Transformation trends

In 2019, businesses will need to make critical decisions about their digital strategy, as enterprise transformation continues to pick up speed. DXC Technology’s Sukhi Gill explores six IT trends that will guide those decisions.

1. Enterprises to unify digital strategies

In 2019, more enterprises will make bet-the-company commitments to digital business. It’s a new kind of corporate race as companies adopt ‘moonshot’ goals. There will be innovation across the board, from new business models and technologies to entire new businesses built from digital.

Currently, enterprises often have internally competing business unit strategies, with some following hybrid traditional-digital programs – these will need to be removed to unify the entire business around a common digital program. Concentrate talent, funding, operating model and executive attention on one digital strategy across business to unload the technical debt that is holding companies back from exploring moonshot digital initiatives.

2. Additional intelligence from IoT platforms

As enterprises map their physical world to an intelligence-rich one, smart “things” will become a driving force. Enterprises will start to implement next-generation platforms in 2019 that can analyse large quantities of industry-specific data streaming in from the Internet of Things (IoT) and use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), this will enable companies to pull out trends and patterns in data previously thought to be independent.

For example, in precision medicine data from new sources (such as Wi-Fi-connected heart monitors, fitness watches, location data or the human genome) and traditional sources (such as blood chemistry or dietary information) are brought together. Combining the information from these disparate sources enables researchers to see correlations between them, which will result in more precise diagnoses and treatment plans.

3. Cloud will be disrupted with emerging technology

In 2019, as more data is generated than ever before apps and data will move to the edge, meaning they will need to be managed differently via pervasive and intelligent information services that go beyond cloud, often referred to as “the matrix”. The idea is that the matrix enables companies and the analytics needed to react to the data to be closer together, enabling more intelligent interactions.

Hence the shifts toward event-driven applications and serverless architectures that allow very small applications to run in lightweight environments, such as mobile phones, wearables or even to be retrofitted to a desk or outside a house on a pylon. And yes, 5G wireless will change the data accumulation patterns in disruptive ways.

4. Information Enlightenment to improve decision making

With the increased data arrival (digital trend 3) and increased data analytics complexity (digital trend 2) it can cause companies to be overwhelmed and unable to efficiently process new data. Hence, the shift to intelligent operations is critical and data analysis in real-time is a competitive imperative as data value decays quickly over time; the value is substantially higher when the data is created but much lower only seconds or minutes later.

So, in 2019, translating broad and deep information into actions will become a core competency. In this age of Information Enlightenment, companies will understand their information ecosystems better and know what to do to make more informed, faster, data-driven decisions. ML tools will be key for training systems and speeding response times. Enterprises will realise it’s sometimes better to take action based on a strong probability of being right (e.g., 70 percent) than hold out for being perfect (100 percent). That means increased vigilance when building ML rules will be required.

5. Opportunities for customer experiences to improve amid stronger data privacy rules

In 2019, as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be in full swing, protecting customers’ personal data is a top priority and will force companies to rethink their digital strategy. Failure to comply with GDPR will thwart, if not completely stop, an enterprise’s ability to conduct business globally. Innovative companies will see this digital trend as an opportunity to deliver better customer experiences and to build customer trust and loyalty.

Enterprises must have a clear strategy for managing customer data and processes. Changes are likely to be required across their entire data landscape, especially in marketing databases, demand generation systems and customer relationship management systems. Privacy-centric information ecosystems built on analytics and security, will also need to be developed for their partners and suppliers, as they aim to deliver secure interactions and superior customer experiences.

6. Enterprises data centres will disappear

The enterprise data centre is frequently “in the wrong place at the wrong time”. In 2019 we expect to see a noticeable shift of enterprise data centre workloads to multi-tenant data centres in the public cloud. Information processing is becoming a utility, and customers (and their data) are widely distributed. Public cloud providers can deliver substantially more bandwidth in strategically-placed data centres, providing more efficient and cost-effective solutions for and enterprises to maximize their data’s value.

Sukhi Gill, VP and CTO for DXC Technology in UK & Ireland

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