The digital age is termed the age of networked intelligence. Digital is not entirely new in the business ecosystem, but the increased interest is caused by the high rate of (r)evolution in digital technologies at present. Developments in analytics and big data provide organisations with new capabilities to re-engineer business process for better and efficient service delivery, as data is readily available, to the right people, in the right format, at the right time – elements of quality information. The advancements in mobile technology and widespread internet adoption have also given the customers new ways and options to research and purchase their desired products, so the business technology trend is plunging into the digital space. Digital technology has changed the way we live our life, both in public and private.
Artificial intelligence has a lot of promising applications, especially for scaling complex tasks -- be it within IT infrastructure or within business processes -- to mass-production levels. At the same time, AI shouldn't be looked upon as automation on steroids -- it succeeds where it amplifies human activities and creativity, and needs to be designed accordingly.
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).
Full intelligent process automation comprises five key technologies. Here's how to use them to enhance productivity and efficiency, reduce operational risks, and improve customer experiences. Since the financial crisis of 2007–09, many companies have applied lean management to improve cost efficiencies, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement simultaneously, and many programs have achieved substantial impact on all dimensions. Progress on digital, however, has been more uneven. In the insurance sector, for example, an October 2016 FIS study found that 99.6 percent of insurers surveyed admitted they face obstacles in implementing digital innovation, while 80 percent recognize they need digital capabilities to meet business challenges.
The leaders of the next industrial revolution are companies making advances in fields such as robotics, machine learning, digital fabrication (including 3D printing), the Industrial Internet, the Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics and blockchain (a system of decentralized, automated transaction verification). Manufacturers of tools, hardware, instruments, and heavy equipment are adding sensors and connectivity to their products, enabling predictive maintenance, security, and frequent upgrades. The most successful platforms match customers with vendors, maintain an appealing and effective customer experience, and collect data and rents from people who use the system. GE has announced its goal to be "the world's first digital industrial company"; its cloud-based Predix platform combines data analytics, connectivity, cyber-protection, and offerings such as the Digital Twin, a simulation of industrial processes based on digital profiles of more than half a million machines.