As always technology waits for no one. It marches with incremental changes until one day we wake up and find ourselves surrounded by AI, robotics and a life like in Minority Report.
2016 is going to be no different. You would witness a number of pre-existing technologies being pushed forward with mature and better models. Other evolving technologies like virtual reality, robotics and AI would see more use cases as well as commercial availability.
But, these advancements by themselves are no indication of successful business or productivity outcomes. Adapting these for enterprises by exploration as well as implementation takes strong leadership , who realize that this is the only way to ensure growth in future along with beating competition by innovation.
Micro-services and containers became a trend in 2015 but the adoption rate is going to increase in 2016. On the surface, micro-services and container technology seems very technical but it has deep and far-reaching business consequences. Adopting this way of writing code would make your applications not only resilient but also reduce the amount of infrastructure required to run a given application by 50%. Hence 2016 would see more and more enterprises adopting containers and micro-services to innovate quickly against their competition.
2. AI: Maybe you get your own Jarvis?
I must say I am addicted to the iRobot series of vacuuming and floor-scrubbing. Everyday they run as scheduled and I come back to a clean home. But, for some reason, many do not consider this AI. I disagree.
I think we would be seeing many avatars of AI before we see a human-like robotic version. Grillbot, smart huggable toys are some examples. The other versions of AI are something not even mechanical or tangible but highly intelligent programs as witnessed by Apple’s purchase of Emotient, which makes software that can read human expressions which is used to gain insights about human reactions.
3. Autonomous Driving: Decision-making cars
You might be eagerly awaiting the self-driving car to bring you back home from your local bar. Unfortunately, you would have to wait a few more years to comply with government policies for public availability. Meanwhile you have other options like Ford’s automated braking system for avoiding collisions and self-parking cars.
2016 will see a raise of many more features where the car will help you make decisions or in some cases, make the decision for you. The auto-braking mechanism is also going to be adopted by trucking companies, which has a high-incidence of accidents due to human error.
4. IoT : Will the roomba talk to your washing machine?
The IoT market is flooded with two types of sensors – one used for monitoring and controlling temperature in commercial buildings. Another is used for residential home energy consumption and control. Is there a device that would inform my grocery store that I am out of milk? Not yet.
But, small increments in 2016 will surely lead to it. For example, companies likeTheatro, offer wi-fi based wearable devices for hourly employees in retail stores to help communicate if a light bulb needs to be changed or if the stock of a SKU has to be determined. And there are others that take facial recognition to the next level.
5. Drones : DaaS (Drones as a Service)
Yes, that is a real thing. Drones as a service would connect those that operate the drones to the ones that need the data from it. Although the government regulations are not completely in place, the FAA does issue exemptions for commercial drone use, known commonly as Section 333. This allows drones to be operated commercially under a pre-defined set of rules. While companies likeMeasure and Fly4Me offer data from drones, others like Gofor offers drones on-demand. As drone technology matures, we would see more entrants in this space in 2016.
6. 3D printing : From air-bikes to musical instruments
Did you know that your Audi or Jaguar might contain parts manufactured by a 3D printer? Leading car as well as aircraft manufacturers are using them more and more to reduce maintenance costs.
3-D-printed aircraft components are 65 percent lighter but as strong as traditional machined parts, representing huge savings and reduced carbon emissions. NASA engineers are also using 3D printed parts for their space launch systems. This year would see an increase in utilizing 3D printers for various commercial uses like Airbikes, phone cases or in some cases in regenerative medicine to custom manufacture prosthetics.
7. Big data, the next generation: Will data replace focus groups?
Most organizations have adopted some form of big data solution even if it means conducting a POC (proof of concept). But, 2016 will see a rise in maturing the existing big data solutions. Like with the next generation of Cloud computing and enterprise mobility, big data would also see a change in developer tools and techniques. Hadoop is quickly being replaced by Apache Spark, which offers dramatically increased data processing speed. The next generation of big data would also utilize machine learning enabling systems to analyze data themselves in 2016.
8. Digital transformation: Digitization is no longer an option!
Digital transformation is becoming more of a corporate mandate and would continue to do so in 2016. This would involve the use of technologies like analytics, social media, mobility and other smart devices to improve customer experience, revenue growth, innovation and end-to-end operational excellence.
For older companies this would mean either replacing legacy applications or integrating them with newer ones or in some cases, even building new applications. Hence this journey is not yet over for many major enterprises and 2016 will see the push more in this direction. Transforming customer experience alone can achieve tremendous results – example, gaining understanding of specific geographies and market segment as well as monitoring social media to realize the customer satisfaction.
9. Enterprise mobile: Get on this bus already!
By now most enterprises have some sort of mobile devices enabled for their employees and contractors. But, are these apps sustainable? What are the maintenance costs? How do they adopt the changing landscape of mobile technology?
