Digital transformation will finally become a reality in 2019, according to Dimension Data Group CTO Ettienne Reinecke.
The growing maturity of disruptive technologies such as AI, machine learning and robotic process automation, will mean that companies with market-leading technology investments will see long-term projects bear fruit, Reinecke said, with the bulk of the market expected to follow in the next three years.
Reinecke was commenting on Dimension Data's 2019 Tech Trends Report, which identifies fundamental industry trends that will come to define the business technology landscape next year, across customer experience, cybersecurity, digital business, digital infrastructure, digital workplace, technology futures, and services.
"Until now, our industry has spoken about innovative technologies somewhat theoretically, without providing a clear picture of how these powerful new innovations will be used. Think analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and containers, just to name a few," Reinecke said.
"That's starting to change. The application of disruptive technologies is becoming more pervasive and their adoption is growing steadily. We'll see the most innovative companies showing off truly impactful examples of digital transformation in action in 2019 with many more coming to the market over the next three years. They will then become so firmly embedded in the core processes and technologies we use that we'll consider them commonplace. 2019 is the year that trailblazers will pull-away from fast-followers and we start to see significant power shifts across industries."
The report highlights five technology trends that Dimension Data believes will shape the market, including RPA, cloud-based cybersecurity, programmable infrastructure, intelligent applications and more focus on the value of data.
Dimension data said that Robotic process automation will reshape customer experience. The exponential growth in robotic process automation - such as machine learning, AI, and heuristic neural networks - will give companies the ability to combine scenarios, increase understanding, and make real-time predictive decisions about their customers' needs and behaviours.
Organisations will focus on cloud-based cybersecurity platforms: Regular high-profile cyber security breaches in 2018 will cause cloud-based security providers to gain traction in 2019. Cloud-based security systems are built with open APIs, meaning security teams can integrate new technologies into the platform quickly and with relative ease. This will ensure clients can keep up with the rapidly evolving threat landscape.
Infrastructure will become programmable from end to end: Companies will start subscribing to multiple cloud platforms and increasing their use of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). End-to-end programmability means organisations will be able to quickly adapt to changing business landscape and demand more from their applications and data.
Applications will become more intelligent and customised: In the coming year, we'll see applications gathering input from users and making changes to their own functionality to improve the user experience. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will play a significant role in helping employees work more productively.
The value of data will become the centre of the value universe: In the coming period, the focus will increasingly shift to the true value of data, driving a renewed quest to embed telemetry, collect and enrich data. It is data that will form the core of true digital transformation and become the source of new revenue streams that will surpass traditional revenue streams. This will lead to a change in information architectures, with the need to establish rich data starting to drive IT investments.
"Across the GCC and Middle East, blockchain, artificial intelligence, robotics, Big Data, analytics, cloud are becoming increasingly connected with digital transformation initiatives. Whether it is government, public sector or the private sector, enterprises are initiating projects that have longer term implications in terms of transitioning to new business models and innovative customer experiences. Regional enterprises have begun to realize that true return on investments can be realized by blending transformative technologies based on creating new business models and adding net new customers. The GCC and Middle East regions have already embarked on their transformative journeys and we expect the pace to pick up from 2019 and further into the end of the decade," concluded Paul Potgieter, Managing Director - UAE, Dimension Data.