructure further into the real world, making the digital twins of ‘things’ more realistic and smarter than ever.
- Auckland, New Zealandincreased its ‘Smart City’ IQ by using sensors in streetlights to collect data, monitor traffic flow and ease congestion.
Ops, AI did it Again
AI comes to the rescue of complex IT operations, improving step-by-step efficiency and reliability while it learns, on its way to full autonomy.
- Cisco achieved $11million in annual savings on its incident-resolution activities by applying AIOps and automation.
Ceci N’est Pas Une Infrastructure
Continuously build and deploy the next generation of software services, without even noticing infrastructure.
- Relativity used a serverless architecture based on Microsoft Azure to save weeks on traditional developmental times and to redeploy valuable developer talent.
Future Technology Trends – 2: Applications Unleased
Liberating the legacy application landscape and unleashing the next generation of powerful, agile, cloud-based apps.
The new reality of Technology Business demands application services to be delivered at high speed as close to the business as possible. These application services no longer resemble applications as we used to know them, with even the very notion of user interfaces rapidly melting away. The applications portfolio of a thriving Technology Business is much more light-weight, easy to connect to and built on the shoulders of typical cloud-native qualities.
Marie Kondo Portfolio
Tidying up the applications portfolio in a systematic, decisive way to bring headroom for innovation and the next generation of powerful application services.
- Joe Gribb, Head of Enterprise Advice Technology at The Vanguard Group, stated that modernizing IT is one of the critical aspects in the journey to becoming Agile.
Bot is the New App
Providing compelling, conversational, frictionless access to application services, with the user’s intentions at the core – not the application.
- More than 1 million orders were placed through Tmall Genie (Alibaba’s smart speaker) on Singles Day (11th November) 2019.
When Code Goes Low…
Low-code and no-code platforms make building next-generation application services a high-productivity matter, for both IT and business specialists.
- An online retailer chose to rapidly custom-build its entire stack of core applications on the low-code Mendix platform, rather than on a less flexible ERP system.
Manage APIs as the core asset that makes both the internal organization and the outside world fully benefit from your application services – and vice versa.
- The Dutch railroad exposed their ticket services to lease companies and tour operators, enabling them to enrich their tickets with insurance and travel advice.
Systematically infusing new and existing applications with AI capabilities, making them smarter, more effective and valuable.
- Google added Smart Compose to its Gmail applications, using natural language processing capabilities to assist in effectively writing e-mails.
Future Trends in Technology – 3: Thriving on Data
Data needs to be managed as a key corporate asset above anything else. This data must then be activated for business through algorithms, insights, decision support and intelligent automation. In Technology Business organizations, the best insights are created in the closest proximity to the business. To do that, data must be discovered, prepared, analyzed, and visualized right at the heart of the business.
Crazy Data Train
If data is the corporate asset, treat it as such – by deeply understanding its sources and mastering all ways of the enterprise to leverage it.
- Continental has an AI-based virtual simulation program, which generates 5,000 miles of vehicle test data per hour. The same test data would take over 20 days of physical effort.
Power to the People
A lack of specialized skills, the need to leverage data close to the business – and some powerful AI – are igniting the self-service data revolution.
- A US airline supplied business users with intuitive self-service data tools, creating much more data exploration, innovation, and a true “self-service movement”.
AI solutions require privacy, security, fairness, transparency, ‘explainability’, auditability and ethics to hit success – with the very best AI radiating the company purpose.
- ZestFinance used machine learning for transparent credit-risk models, and developed its ZAML Fair tool to help reduce disparity that affects minority applicants for credit.
Data Apart Together
If the organization is distributed and data is everywhere, it is best to manage data in a federative way – balancing local ownership and a central platform drive.
- A global beauty company used federated Master Data Management to create standard definitions of data, and developed insights-driven product management and marketing.
How Deep is Your Math?
Challenge everything you’ve tried so far with analytics and algorithms, AI brings alternative, awesome ways to solve problems.
- Retailer Otto used a deep-learning algorithm to predict what customers will order. It considered over 200 variables and helped reduce product returns by two million per year.
Future Trends in Technology – 4: Process on the Fly
Corporate speed depends on the ability to turn insights into action, to quickly respond to events, to overcome silos and to rapidly change if circumstances dictate. Breakthroughs with intelligent automation and autonomous decision-making have planted “Process on the Fly” center stage. Delivered as a crucial component of a next-generation business IT platform, process technologies bring a new pulse to the organization.
Creating a deep understanding of corporate processes as a prerequisite for simplification, standardization and – ultimately – intelligent automation and innovation.
- A German Telco used the Pega platform to create a 360-degree customer view across all digital channels while drastically simplifying its daily operations.
Rock, Robot Rock
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) delivers quick process benefits without elaborate and troublesome re-engineering.
- Gazprom used RPA to automate verification of meter readings. In the first two weeks after the automation went live, an employee was able to validate about 130 invalid meter reads, saving 10 hours of work per employee.
