In my last blog article, I shared with you my view on our parent company’s published information society trends. This time, I want to take a closer look at what NTT DATA identifies as technology trends for the coming years. Here are my thoughts:
Pervasive Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a hot topic and I am expecting lots of value added due to this technology. Following trends like Conversational Computing, Environment Aware Robotics and Precision Life Science are built on the AI foundation. In general, the amount of conceivable scenarios with AI is limitless. Businesses will use AI for efficiency reasons and to become more customer centric. Retailer websites will evolve by better gauging an individual’s style while shopping, and adapting suggestions in real time. AI will help to reduce the waste of marketing budgets. Instead, it will create opportunities through tailored marketing ads which are based on a continuous analysis of customer data. We will also see human-robot interaction become part of our daily life. Just imagine a robot at the entrance of your preferred electronics store. The robot will recognize and welcome you and then refer you directly to the mobile phones you have searched for in the retailer’s online store. In addition, that same robot might also refer you to some accessories which would perfectly match your new mobile device.
Human language will become the preferred user interface of the future and will completely change the way we interact with computing devices. “Alexa” from Amazon or “Siri” from Apple are just the beginning. Knowing that these speech recognition services are far from perfect today and sometimes produce very funny or even useless responses, we can expect these systems to become more and more intelligent in the future. To get there, these systems will need to be connected to larger, cloud-based AI services which are capable of observing, interpreting, and evaluating information and making a decision. This means providing a useful response to help the end user get his/her job done.
Cloud computing will play an important role and will become the enabler–the “brain”–of each robot. Using remote computing power in the Cloud, a robot’s (in the case of the NTT DATA Technology Foresight – e.g. a self-driving car) capabilities are no longer limited by the physical memory and processing power built into it. The smarter and more advanced self-driving cars become in terms of decision making and data processing, the more computing power has to be provided via the cloud. Just think about the computer-intense tasks a self-driving car has to manage: real-time identification of objects (human beings, animals, roads, buildings and traffic signs), voice recognition, data interpretation and decision making tasks. Each self-driving car naturally requires a minimum of processing power and memory “on-board,” but there is high potential to move computer-intense tasks such as those described above to the Cloud.
Precision Life Science
Data-driven life science will change the treatment and preventive care of individuals greatly. There will be a transformation from treatment to prevention according to individually analyzed bio-data. Average life expectancy will increase as a result.
Next to AI, Synthetic Reality is an important topic that transforms the interface between humans and systems. Here at itelligence we have already created some scenarios where mixed reality glasses are benefiting businesses. The latest one stars the Microsoft HoloLens that displays 3D assembling manuals out of a SAP system for efficient and accurate processing. I expect that there will be a lot more to come, short-term.
Security for the IoT Era
IoT devices such as sensors are able to collect increasingly detailed and broader information which enterprises can use to create new (predictive) services. At the same time, those IoT devices increase the risk from data breaches and large scale cyberattacks. While we certainly see that the value associated with utilization of data is realized, it is absolutely necessary to change the way we treat and protect data. So the security topic has two sides. One side handles attacks from the outside. The other one deals with regulations that companies have to meet in terms of data security. As an example, I see the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) with legislation coming into force in May 2018 in all European Union countries. It will be vital for enterprises to comply with those new regulations; otherwise data breaches will result in high-penalty fines. It’s alarming, though, that—according to a SAP User-Group Research in 2017—86% of SAP Users do not understand the implications of GDPR in relation to their current SAP system landscape and the future use of SAP. System Integrators like itelligence, NTT DATA Business Solutions can help these enterprises to understand GDPR and to build a plan to adhere to the new legal obligations that come into force in less than 10 months’ time.
Heterogeneity in IT Infrastructures
Massive computing performance is required for driving IoT and AI scenarios. Cloud solutions enable enterprises to acquire any amount of data at any time, and to withdraw it at any time. In addition to being of great benefit to end users, cloud solutions also bring flexible options in the use of system infrastructures to businesses. We see a development in the direction of hybrid system landscapes where customers still using their on-premise ERP application but use SAP’s Cloud Platform/ Google Cloud Platform to enable enterprises to transform their businesses and use IoT as an enabler for new services being offered to customers and suppliers.
Experience Design Innovation
As mentioned in various sections above, the interaction between human and systems is priming to develop itself further through the symbiosis of AI and Synthetic Reality. The combination of the API (Application Programming Interface) economy and UX design is going to give birth to innovative services.
We are living in an exciting time of change. The digital transformation requires technology skills and creativity to strengthen competitiveness mid- and long-term. Personally, I am curious about the whole AI topic and the innovations we will face in the next years. Take a deep dive and download the entire White Paper. It will provide you with very interesting insights and case studies.