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Technology trends to bring a ‘sixth sense’ to businesses in 2017

Andrew Scott, Director Technology, Chief Technology Office, Telstra | Dec. 22, 2016
Ecosystems will provide organisations with unprecedented access to emerging technology tools.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

In 2017, we expect to see several technology trends that are already in play take centre stage as major drivers of digital transformation for businesses.

From the Internet of Things (IoT) to machine learning, these increasingly popular technologies have a common thread - they will bring a proliferation of sensors, platforms, measurement, and analytics tools, which, when integrated together, will create data-rich ecosystems.

These ecosystems will give businesses unprecedented access into real-time intelligence, and the ability to instrument parts of the business that previously didn't have this real-time visibility. Eventually, enterprises will essentially gain a whole new 'sense', just like sight or hearing, which gives them the ability to digest data, monitor trends and transactions and react to them in real time to an extent they've not yet been able to realise. 

This 'sixth sense' also means that in addition to growth in automation and Artificial Intelligence, we expect to see customer service, engagements and transactions become more personalised and responsive than before.

Here are our top predictions for technology trends in the enterprise in the year ahead. 

1.     Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence on the rise

Connected machines with the ability to make decisions have become the norm in large enterprises. We're seeing more businesses turn to machines connected through IoT technologies to improve operational efficiencies, reduce costs, and future proof their businesses. As the introduction of mass Artificial Intelligence systems becomes more mainstream, we will see greater interaction between these systems, which will in turn likely result in improvements for resource management and utilisation.

Human-to-robot interactions will become an everyday business process as inroads to voice technology create more sophisticated human-like 'chat bots'. Businesses are beginning to realise the potential that these technologies have to improve and streamline customer service while reducing costs. This will become increasingly common in industries like financial services and professional services, and even in the education, retail, and medical sectors. Governments are making a concerted effort as well to cultivate an ecosystem around deep technologies. Singapore's SGInnovate was recently launched to connect tech entrepreneurs with industry mentors and venture capitalists, and provide support for business plan development, sources of funding, and go-to-market efforts.

2.     Digital transformation is no longer a choice, it's a must

Business leaders will be placing digital transformation at the top of their priority list (if it isn't already) in 2017, to meet the ever-growing demand from customers for a digital first experience, respond to new disruptive competitors and also to new technologies like cloud and software defined networks. We'll see enterprises continue to invest heavily to ensure that their businesses are well positioned to realise further transformations. Businesses that choose not to invest will risk being left behind.


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