Take a look at the search term “digital transformation” on the Google Trends chart and you’ll see what an astounding buzzword it has become in the past 18 months. After registering virtually nil interest for over a decade, it rocketed to just a few points short of the peak popularity rating of 100 in September and, once the latest data is compiled and released, will have no doubt hit that magic figure at the time of writing this blog.
Clearly, it’s here to stay. More than that, it’s evolving at a dizzying rate, constantly re-inventing and refining itself to be even faster, more accurate, more useful and more relevant in real-time and real life.
It would take a brave soul to predict exactly where it’s going next. But we’ve sifted through the views of some industry experts to find out what they see on the transformation horizon in the months ahead. Here are some of their findings.
The IoT will lead the way.
Most pundits agree that the Internet of Things will take an increasingly dominant transformatory role. It has already grown by 30% in one year and its ascent is set to turn steeper. That in turn will provide the heartbeat for functions such as analytics, resulting in potentially vast cost savings for companies who use it wisely, as well as the migration toward 5G processing and cloud computing. Which leads the experts to predict…
The cloud will get bigger.
All the big IT names are reportedly working flat out (if they’re not, they’re probably going to be in trouble) to bring the benefits of cloud computing – mobility and scalability among them – to more and more users. The one thing that might ultimately arrest its expansion is the evolution of edge computing, which is coming up fast behind it and promising even more advantages of speed and accuracy for AI devices and applications, as it cuts out the need to process back and forward through the cloud. That cloud isn’t going to simply disappear – there’s already too much invested in it – but it will need to look over its shoulder.
Blockchain will come into its own.
The development of blockchain has perhaps been overshadowed by the explosive growth of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Their well-documented rise in value has been stratospheric enough to prompt scathing criticism from some financial industry leaders, promises of government and regulatory crackdowns and speculation that they could be forming a bubble not seen since the dotcom burst of the late 1990s. Be that as it may, the fact remains that blockchain technology is inescapable, as it’s purpose built to accommodate high-speed interactions without the need to re-engineer outmoded processes. While it’s mainly the preserve of the finance industry at the moment, most observers expect it to extend to areas ranging from healthcare to hospitality.
Virtual reality may get overtaken.
Several experts have commented that virtual reality has not had the impact that was widely expected. Others say the pace of adoption will inevitably pick up, as the tech giants are spending vast amounts on research and development – Facebook alone has acquired more than 10 specialist companies and set them to work on it. But just as cloud computing may be superseded by edge computing, VR may find itself losing ground to its offpsring, augmented reality, which is simply cheaper and easier to use. That’s going to be an interesting battle.
But two things will hardly change at all.
Underlying all these possibilities there are two immutable facts. Customer experience is what it’s all about and no innovation will serve a useful purpose if it doesn’t enhance that experience by making it faster, more efficient and above all more personally tailored.
The other indisputable truth is that all these innovations present some mouthwatering recruitment opportunities and challenges which can only proliferate. If you’re an IT specialist in any of these and other areas, that’s good news for you – as it is, frankly, for us. And if you’d like to discuss those opportunities further, you know where we are.