Technologies are changing the modern working world like no other influencing factor. It is therefore important for companies to monitor current developments closely. In particular, concerning the increase in efficiency, innovative technology exposes enormous optimization potential. Also, the constantly changing customer needs require a continuous adjustment of their business models. As a result, companies have to push ahead with the digitization of their own business through the introduction of innovative technologies. Find out which trend technologies will be particularly relevant in the coming year.
Big data – data remains the gold of the 21st century
Data will continue to play a central role in the business environment in the coming year. Due to the partially completed digital transformation and the Internet of Things, the daily volume of data is growing at a breathtaking pace. As the amount of data grows, the value of the data automatically increases exponentially. After all, the data is the basis for a multitude of modern and digital services that secure valuable competitive advantages for companies. Companies have to take this development into account. Responsible collection of customer data and the same handling of the data are essential.
For companies, the primary concern is the knowledge that results from the data collected. Big data analyzes plays a key role here. Companies have to say goodbye to subjective, often gut-driven decisions and rely on the results of modern tools for data analysis and data validation. This is the only way to identify challenges and opportunities and develop suitable solutions. All industries have to face this development. Professional data collection and evaluation remain one of the cornerstones of digital transformation.
The triumphant advance of machine learning and AI algorithms
In addition to big data and analytics, artificial intelligence is one of the main pillars of digital transformation. AI tools such as machine learning significantly influence data analysis. They support companies in identifying patterns and help them to gain insights from the flood of data. Accordingly, these technologies form the basis for extensive, innovative data analysis and change essential factors of every data analysis: simplicity, speed, and scalability.
In particular, speed and scalability are basic requirements for analyzing large data sets and enable comprehensive analysis of even complex data sets. The advances in hardware and optimized algorithms, in particular, can be cited as reasons for the achievable advances. Besides, these analyzes are easier to scale using cloud technologies. Due to the tremendous pace of developing additional AI-based tools, further improvements are expected in the coming year.
Blockchain technology – more than just cryptocurrencies
Blockchain technology is still equated to Bitcoin by many. The blockchain is the underlying technology of the popular cryptocurrency that has much more potential. After all, the blockchain is a decentralized and distributed register, which stores processed business transactions in blocks. All verified blocks are arranged in a chain and distributed to the network. Accordingly, a blockchain is formed – the blockchain.
The technology is currently gaining popularity and more and more companies are testing it in pilot projects. The first projects show that the blockchain offers real added value in the area of supply chain management. Above all, the traceability and the fair conditions for the business partners are an added value. However, other areas, such as the finance and insurance sector, the energy sector or the mobility sector, can also benefit from the potential of the technology in the coming year.
The currently best-known application scenario besides the BitCoin currency is smart contracts. Smart contracts contain if-then rules. If a condition stipulated in the contract is fulfilled, specified activities to realize the will of the contract are carried out automatically. At the same time, all contracting parties are informed of status changes in real-time. In the case of a correctly programmed smart contract, there is no scope for interpretation of the contract terms and they are protected from hackers through cryptographic encryption processes.
Robotic Process Automation becomes intelligent
North American companies have been focusing on robotic process automation (RPA) for some time. However, the technology has so far been primarily limited to repetitive and standardized processes. However, AI affects this status quo in particular. With cognitive process automation or intelligent process automation enabled intelligent algorithms to process unstructured data and thus also to automate completely new, more complex processes.
By expanding RPA to include artificial intelligence (AI) functions such as optical character recognition (OCR), natural language processing (NLP) or machine learning, robots can make increasingly intelligent decisions and thus relieve people. The providers of modern RPA solutions have also recognized this trend and adapted the possibilities of the software.
Intelligent voice assistants are conquering new areas of application
With Siri, Apple has established voice assistants in everyday life for end-users. But the market is now very competitive and voice assistants have become a standard. The technical advances in this area are correspondingly significant. While the intelligent assistants were still limited a few years ago, they now have the potential for use in the corporate environment.
Companies can now use voice assistants to improve their services. Computer voices are already part of a company’s customer service today. In the future, however, this voice assistant can ensure that customers are forwarded efficiently and that general concerns are dealt with beforehand. The use of AI also expands language skills and enables complex questions to be answered.
The Internet of Things is conquering everyday life
The auction of the 5G frequencies took place in 2019 in some countries. The network of the future not only ensures better transmission rates but acts like a booster for the Internet of Things (IoT). The range of existing devices that are already connected to the Internet and provide companies with a flood of data is enormous.
