By Michael Keegan
Technology: Bringing everyone on board with the coming changes
Increasingly complex technologies will arrive in the field at a faster and faster rate. Businesses will struggle to keep up, because they cannot be experts in everything. The priority must be working out the best ways that they can use digital technologies and the capabilities required to do so.
This is particularly pertinent in the realm of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, as real world applications will be released on an almost daily basis. AI can touch almost every part of the business, from automating administrative and compliance functions to providing customer service chatbots.
With that in mind, businesses will likely struggle to prioritise areas to first introduce AI. To avoid becoming victim to the AI hype, organisations must work with experts to assess where the technology can provide the most value and then the capabilities required to introduce those solutions.
Connected devices will grow in popularity, with organisations in fields from food logistics to healthcare realising the advantages of the Internet of Things in gathering and acting on information. This means that in 2018 edge computing will truly come to the fore, as businesses find ways to process and analyse enormous volumes of data. We will even see a resurgence of desktop computing, to provide the processing power to enable the IoT. What will be crucial is working out how the IoT can support better business decisions, and the infrastructure needed to get there.
Where cash was once king, it will continue to fall from favour, with consumers seeking the most convenient digital services for transactions like money transfers and insurance. This will have advantages for banks, in reducing the cost of physical infrastructure to support coin handling and the need for branches to provide services. However, it will also lower the barrier for entry for new challengers.
We will see similar disruption in the medical profession. These shifts will be driven by digitally native consumers, however, this is likely to prove challenging for some older consumers, and both private and public sector businesses.