Pleased to Meet You, Process
Busting corporate silos by adding flexible process layers on top of them, rather than break solid, established structures.
- A global retailer increased its catalog revenue by 75%, via business intelligence analytics to mine customer behavior, buying trends and payment patterns.
Can’t Touch This
A process seamlessly adapting to its environment, optimizing itself without human intervention – is that even a process anymore?
- PayPal managed to reduce its fraud rate to just 0.32% of revenue using a sophisticated deep-learning system that analyzes transactions in real time.
Adding AI to business processes speeds up decision-making and creates the essential companion for symbiotic business operations.
- A Microsoft social chatbot in China, “Xiaoice,” already has over 660 million users, 450 million third-party IoT devices and 900 million content viewers.
Future Business Technology Trends – 5: You Experience
No area of technology is changing as rapidly as that of the user experience. As consumers, we expect compelling IT experiences offered by the organizations we do business with. The classic user interfaces of desktop and laptop computers are being replaced by chatbots, voice agents and wearables. Smart glasses and augmented or virtual reality headsets are coming, as are Neural Interfaces and with Brain-Computing Interfaces in the longer term.
Using technology for better understanding of the customer’s journey – creating the magical, standout moments that form a long-lasting connection with your brand.
- McDonald’s created the first digital version of the Happy Meal gift to engage the younger digital generation, connecting a new customer to an established brand.
An engaging mixed reality environment potentially makes for far more compelling, effective interactions between man and machine.
- A leading Italian retailer uses 3D visualization to superimpose furniture into a customer’s room, bringing the ‘try before you buy’ experience to a whole new level.
Own Private Avatar
Creating an active, well-aligned marketplace of digital assistants that can act on behalf of customers, employees and organizational entities.
- Amazon’s Alexa will monitor our homes. Amazon’s Alexa now features actor Samuel L. Jackson as a ‘celebrity voice’, acting as your very special personal assistant.
I Feel for You
Boosting both the individual and corporate EQ, in order to create a more effective, meaningful and satisfying symbiosis between man and machine.
- Replika is a personal companion for mental wellbeing, with 2.5 million users turning to Replika anytime, day or night, when they are feeling down or anxious.
Autonomous technology can create a user experience that is so fluent and adaptive, it’s almost not experienced anymore.
- Robo-advisors such as Betterment and FutureAdvisor can manage finances and wealth management to drive lower costs and increase returns overtime.
Future Business Technology Trends – 6: We Collaborate
Humans, organizations and things find their value being connected to others. With all elements becoming intimately networked, it’s key to tap into the power of collaborative Technology Business. The IT platform needs to provide services that use a new breed of connections at top speed, such as blockchain-enabled smart contracts, 5G-enabled augmented reality, low-latency sensors and AI systems. It’s a new collaboration experience.
The Team is the Canvas
Leveraging teams-oriented workspaces for collaboratively creating joint business results.
- The Farmers Insurance Group brought all 20,000 of its American workers onto Workplace by Facebook to keep everyone connected in real time and to share information.
Adaptive orchestration of skills to beat complexity and thrive on unpredictability.
- An electricity company designed a technical solution for knowledge management to break down siloed structures and establish a culture of sharing and collaboration.
New Chain on the Block
Using distributed ledger technology to drive next generation trusted business ecosystems.
- The Australian Security Exchange ASX digitized multi-party agreements through ‘Smart Contracts’, automating and securing the transaction and settlement process.
Use the 5G Force, Luke
Tapping into the potential of 5G networks to create brand new, highly collaborative business propositions.
- San Marino deployed a 5G network with Ericsson, and as of July 2019, Beijing had already constructed more than 7,800 5G base stations.
Unleashing a new wave of man-machine creativity by letting AI do the heavy lifting of producing it.
- Swedish Mackmyra uses an AI system, coached and augmented by human experts, to created optimized recipes for whiskey.
Future Technology Trends – 7: Design for Digital
Whether you are creating an architecture or solution, developing a portfolio of initiatives or brainstorming innovations, you should use these principles from TechnoVision 2020 as your guiding light. You won’t need to implement all of them every time, but you should think through the principles and decide which ones apply.
- Simply Speed – Simplify to master complexity and increase speed of action and reaction.
- Joined at the Hip – As a Technology Business no longer distinguishes between business and technology, ensure a full symbiosis.
- Open for Business – Open up the business to new connections, dialogues and exchanges, and extend its reach through new relations, internally and externally.
- IQ Up, EQ Up – Boost the Corporate IQ through better data and insights and lift the Corporate EQ by building empathetic skills for internal and external purposes.
- Trust Thrust – Justify existing trust, strengthen developing trust and create new pockets of trust.
- What’s Your Story? – Open the dialogue to tell your part of the story and listen to the others. Weave in the thread of your organization’s purpose.
- No Hands On Deck – Test-drive selected applications of autonomous power for objects, processes, solutions and organizational elements.