The increased network flexibility in combination with the integration of artificial intelligence will catapult machine-to-machine communication to a whole new level, both qualitatively and quantitatively. In the coming year, the experts from the world’s leading research and consulting company Gartner expect more than 20 billion devices to be connected to the IoT worldwide.
The future of the IoT is promising not least due to a large number of new applications – keyword smart city, smart home, autonomous driving – and is rapidly developing from a technology experiment to a strategic imperative. The IoT is no longer only reserved for industrial applications. The immense amount of data from IoT networks enables better tracking, monitoring, prediction, management and control of a wide variety of systems in a wide variety of industries. It will be the task of artificial intelligence to prepare huge data volumes for meaningful and efficient use.
Hyperautomation – the interaction of automation technologies
Hyperautomation is the further development of automation. Accordingly, this topic also deals with the automation of tasks and processes. Nevertheless, different technologies such as AI, machine learning and automation tools are used in hyper-automation to enable extensive automation of a process.
The basis for hyper-automation is robot-based process automation using RPA. However, the sole use of RPA does not correspond to hyper-automation. Rather, several technologies and tools have to be used at the same time to automatically map particularly complex processes.
Cybersecurity needs artificial intelligence
The ongoing advancement of the Internet age means that more and more companies are using AI algorithms to gain productivity benefits. However, cybersecurity also plays an increasingly important role, so that the use of AI also provides immediate added value.
AI offers enormous opportunities, particularly in the context of cybersecurity. While the manual identification of risk and the manual reaction and remedy are often too slow, algorithms can quickly identify abnormalities. Fast countermeasures to protect IT systems and data can also be initiated by the AI algorithms. Accordingly, the focus in the coming year should be on improving IT security.
Virtual and augmented reality are entering the world of work
In more companies discover possible uses for virtual reality. The two technologies augmented and virtual reality, connect the real and the digital world. The degree of maturity of the technology has already developed enormously in the past three years. The fields of application of the technology are particularly extensive in the industry. Employees can already use digital functions to maintain or repair machines today.
With augmented reality, the reality that we view through cameras on mobile devices (smartphone, tablet) or special intelligent glasses (e.g. Microsoft HoloLens) is enriched with digital information and interactive elements. With intelligent glasses that display step-by-step instructions in the technician’s field of vision, the time that the technician needs to diagnose and correct errors can be reduced by half. The technologies also support the industry when developing new products and allow engineers to create digital prototypes.
Virtual Reality provides companies with valuable services in training, product development, and presentation or real estate marketing because the 3D visualization makes the training, the product or the real estate project appear real to the viewer. Occupational safety and the documentation of safety-related processes can also be improved by AR and VR.
Ultimately, companies can use technology to improve location-independent collaboration between employees – such as working together on a product.
Intelligent chatbots support customer dialog
Voice assistants such as Alexa or Google Home are already showing the potential of intelligent assistants in everyday life. While current chatbots evaluate customers ‘written input and try to provide a suitable answer, future versions can also evaluate customers’ language concerns. Accordingly, service-oriented sectors can communicate more efficiently with customers and deal with their problems as quickly as possible.
Also, such bots allow incoming customer concerns to be classified and avoid unnecessary forwarding to the wrong departments. As a result, customers benefit from improved service and companies benefit from falling costs. Sometimes chatbots take care of all customer concerns themselves and explain the process to a user.
From the server to the cloud
Cloud computing is already a mega-trend in the IT world. More and more companies rely on cloud solutions and say goodbye to their servers. In addition to better scalability, this also reduces the maintenance costs for your server.
Nevertheless, the next significant revolution is already looming with distributed clouds. Such a distributed cloud distributes public cloud services to different locations, which ensures a fast, reliable connection in real-time. The distributed cloud speeds communication for global services by using the distributed service model to reduce latency and improve the performance of cloud services.
Increasing transparency in the IT world
Ultimately, transparency and traceability will also play a major role in the IT trends of the coming year. Rapid technological progress promotes a crisis of confidence that can be counteracted by increasing transparency. As a result, the integration of data must become more transparent. Digital ethics only works if the implementing system also offers sufficient transparency.
Established black box models based on individual programming are simply not designed for the required transparency. Rather, companies will have to deal with standard software, automated documentation routines and intuitive structures in the coming year.
The trends listed above show that the coming year will offer exciting technological innovations. New technologies in particular benefit from current developments. However, North American companies must continue to work on the implementation and master the digital transformation.
Digital processes are a basic prerequisite for establishing numerous technologies. However, these can also support the digitization of individual processes. In particular, applications with immediate added value for the user should, therefore, be the focus. Also, the expanded possibilities that open up for humans through the use of new technologies also play a major role.