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Harnessing the Power of Technology For a Better World

Published: Dec 29, 2017 02:09:36 AM IST
Updated: Jan 28, 2020 02:32:21 PM IST

Harnessing the Power of Technology For a Better WorldImage: Shutterstock

The advent and increasing adoption of emerging technologies such as Cloud, Cognitive, Security and Blockchain, have taken us far closer to the utopian world of science fiction than ever before. Today, digital disruption is creating new business models, redefining user experiences and shaping ecosystems of the future.

Throughout 2017 we have witnessed significant progress in terms of real life implementations of new technologies for digital transformation. We are in the midst of shaping the future, as these technologies are enabling new possibilities that have the potential to transform the world. Here are some key trends to watch out for in the next few years:

•  Leveraging the Data advantage - The combination of data explosion and exponential computation growth over the past few years has opened a whole new set of challenges and opportunities. The deluge of connected devices, widespread internet connectivity and the push for digitization has led to a new data economy. It is estimated that there will be 160 zettabytes of data by 2025. The real opportunity lies in the fact that 80% of the data generated is unstructured and majority of it is underutilized. Enterprises that manage to collect and process data for meaningful results will have a competitive edge. A strategic asset today, data will soon become a key measure of a company’s relevance and success in the future.

  Riding High on Cloud - Cloud computing has been at the top of CIOs' agendas over the past few years, primarily driven by its benefits in terms of efficiency, total cost of ownership and scalability. Cloud solutions fused with disruptive technologies – like Blockchain, Cognitive, IoT, big data and predictive analytics, can revolutionize businesses and industries.

In the coming year, we are likely to see an exponential growth in the adoption of cloud services as large number of companies, both large and mid-sized will want to take advantage of the high-performance and the simplicity that cloud promises. Visionary cloud leaders are already employing “cloud crucibles” to forge winning cloud strategies that create competitive advantage and boost financial success. Companies across industries will look at a multi-cloud strategy with a larger emphasis to co-innovate with the ecosystem of startups, partners and developers.
  Mainstreaming of Cognitive – Cognitive computing is set to take a giant leap in the coming years. We’ve already witnessed the power of Cognitive to address real-life issues in agriculture, healthcare, banking, education, retail and more. While Cognitive systems will continue to learn and evolve, we will see it further augmenting human intelligence with its ability to think through and solve complex problems. In the future, Cognitive computing will further personalize customer service, improve data discovery, surface critical insights and unearth trends and patterns for competitive advantage. However, it will be critical for organizations to chart out their Cognitive strategy, journey and accordingly invest in skilling and implementation.

  Taking a leap with Blockchain and Quantum Computing – A transformative technology, Blockchain is expected to see widespread adoption. While the financial services sector has been one of the early adopters, we expect adoption across other sectors such as healthcare, entertainment, hospitality. Blockchain use cases will also extend to many horizontal applications.

While technologies like AI can find patterns buried in vast amounts of existing data, quantum computing will deliver solutions to important problems where patterns cannot be found and the number of possibilities that you need to explore to get to the answer are too enormous to be processed by classical computing techniques.

•  Securing the connected ecosystem – As organizations embrace these new technologies, security can no longer be an afterthought. With growing ransomware attacks, cyber threats and Trojans, we will see an increased focus by business and governments on delivering a secure experience across a diverse ecosystem.

With these new technology advancements, up-skilling and re-skilling will become a key imperative across job profiles and sectors. Skills are emerging as the new currency across businesses globally and in India. We will see the emergence of new collar roles such as data scientists which require technical skills in areas such as cloud, cognitive, security etc.

Today, Digital transformation has become a reality across industries, businesses and society at large. The challenge for businesses is how fast and how far to go on this journey. Organizations must understand that Digital transformation isn’t only about technology, it’s about marrying the power of technology with the right organisational mind set – one that is willing to embrace the change to drive organisational excellence.

- By Karan Bajwa, Managing Director, IBM India Pvt. Ltd.

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