Nearly every industry is in a state of upheaval from forces varying from digital transformation to the IoT to finding new recurring revenue streams. In a world where consumers are demanding experiences over ownership, your company, no matter what it does, is expected to know its consumers next move, even before they do. The software industry is not immune from these forces, though they are more familiar with a rapid pace of change than many others.
Researchers at Gartner have identified the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2017. Here we will take a look at some of them and how they might apply to other industries. While you may not think your company is really in the tech biz, the path the software industry is taking will still lead you to some valuable destinations.
Trend #1: Artificial intelligence & advanced machine learning
AI and machine learning, which include technologies such as deep learning, neural networks and natural-language processing, can also encompass more advanced systems that understand, learn, predict, adapt and potentially operate autonomously. Systems can learn and change future behavior, leading to the creation of more intelligent devices and programs. Organizations seeking to drive digital innovation with this trend should evaluate a number of business scenarios in which AI and machine learning could drive clear and specific business value and consider experimenting with one or two high-impact scenarios.
Why you should care: Companies like GoPro and Nest have proven that just making a great Thing doesn’t cut it in the age of IoT. Digital service providers like Amazon and Netflix are busy utilizing machine learning in their offerings in order to more intelligently promote targeted content to users, going far beyond merely “customers who bought what you bought also bought X”. AI/M2M also has applications in autonomous vehicles, helping cars “learn” about potential hazards, making them safer. It will also play a big part in detecting security threats, which is top of mind for all device makers and IoT service providers, especially following the recent Dyn cyberattack that was enabled by hacked IoT devices.
Trend #2: Intelligent apps
Intelligent apps such as VPAs perform some of the functions of a human assistant making everyday tasks easier (by prioritizing emails, for example), and its users more effective (by highlighting the most important content and interactions). Other intelligent apps such as virtual customer assistants (VCAs) are more specialized for tasks in areas such as sales and customer service. As such, these intelligent apps have the potential to transform the nature of work and structure of the workplace.
Why you should care: Just because you are not in the business of developing intelligent apps does not make them irrelevant to your business. Customers are the driving force of digital transformation in every business, and providing the perfect customer experience is of utmost importance. VCAs will help speed customer service, reduce the need for human CS intervention, and instantly reveal upsell and upgrade opportunities that may otherwise be missed. Not to mention that smart apps may well help make your job—no matter what it is—easier. Or potentially redundant.
Trend #3 Digital technology platforms
Digital technology platforms provide the basic building blocks for a digital business and are a critical enabler to become a digital business. Gartner has identified the five major focal points to enable the new capabilities and business models of digital business — information systems, customer experience, analytics and intelligence, the IoT, and business ecosystems. Every organization will have some mix of these five digital technology platforms. The platforms provide the basic building blocks for a digital business and are a critical enabler to become a digital business.
Why you should care: We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: digital transformation will become a priority for your company. Whether you’re making concrete or cars, your customers are demanding some level of digital service and your company is probably looking for new recurring revenue streams from it. But it’s not as easy as creating a subscription- or usage-based service and putting it up on your website—implementing and scaling new digital offerings will take a close examination and likely an upgrade of your back-office systems and billing platforms.
Read more at Gartner.com
Is your company going to be a trendsetter in 2017? Check out the 7 Deadly Sins of Billing System Deployment to make sure you take the most virtuous path to digital transformation.