As we move deeper into the new year, here some of the key business and technology trends that are shaping the enterprise world in 2020.
As organizations start building more expertise and understanding around the power of blockchain, more new business models will emerge based on the distributed digital ledger technology architecture. This will result in the eradication of layers of involved parties between transactions and the creation of more secured trust in the network, resulting in operational efficiency and speed of business execution. Thus, we will see increased usage of blockchain technology across multiple industries.
As an example, in supply chain management, the asset of distribution (physical or digital products) can be tracked, tagged, and securely distributed across the supply chain. There will be increased usage of smart contracts – essentially an agreement that is a software program driven by blockchain.
Similarly, in healthcare, demand for secure digital patient identity, multiple stakeholders sharing fragments of data, and drug traceability in the supply chain will result in increased usage of blockchain.
The next trend will be how blockchain interfaces with the larger organization’s data landscape.
Data intelligence as a strategy
We live in a data-driven economy where the intelligent use of enterprise data is what will enable you to differentiate yourself from competitors. In 2020, we will see three forces joining hands even more:
- Master data orchestration, distribution, and governance
- Data science and predictive analytics
- Business actionable insights at the moment of decision making
In other words, we will securely leverage the power of our enterprise data wherever it resides using data pipelines, apply advanced intelligence to that data holistically, use those intelligent insights in various lines of business to make critical business decisions, and do it easily, in near real-time, and in a scalable manner.
However, as data becomes the engine of the organization’s car, there is a critical kind of data that is now more important than ever before: the experiential data that arises from the emotional engagements the organization has with its customers, employees, and ecosystem (internal and external).
Experience management, the blending of experience data with enterprise-wide operational data, is possible by building the business strategy to create one experience platform that connects the front-office customer experience with the back-office intelligent enterprise core, bringing about an experience-driven synergy across the entire value chain.
Synergy and value chain
The concepts of integration and collaboration will take on a whole new meaning in this new world. Gone are the days when we talk about two APIs being joined to complete a business process or two teams having a common workspace where they chat and collaborate to solve a common business problem. We will see these trends gain even more in the years to come.
- True synergy is created when data (operational and experience) seamlessly flow across all business processes, creating value for the stakeholders.
- There will be increasing use of microservices-driven, event-based integration connecting various key applications to solve a common business problem.
- Organizations will consolidate on an experience platform connected to the whole value chain (lead-to-cash, inquiry-to-resolution, procure-to-pay, etc.) leveraging prepackaged integration flows driving business outcomes.
- This value chain of data and insights will then surface at the very edge: the moment of experience for customers.
Customer engagement at the edge
Three key business-technology concepts will shape the experience at the edge for customers:
- Edge computing and Internet of Things (IoT)
- In-the-moment, secured personalization driven by machine learning recommendations
- Data insights from the entire connected value chain
To understand this, let’s use an example. Say you have a smart refrigerator. Since you will access the fridge frequently, it has to be equipped to handle key technology-driven personal experiences for you at the edge, instead of having to keep doing round-trips to the back-end cloud server for every decision. And your experience with the smart fridge will trigger many automated personalized moments of engagement, which will also have downstream impacts into a connected supply chain, like automated replenishment of food from your preferred grocery store or predictive maintenance of the fridge based on asset usage. This level of automation will grow by leaps and bounds in 2020.
In 2020, we will see increased convergence of robotic process automation (RPA) and machine learning (ML) resulting in powerful use-cases related to autonomous automation becoming real. Here are some examples that will become more prominent:
- We have already seen the growth of self-driven cars and drones. Further use of drones in aerospace and defense (swarm drones) and supply chain logistics will proliferate.
- Given increased cyberattacks, identity thefts, enterprise security breaches, and increased regulatory policies related to customer privacy, autonomous automation will have to be connected to the overall enterprise architecture.
- Factories will be “smarter” than ever before with powerful autonomous production systems in discrete manufacturing. Even process manufacturing will see increased investments in this domain. As an example, consider batch processing in chemical plants; with a combination of edge computing, IoT, and autonomous automation, the ability to look at complex Big Data based on chemical recipes, batch data, and thermal imaging and then make decisions in real-time on handling impurities will result in tremendous savings for organizations.
The way forward
If we look at the above key business technology trends, what stands out is convergence and interoperability. An organization that addresses these technologies holistically in line with their business strategy will pave a winning path for themselves in 2020 and the decade ahead.
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