Everything around us is becoming more intelligent. We’re already accustomed to seeing automobiles that can park themselves, and the sight of driverless vehicles on public highways will soon become commonplace. We expect our smart TVs to predict what we’d like to watch next and our smartphones to know where we are and give advice on where to eat or what to buy. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, as the pace of technology innovation keeps accelerating and the opportunities are endless.
The challenge for most businesses is that these intelligent capabilities we experience in our daily lives have set the bar very high. Consumers now expect a seamless, personalized experience at every interaction and will find that experience elsewhere if they don’t get it. Organizations across every industry will need to use intelligent technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), chatbots, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to deliver personalized customer experiences, operate more efficiently, and free their workforce to focus on higher-value tasks and outcomes.
So, the starting gun has sounded and the race to become an intelligent enterprise is on. IDC predicts that IoT spending is expected to reach US$1.1 trillion, while spending on cognitive and artificial intelligence systems is forecast to hit $57.6 billion in 2021. To understand how organizations seize the opportunities offered by these and other intelligent capabilities, IDC conducted a series of in-depth interviews with 12 independent software vendors (ISVs) around the world. This third blog in a series based on this research examines the intelligent enterprise framework and the crucial role a proven cloud platform plays in leveraging intelligent technologies.
Welcome to the age of the intelligent enterprise
The last major wave of innovation in computing, which IDC terms the “3rd Platform,” was marked by the convergence of cloud, mobile, social, and Big Data. The digital transformation made possible by these technologies connected people, data, and devices to radically change how we interact, communicate, and consume products and services. In the new era of computing – the age of the intelligent enterprise – leading companies are looking to maintain or extend their competitive edge by using the next wave of technology to make applications more intelligent.
These go-ahead enterprises are adopting artificial intelligence, blockchain, machine learning, and Internet of Things technologies to help them:
- Deliver superior customer experiences across all physical and digital channels of interaction
- Maximize operational efficiencies and reduce costs
- Better engage employees and attract top talent
- Automate redundant processes and create smart systems that empower employees
- Add business value through innovation
For most enterprises, navigating a path to achieve all these goals means partnering with ISVs to help them use systems they may already have in place and implement new systems to deliver new capabilities and integration points.
Becoming an intelligent enterprise
Every IT infrastructure is different, so every organization’s route to becoming an intelligent enterprise will vary. But we can identify two core elements that combine to form a digital platform that is the foundation of the intelligent enterprise.
The first is a data management platform. New and disruptive business models rely on the validity, integrity, and quantity of available data. Yet most companies collect data faster than can be digested by traditional processes and store it in a variety of places across the organization. The sheer volume of data makes it difficult to analyze without moving the analysis back to the computing systems. In an intelligent enterprise, AI and ML are used to monitor this previously siloed data and provide visibility into unseen patterns that can inform business insight. But this is only possible through an effective data management platform.
The second is a proven cloud platform. In a highly competitive market, speed and agility are essential to staying relevant and competing effectively. The ISVs interviewed by IDC are taking advantage of the speed and flexibility of the cloud to create new digital applications, modernize existing applications, or embed intelligent capabilities in their customer solutions. IDC studies show that the use of a platform-as-a-service environment can cut the application development cycle by 30% to 50%. ISVs around the world are leveraging advanced technologies such as AI into easily consumable solutions that developers can incorporate quickly and effectively.
In the next blog, we’ll explore some of the key questions to ask when choosing a cloud platform and how ISVs like Innovapptive are already leveraging a proven platform to build intelligent capabilities into their applications. “We’re also looking at AI chatbots for future development,” says CEO Sundeep Ravande in his IDC interview. “Being on SAP Cloud Platform helps because they are investing in these technologies. We can see the art of the possible in these technologies and SAP is helping by providing the services to utilize them.”
To find out more, download “Partner Success with SAP Cloud Platform: Building for the Intelligent Enterprise,” an IDC e-book sponsored by SAP.