The next generation of mobile apps in 2016 would see a rise of virtual mobile infrastructure like Hypori as well as adoption of powerful platforms like Capriza. Many would be considering a hybrid platform using Xamarin or Appcelerator, which would enable simplicity of seamless code across mobile devices.
10. Wearables: Are they functional or a style statement?
According to Consumer Technology Association, 38 million wearables will be sold this year, with smart-watches and fitness trackers making up the bulk of the sales. We would also see dozens of new products debuting in the market. These would include jewelry, shoes and athletic wear in some cases. Traditional watch makers like Timex and Guess would start including smart watch capabilities this year. Other wearables that would be released this year would include sleep monitoring as well as heartbeat measuring tee shirts. 2016 will prove that wearables are not a transitional technology but here to stay.
11. Virtual Reality: Would the brain detect this augmented reality?
Gamers are especially excited with the release of Oculus rift this year. Others to hit the stores early this year would be Sony’s playstation VR and Samsung Gear VR goggles. There are many other potential use cases that arise this year – using virtual reality for education, for mental health or in simulated learning for doctors and space explorers. But these are still in their infancy and these experiments would continue this year.
Although the prices might be prohibitive in 2016, the early adopters are eagerly awaiting to test this first generation of VR devices.
12. Biotech: Can paraplegics walk again?
Biotechnology would continue to evolve and release products that include artificial intelligence that benefit food services and healthcare. Revolutionary robotics for hospitals like VITA, can literally make a difference between life and death situations by virtually directing the robot to reach the patient before a doctor can. Smart machines are also helping agricultural products that eliminate herbicides in food by utilizing a robotic sprayer that eliminates weeds by utilizing image recognition technologies.
2016 would see more of such products come into the market after being in trials the last couple of years.
In 2016, you would see more of the maturing of the already adopted technologies, while there would be a few new technology innovations. Cloud, predictive analytics and enterprise mobile would be in their next generation of maturing their existing processes. While IoT, Virtual reality and Cars with AI would make segway into adoption. Artificial intelligence with robotics would remain with early evangelists.
1. Have you seen the Dominos Pizza advertisement where you can order a pizza via the apple watch or through emoticon on your iPhone app or just tweet to them and the order would be placed. How cool is that?Dominos was not the most favorite pizza a few years back. But that is changing. The temptation of ordering a pizza with the touch of an emoticon is too good to resist. Not to forget the cool and wow! factor.
This is what Dennis Maloney, Domino’s chief digital officer has to say :"It tells the younger generation that we’re not the Domino’s of 50 years ago but that we’re fast and innovative and are experimenting and doing what it takes to give them the best pizza experience. It’s important for the brand halo."
2. Starbucks has once again risen like a Phoenix. It has the Starbucks app that everyone loves – you order on the go and it prompts the nearest Starbucks location and even gives you an ETA. They have never-imagined-before wireless charging built into the tables. Now you need not worry about that forgotten charger! It just doesn’t stop there. It signed a deal with Spotify to power in-store music, and actually put people in control of what’s being played, has started to explore local coffee delivery for people ordering through the app, and partnered with Lyft and The New York Times for loyalty points sharing and content distribution, respectively.No wonder someone called it
“the portal to the future”.
3. The 177 year-old company John Deere is not what comes to mind when you think of technology innovation. But the company's new agricultural equipment is capable of planting the best seed in the best sub-inch of land available -- without a human operator -- is changing that perception.
Mano Mannoochahr, director of enterprise architecture, information management and computer security at John Deere says “The world population is predicted to increase 40% by 2050; farmers have to provide more visibility to oversight committees such as the environmental protection agency, so we're revaluating and thinking how to best connect."
4. The Schindler Group, a global manufacturer of elevators and escalators is a 141-year-old business using the Internet of Things to perform critical business operations.Their real-time maintenance system connects sensor technology with mobile applications, for the company's more than 20,000 field workers. If a machine goes offline, sensors send an alert to a central dispatch, where the next course of action is automatically decided, including assigning and even prioritizing the work to a technician in the area.
"Our products have sensors installed that can measure, for example, temperature and speed,” explains, Michael Nilles, CIO at Schindler. “We collect this data over an electronic controller and send it to our back-end platform. From there, the data is analyzed and delivered to technicians in the field via a mobile app.” Watch this cool video on Apple’s website - https://www.apple.com/business/schindler/
5.The 114 year-old pharmacy, Walgreens is adopting digital to make a difference in patients’ health and well-being. They use their 82 million active members in their Balance Rewards Program to not just order prescriptions but for tracking and recording the health information. This includes a reward for adopting a healthy lifestyle. They have also launched a digital coaching program in partnership with WebMD. Over 80,000 now access third-party data, like the data from PatientsLikeMe, through their Walgreens.com dashboard, and more than 40 million new patients have gained access to Walgreens prescription refill service via a third party app that uses Walgreens’ API.“Now you can earn points for various activities from walking and running to recording blood pressure and blood glucose readings. Over 800,000 patients and customers have joined since launch and nearly 2 billion points have been awarded free of charge for these behavior changes.”says Walgreens President Alex Gourlay. “Over all, the Walgreens app is the third-most downloaded retail app in the United States and the number one brick and mortar pharmacy app.” he said.
