Soon a whole array of technologies will appear at companies, quickly transforming the business world. The pace promises to be frenetic. In 2021, the revenues of companies dedicated to digital commerce that have redesigned their websites to respond to searches by image and voice will increase by 30%. That same year more than 50% of companies will invest more money in the development of bots and chatbots than in the creation of more traditional mobile apps. And by then Artificial Intelligence will create 2.3 million jobs, more than it will destroy (1.8 million).
These are just some of the predictions in the IT sphere issued by the company Gartner for 2018. The rise of cryptocurrencies based on blockchain, the conversion of 95% of electronic products into connected devices, and the transformation of technological equipment, which will have to be much more to be versatile, are other forecasts from the company.
Forrester also believes that Artificial Intelligence will play a fundamental role, auguring that this year 20% of companies will implement this technology for decision-making. In addition, according to this consultancy, 50% of companies will assign priority to the public cloud (that in which the supplier of services provides the applications and the storage) to carry out analyses with massive amounts of data.
The importance of using technological tools developed by third parties is clear, considering, for example, the incredible increase in technological services geared towards marketing; according to a detailed analysis by the website Chiefmartech.com, they have gone from 110 in 2011 to more than 5,000 in 2017.
Digital innovation is a train that never stops, so companies have an infinity of technological tools to improve their business processes and better serve their customers. However, it is necessary to remember that they cannot all be adopted at the same time, and much less can they be developed with internal resources alone.
Thus, it is advisable for IT leaders at companies to develop their digital strategies centring on the adoption of certain technologies the market offers, and come up with a plan to adapt to changes without haste, but without dragging their feet either. Nothing suggests that machines are going to surpass human intelligence in the short term – an event that some experts predict will happen, eventually, and that is known as technological singularity – so it will have to be human professionals who use them in the business world for the time being.
Focus on some strategies….
Since it is impossible to keep up with the current rate of innovation, it is a good idea to study which technological trends a company can implement, and focus on the main ones. Now, what are the trends not to be overlooked in 2018?
- The necessary digital transformation. Addressing digital transformation is vital for all companies today. In this regard, digitising all corporate assets and implementing SaaS (Software as a Service); that is, trusting services based on a website offered by a third party, is fundamental.
- The importance of data. Big Data is another one of the great technological trends in recent years, as the enormous amount of data that a company has can yield valuable lessons. It is necessary, however, to have enough capacity to store and to process that great amount of information, such that turning to the Cloud is essential.
- APIs. Using APIs from third parties – a series of rules that allow applications to communicate – can be very useful. For example, a company can use one or more APIs to develop its own product, as well as create its own API so that other developers use its data.
- Chatbots. Artificial Intelligence not only makes it possible to optimise companies’ business processes, but also to open up new communication channels with customers. In this regard, bots are going to become more and more popular; conversational interfaces that respond to users’ requests automatically, any time of day, via text or voice.
- Compliance with regulations. It is necessary to know the law when storing data and auditing processes, as well as to monitor for compliance with it. Of special note is the entry into force of the new General Data Protection Law of 25 May, which, as we have already told you, obliges all companies that operate in the European Union to comply with a series of measures designed to give citizens greater control over their digital information.
- A change in thinking. The role of IT directors at companies has been changing in recent years. For example, instead of centring on making decisions, a CIO must adopt a more collaborative role, concerning himself with the global results of the company, and not only with those of his department.
- Technologies that set one apart. Each company must ask itself which technologies set it apart from the competition. Business Intelligence through the help of analytics, Digital Marketing, solutions in the Cloud, mobile applications, the Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence are, in that order, some of the 2,834 technologies that CIOs interviewed by Gartner think will help their companies to differentiate themselves.
Trust solutions provided by others
Keeping up with the current pace of innovation is hard. Thus, instead of rushing and scrambling to follow every technological trend, it is far better for IT departments to focus on just some, and adopt their own rate of implementation. In this regard, trusting the technological solutions that the market already offers – for example, public Cloud services like the one from ShuttleCloud – will help them to quickly adapt to changes.