IDC recently released a report, "IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Manufacturing Predictions 2018," surveying the global manufacturing landscape. When creating its predictions the firm examined ecosystems and experiences, greater intelligence in operational assets and processes, data capitalization, the convergence of information technology (IT) and operations. Most of the group's predictions refer to a continuum of change and digital transformation (DX) within the wider ecosystem of the manufacturing industry and global economy.
Looking back, we can see the value these emerging innovations offered, but in the moment, their promise seemed less clear. It is, therefore, remarkable how quickly organizations across sectors and regions navigated through the so what and into the now what for these trends and went on to successfully traverse the new digital landscape. This journey from uncertainty to digital transformation informs our latest offering, Tech Trends 2019: Beyond the digital frontier. A persistent theme of every Tech Trends report has been the increasing, often mind-bending velocity of change. A decade ago many companies could achieve competitive advantage by embracing innovations and trends that were already underway. Today, this kind of reactive approach is no longer enough. To stay ahead of the game, companies must work methodically to sense new innovations and possibilities, make sense of their ambitions for tomorrow, and find the confidence to boldly go beyond the digital frontier. So here's to the next decade of opportunity, whatever it may be. Along the way, embrace that queasy feeling of uncertainty.
Technology is leading a new wave of disruption in our society. While powerful governments are worried about the potential implications of "intelligent" systems and robots displacing jobs, we're seeing more examples of such systems enabling business transformations. Intelligent Empowerment is a shift that brings together the best of both worlds: augmenting human intelligence with machine intelligence through the use of data and techniques such as Optimization, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning. The market opportunity is real, with reports of AI being a 15 billion dollar industry, projected to rise to over 70 billion by 2020. IBM alone is investing 3 billion dollars to bring their Cognitive Computing to the Internet of Things (IoT).
Artificial intelligence is certainly no longer considered science fiction--or a source of expensive R&D efforts with unmet potential--by major players in the technology sector.1 Instead, we are in the midst of a real-world paradigm shift: the final stages of a decades-long transition from the scientific discipline known as artificial intelligence (and its various sub-disciplines) into an array of applied cognitive technologies made more widely available through innovative enterprise architectures unique to the business culture of the technology sector. The technology sector's interest in these technologies (figure 1)2 has exploded in the last several years. Networking companies, semiconductor manufacturers, hardware companies, IT providers, software providers, Internet players--just about every technology subsector has seen a substantial upsurge of activity in this space. In fact, the race to invest in artificial intelligence has been described as "the latest Silicon Valley arms race."3 Since 2012, there have been 100 mergers and acquisitions (M&A) within the technology sector involving cognitive technology companies, products, and services.4 And this rush of M&A activity is not the only sign of the industry's interest. Many capabilities that were only just emerging a few years ago are now essentially mature and becoming "democratized" and more readily available for business applications. As a result, leading companies are using cognitive technologies to enhance their existing products and services, as well as to open up new markets. What is interesting is that the assertive actions of the sector's leaders do not mirror the wholesale adoption of these technologies across the industry.
Akhilesh Tripathi, Chief Commercial Officer Managing business operations with virtually no downtime may easily be at the top of the agenda for companies across all sectors in their race to stand out of the crowd and vie for customers. Time and time again, leveraging AI has proven to accelerate the overall customer experience and production. Back in 2013, Digitate noticed that organizations follow a "manufacturing conveyor belt" approach when solving IT issues. Traditional automation became a challenge and script-based tools required a larger workforce to maintain it. To address this problem, Digitate envisioned a product that was intelligent and could scale to an enterprise level.