This is an original post written by me in Tuesday Tech Tempo series. Do contact us if you want any additional topics to be covered or what you think of digital adoption in your industry.
(PS: Prizes for guessing which movie the quote "Toto, ....." is from :) )
We are all aware that companies like Uber, Netflix, and AirBnB are disrupting traditional industries and introducing a new way of doing business and engaging with customers. Leading edge organizations are embracing it to their advantage while those who are slow to adopt are being left behind in business gains. Are you among those leading organizations or one who is baffled by this digital economy?
When you think “Digital”, what comes to your mind? ? Is it something you can visualize? Do you think it means having a mobile app? Or is it a "big data” solution? Does it mean you have to adopt IoT or learn to use wearables for enterprises?
Today, I would like to demystify the word “digital” so that you can easily adopt it in your organization and obtain that competitive advantage.
A successful digital enterprise pivots on 3 critical areas:
1. Customer experience 2. Innovative products and 3. Data-driven decisions
Customer Experience can mean a lot of things. Making your website user-friendly, engaging customers on social media
and ensuring that information can be obtained by customers at their fingertips are some of the things encompassing it. To break it down into easy implementable steps, follow a phased approach: 1. Ensure that your website is user-friendly on PCs, Smartphones and Tablet devices. 2. Engage with customers 24/7 by having an amazing social media strategy and 3. Introduce a Mobile App for high-engagement value.
I am sure we all remember taking the #IceBucketChallenge to support ALS. What a worldwide phenomenon it had become! It was started by a single individual suffering from the disease and it gained so much momentum that the ALS Association had to make it official. The campaign raised around $115 million in donations and was shared by 1.2 million people on Facebook and 2.2 million on twitter. This is a perfect example of how a social media campaign can produce immense benefits. The goal of a good social media strategy is to clearly establish brand awareness, drive traffic which increases conversion rates leading to revenue increments. You should also excel at personalized messages instead of mass communications.
In the case of a Mobile app, no one has done it better than Walgreens. Walgreen introduced their mobile app for healthy choices initiative. Using the principle of habit forming to ensure that customers lead a healthy lifestyle as well as to use the product purchased. Alex Gourlay, EVP of Walgreens says "Walgreens now has 82 million active members in its Balance Rewards Program. What began as a typical retail consumer rewards program has grown into a BJ Fogg-inspired behavior change platform that promotes both healthy activity and tracking and recording health information.”
Another good example of Mobile App success is the Starbucks App. It became a blockbuster with more than 12 million downloads.
Super handy payment option is a key feature for the app: customers use their smartphones to pay for Starbucks orders about 7 million times per week — nearly 16% of total transactions. That’s how Starbucks app has become the customer’s perfect companion and makes buying drinks at Starbucks faster and easier.
“I'm going to spend a ton of money making sure that everything we do is compelling on mobile devices. If we don't do that, I do think that we will fail. ”Ray Voelker, CIO at Progressive Insurance
Speaking of innovative products, who would think of John Deere as an epitome of innovation. But the company's new agricultural equipment is capable of planting the best seed in the best sub-inch of land available -- without a human operator -- is changing that perception. They are combining a big data solutions and are early adopters in precision agriculture and predictive analytics, and now, they also integrate with the Climate cloud. This ties back to the initiative of how big data is going to help feed nine billion people by 2050.Clearly an example of not only getting business gains using innovation but solving one of the world’s fundamental problems in obtaining food.
The third item on this list should be how to get to data-driven decision making?
At $18.7 billion biotechnology company Amgen, the digital enterprise simply means an organization that can reach its customers in digital ways. Amgen's customers are changing. Technologies like electronic health records, wearable health-monitoring devices and cloud computing are "creating an opportunity for a company like Amgen to participate directly in that patient/physician and payer space that didn't necessarily exist for us five years ago," says Diana McKenzie, CIO at Amgen. Amgen has vast clinical trial databases and thinks combining that data with real-world data from electronic health records, then applying mathematical models, may help caregivers predict how a patient will react to different treatments.
This is an excellent example of using data to change the lives of people and get ahead of your competition.
In conclusion, your digital strategy must include Customer experience with good social media strategy, adopting Mobile Applications for increasing revenue, innovative products to stay ahead of competition and finally utilizing data and analytics to deliver great results.