Leonardo Da Vinci, one of the greatest thinkers of the Renaissance, described simplicity as “the ultimate sophistication.”
The rule of simplicity also applies to technology innovation. Simplicity is the tipping point for technology adoption—not just for the consumer at home, but also for the business user at work. The next wave of intelligent technologies has the potential to innovate operations, product development, customer service, and overall business transformation at an unprecedented level. Technological innovation helps enable breakthroughs in medicine, reduce environmental waste, grow food in severe climate conditions, and it will someday send the first person to Mars.
We are entering a new modern-day renaissance—an era in which intelligent technologies are the cradle for innovations that go beyond corporate and industry boundaries. The possibilities are endless. However, making these sophisticated technology innovations easy to consume while providing a great experience is the ultimate art of innovation that creates the path to adoption.
2019 will mark the beginning of the intelligent technology renaissance era. It will be driven by what Gartner calls the “intelligent digital mesh.”
- Intelligent: AI is in virtually every existing technology, creating entirely new categories.
- Digital: Blends the digital and the physical to create an immersive world.
- Mesh: Exploits connections between expanding sets of people, businesses, devices, content, and services.
Gartner’s top ten technology trend predictions for 2019 combine all three pillars. Of these trends, I expect to see the most significant changes coming from intelligent technologies, specifically autonomous things, augmented analytics, and AI-driven development. Organizations will be able to start morphing from a digital business to an intelligent enterprise.
It’s a highly complex transformation journey. However, in today’s tech renaissance era, the focus is on making sophisticated business transformation simpler.
Here are some steps companies can take to ease their business transformation:
Use the cloud as a path for intelligent business transformation
Companies that integrate the new breed of intelligent technologies into their business processes will be most prepared to grow their business and adapt quickly to market changes. Cloud technology has reached maturity and offers a path to becoming an intelligent enterprise in a hybrid business and tech environment. Many companies are already on that path. An IDG Communications study concluded that by the end of 2019, 9 out of 10 companies will have some part of their applications or infrastructure in the cloud; the rest are expected to follow by 2021.
Traverse industry borders
New technology rarely comes with an out-of-the-box use for each specific industry or type of business. Business insights and industry domain relevance have always been the key differentiators for technology adoption and business success.
In this new era, the greatest innovations will happen at the intersection of industries. For example, today’s cars can do much more than provide personal transportation to the office or to your kid’s next soccer practice. They show you the best route to take, alert you to traffic jams, keep you entertained, and help you get roadside assistance. With the continued evolution of autonomous things, your car might soon drive itself, and your groceries may be delivered via drone. New forms of transportation such as electric scooters, bikes, and drones are inspiring business partnerships between car manufacturers, financial service providers, food businesses, retailers, and other businesses.
Another example is the We Company (formerly We Work). Originally founded as a co-working space for businesses, the company has since repositioned itself as a business that touches all elements of employees’ lives, not just at the office. Similar new products and services require domain expertise and applicability across industries.
Pick the right team, inside and outside the office
Regardless of how innovative these new technologies are, a successful transformation journey requires more than a technology investment. It requires a smart and engaged team. Transformation success is the result of setting a company vision and securing both the business processes and the team to drive and execute it.
This also includes selecting the right technology partners. You want the best industry and technology experts, problem-solvers, and creative thinkers who not only think about your business today but also identify opportunities for the future. With the right team, partner ecosystem, and technology, your business can evolve across markets and industries faster and more easily than your competitors.
Intelligent technologies have the power to transform companies into intelligent enterprises. We will see a new breed of companies that are not bound to traditional industry segmentation. These companies are using innovation strategically to grow and expand across industries by infusing intelligence into every part of their strategy and operations.
2019 truly marks the beginning of an exciting era. The intelligent tech renaissance will catapult business innovation into the next dimension.
The only question that remains: Are you ready for it?
For more on this topic, see Intelligent Enterprises Share Secrets To Success In The Me-To-B World.