Deloitte explores the rapid evolution of business technology in its eighth annual technology report, “Tech Trends 2017: The Kinetic Enterprise.” Released last week, the report describes how companies presently must sift through the promotional noise and hyperbole surrounding emerging technologies to find those solutions offering real potential. To realize that potential, they should become “kinetic” organizations — companies with the dexterity and vision required to thrive amid ongoing technology-fueled disruption.
Tech Trends 2017 examines seven key trends that will likely revolutionize enterprise technology in the next 18 to 24 months. Among the trends discussed are machine intelligence, dark analytics and mixed reality, which is a blend of augmented reality, Internet-of-Things and virtual reality. The report also covers innovations in analytics, digital and cloud that are transforming the way organizations engage with customers and citizens; and reimagine products, services and business models.
“Kinetic enterprises are fluid and their leaders understand that to remain relevant, they will need to develop a deliberate innovation response to these disruptive forces,” said Bill Briggs, chief technology officer and managing director, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “It’s not about chasing every shiny new object; it’s about translating the raw potential of emerging technology into a focused set of priorities with measurable, tangible business impact.”
According to the report, some of the key trends that will transform the business landscape in 2017 and beyond include:
- Dark Analytics: Advances in computer vision and pattern recognition allow companies to plumb the recesses of unstructured data, which may include images, audio, video and information residing in the “deep web.” These tools can unlock powerful strategic and operational insights for businesses in the next level of technology-driven enlightenment.
- Everything-as-a-Service: Services-based ecosystems are becoming increasingly common in business. This model requires open and agile systems, which could provide a business rationale for modernizing legacy core systems. From next-generation ERP to “replatforming” custom back-office applications, everything-as-a-service (XaaS) can help information technology achieve greater efficiencies and lay a foundation for business innovation and growth.
- Machine Intelligence: Artificial intelligence and machine learning are doing more than providing insights and recommendations. Increasingly they are augmenting and automating more complex, mission-critical tasks. This continuum covers cognitive and predictive analytics, bots and robotics process automation — related but distinct disciplines delivering on the broader promise of machine intelligence.
“This goes beyond the CIOs and IT department. There are factors changing every element of business,” said Briggs. “Machine intelligence, blockchain and other technologies will have huge implications for talent, operations, and for the enterprise as a whole. Developing a strategy for prioritizing investments and harnessing these emerging technologies has become a boardroom directive.”
The report’s “Exponentials” chapter identifies four key areas blending science and applied technologies — nanotechnology, advanced energy storage, synthetic biology and quantum computing. Business leaders across industries should be aware of the looming potential these technological advances hold and begin exploring ways to harness exponentials within their organizations.
In addition, each chapter features a “Cyber Implications” section, which helps CIOs balance potential with responsibility around security, privacy and compliance. For the kinetic enterprise, striking this balance is necessity, and reflects a shift toward viewing risk strategically as a core discipline. The report also includes case studies, perspectives from industry luminaries, and experience from Deloitte practitioners that crosses government, business and society.