In an ever-competitive global business landscape, organizations small and large are looking for ways to gain a long-term edge over their competitors. While technology presents lots of choices, some options carry more potential than others.
So, what types of tech are the top companies implementing to move their organizations forward?
Here are four types garnering significant investments.
AI isn’t just one type of technology; it’s comprised of various subsets, such as deep learning, machine learning, natural language processing, image recognition, and robotics, to name a few. While AI is still a relatively nascent technology compared to where things are headed, industries across the board are using it to power new innovations.
According to Datamation, 38 percent of businesses and technology executives think the most important benefit of AI is making predictions on machines, customers or business health. This is followed by 27 percent that believe AI’s ability to automate manual and repetitive tasks is most crucial. However, in reality, AI stands to improve virtually every aspect of the business world, from autonomous trucking and automated warehouses to heightened quality assurance in manufacturing, improved medical care and streamlined customer service.
Augmented analytics, while one of the many use cases of AI, deserves its own spot on this list due to its potential to help a range of businesses. Augmented analytics uses machine learning and natural language generation to automate insights from a business’s data warehouse. The approach has gained steam the last few years as companies increasingly look to leverage more of the massive data they’re collecting, and make the wealth of insights within that data accessible to all of their end users.
In fact, Gartner calls augmented analytics the future of data and analytics, and a must-have upgrade over traditional business intelligence tools that organizations have relied upon for decades. This doesn’t mean BI architecture has been put out to pasture. Rather, business intelligence architecture enables next-generation tech like augmented analytics and AI. A straightforward way to understand this is to look at the BI architecture breakdown of ThoughtSpot, a data analytics company. Built on top of their BI and visualization server are technologies like relational search and their AI-driven insight feature, SpotIQ.
Our world is more complicated than ever. We face countless decisions and wrestle with innumerable details. With so much going on in life, it’s difficult—if not impossible—to verify the things we’re told.
Most of us know blockchain technology for its first use — Bitcoin, but the technology offers far more benefits than being a cryptocurrency. Blockchain technology is a system where records are stored, facts can be verified, and security is guaranteed. Because everyone has visibility into a blockchain system, and the network itself is decentralized, it’s extremely difficult for anyone to change or corrupt it in any way. Blockchain technology will help us manage diverse types of data for greater causes, such as protecting our online identities or making other technologies more secure.
For example, FedEx is using blockchain to track its high-value cargo, with plans to integrate the technology to their full cargo fleet soon. Walmart is deploying blockchain to track issues in their supply chain, such as food contamination. Bank of America is looking to save billions on cross-border payments through the use of blockchain technology; they applied for nine blockchain-related patents in 2018 alone.
We tend to think of the Internet of Things as a consumer commodity, but enterprises have dug in as well. In fact, a 2017 McKinsey survey of enterprise leaders found that 92 percent believe IoT will have a positive impact on their organization in the next three years, citing improved business efficiency, increased profitability, and cost reductions. A 2018 Forbes Insights panel of IT executives made clear that enterprise IoT investments will be on par with AI, and higher than any other type of emerging tech.
Manufacturing, healthcare, and financial services are leading the charge in IoT applications, followed by transportation and retail. This isn’t surprising considering IoT’s potential use case for diagnostics. Name brands like Harley Davidson incorporate IoT devices on their manufacturing floor to improve quality while juggernaut Amazon uses IoT-enabled robots to scan products across their various warehouses, some of which are over 1 million square feet.
While these technologies are all at different stages of maturity, companies across industries are using them to substantial effect. Only time will tell what the full scale of innovation will look like, but rest assured we’ll be watching.