AI adoption will move from stealth to mainstream mode
AI will be key, but only if companies decode how to apply it effectively and accurately within the confines of the business. With Ovum's ICT Enterprise Insights Survey anticipating that 60 percent of organizations will have an enterprise-wide strategy for AI in 2019, we expect a lot more companies to look for practical ways to bring AI into the business; and a key path will be through having AI embedded into their applications.
In 2019, it's estimated we'll generate more data than we did in the previous 5,000 years! Already, companies are challenged when it comes to being able to harness and apply that data intelligently to inform processes and get the insights needed to work more quickly, efficiently and flexibly. Not only will this give them a way of bringing AI to the masses through means they already feel comfortable with rather than fearing the 'rise of the robots', it will also mean that eventually, it'll be saturated into the infrastructure and become prevalent in all of a business' systems.
One of the key business drivers for AI adoption is its immense power to increase human productivity and business efficiency. A recent Oracle survey of international senior decision makers showed 42 percent are already looking to AI technology to improve efficiency within their organization. And, with ongoing improvements to its cognitive AI capabilities, those gains are only going to get bigger.
Oracle predicts that by 2025, the productivity gains delivered by AI and augmented experiences could be as high as 50 percent compared to today's operations. That's nothing short of transformational.
"We're already seeing applications change before our very eyes. Conventional back office applications are becoming legacy. They're being reinvented with innovative front ends (user interfaces) and aggressive commercial automation. Looking ahead, transformation is only going to become more widespread", says Prasad Rai, Vice President – Applications, Oracle India.
'Autonomous' will move (data) mountains, not just cars
Gartner predicts that by 2022, 90 percent of corporate strategies will explicitly mention information as a critical enterprise asset, with analytics becoming an essential competency. As the levels of data currently at hand are too much for humans to handle, a new approach is needed. In fact, it's critical because businesses are starting to realize they need to be better handling their data if they want to really capitalize on it and execute on AI or IoT investments.
What if the complex data management systems that turn data to insight could be made as self-driving, self-repairing and self-securing. What if it could be made as easy as the concept of the self-driving car? Oracle has already taken the next step in extreme automation with the Oracle Autonomous Database and, looking forward, we expect a huge proportion of businesses to explore similar capabilities for every aspect of data management.
"We believe automation will start to permeate throughout business, with 70% of IT functions completely automated, enabling companies to refocus teams from the billions of work hours spent performing routine and even mundane IT tasks each year and instead on innovation and business development", says Shailender Kumar, Regional Managing Director, Oracle India.
Many security tasks will also have to be automated, given the number of security events predicted to increase 100x. McAfee's 2019 Cloud Adoption and Risk Report showed the average organization will find only 1 out of 100 million events to be a threat, but with the volume so high, finding the needle in the haystack will be impossible without automation.
Furthermore, customer experience and automation will go hand-in-hand, with 70 percent of customer interactions automated and AI-enabled chatbots ushering in a new era of experiences. Already today, 89% of people use voice assistants for customer service, and 69% of enterprise customer service functions use chatbots for easy, frictionless, anywhere, anytime engagement. Increasingly, this will move from being a 'nice to have' to becoming a basic customer expectation.
Oracle predicts that 85% of all interactions will be automated, via AI-enabled bots and interactive assistants
Blockchain becomes the cornerstone of trust
Blockchain will not only start to become more commonplace in business, it will also become the king of transparency and trust in 2019. This comes from the realization that it can be used to do far more than validate monetary transactions.
Already, we're seeing the technology being used to certify the ethical production of extra virgin olive oil, for tracking solar energy usage and to bring a single source of truth into the documentation processes underpinning the global shipping industry. In 2019, we'll see it being used in even more broader contexts; from verifying the authenticity of precious stones, to tracking the source of food contaminations and on to confirming drugs are produced in accordance with stringent industry regulations.
It will also, like AI, permeate day to day business as it too becomes integrated into business applications, and as they say, out of sight is out of mind.
2019 will definitely be the year when we see some of the industry's biggest buzzwords go from hype to fulfilment, but really they will only prove their worth if they gain true traction in the market. Gone are the days where AI or blockchain are seen as separate entities within the infrastructure and, instead, they will be added into applications for organizations to realize the real benefit.