Research & Development

9 emerging technologies that will shape the digital future

Jan 24, 2019 | 493 views

The factory of the future needs to bring together next-generation ERP, machine learning, integrated sensors throughout production, augmented reality training, mobile visualization and predictive flow scheduling, secure networks and cloud-based tools to manage workflow. Not to mention the need to re-equip workers and cross-pollination between traditional information and operational technology skills and functions. "Curiously, many of the things that looked so incredible 10 years ago are now fundamental," says Deloitte in the tenth edition of the Tech Trends study, released this week.

It's really remarkable how fast organizations across all sectors and regions have navigated issues such as cloud adoption, cyber security, the internet of things, the imminent impact of mobile devices on the enterprise, and user-centered design. A decade ago, many companies were able to gain competitive advantage by adopting innovations and trends that were already underway. Today, this type of reactive approach is no longer sufficient, warns the consultancy. To stay ahead of the game, companies must work methodically to feel new innovations and possibilities, understand their ambitions for the future and find the confidence to move beyond the digital divide.

In the opinion of the study's authors, Bill Briggs and Scott Buchholz, the full potential of technologies like cloud and analytics remains largely untapped. Investments in them are often departmental and limited in scope. Similarly, in some companies, analytic, cloud and digital initiatives are disjointed, even competing efforts.

Meanwhile, three more recent trends - digital reality, cognitive technologies and blockchain - are rapidly growing in importance. Virtual reality and augmented reality are redefining the fundamental ways humans interact with the environment, the data, and each other. And the cognitive technologies such as machine learning, RPA, natural language processing, neural networks, and AI have shifted from incipient capabilities to principles of strategy, we explore their deep potential for business and society . These three trends are poised to become as familiar and impactful as the cloud, the Analytics, and the digital experience today.

Three formative forces proved to be essential in the pursuit of digital transformation: modernization of the central systems to serve as a basis for innovation and growth; bringing cybersecurity and the broader risk domain of a compliance-based activity to a built-in strategic function; and reengineering an organization's technological function to deliver on the promise of emerging and existing technologies - or risk failing in its mission.

So nine forces - digital experience, cloud, analytics, blockchain, cognitive computing, digital reality, business of technology, central modernization and cybersecurity - continue to shape our digital future. And just because they are more particularly new, does not mean that they are not vitally important. Indeed, one of the most pressing challenges faced by technology and business leaders is how to dig up and harness the value that these macro forces can collectively offer, the authors of the report point out.

They point out that it is important to keep in mind that these nine macro forces are just ingredients of a much higher business technology revenue. As with many good recipes, measurements need not be accurate and can be tailored to meet specific needs. But the point of this specific recipe is that macroeconomic forces must unite in a manufacturing line, or a process of accounts payable, or in a new way of engaging loyal customers. Your collision can unleash vast possibilities. Deploying them individually, at this point in the digital revolution, is no longer a recipe for success. "In every industry, we are seeing how macroeconomic forces, working together, are driving digital transformation and generating new strategic and operational opportunities," they say.

Through their collision and unleashed innovation, these forces are likely to dominate IT, business, and corporate markets to an even greater extent than individual technologies. With macro forces, it is the controlled collision that takes beyond the digital frontier.

The nine macro forces are the enduring technological trends that will continue to shape strategies and dominate investment priorities. But consider that they are not independent and isolated entities. The call to CIOs and IT leaders is to reveal which combination is important to any line of business, function, agency, or country; to confidently trace a path beyond convention and organizational inertia; and elevate the narrative from that of enabling technology to what of its combined effects - going beyond trends and beyond the digital frontier.

Emerging technology trends may seem illusory and ephemeral, but some become an integral part of business and IT strategies - and form the backbone of tomorrow's technological innovation.

Reaching the full potential of artificial intelligence

The journey to fully autonomous artificial intelligence is part of a growing trend in which companies become AI-powered organizations, where AI is an integral component of corporate strategy. This trend also refers to an ongoing commitment to redesign key business systems, processes and strategies around the AI ​​and its possibilities. Its ultimate goal: an organization in which humans and machines work together on digital systems designed to take advantage of data-driven insights.

The number of companies following in the footsteps of AI pioneers is likely to increase over the next 18-24 months as more leaders identify ways to use cognitive technologies to achieve strategic goals. In two consecutive Deloitte global surveys (2016-17 and 2018), cognitive technologies and AI led the list of emerging technologies in which CIOs planned to invest. Their ambitions are based on practical (and achievable) benefits: AI can increase productivity, enforce regulatory compliance through automation, and help organizations extract meaning from ever-larger data sets.

According to Deloitte, as organizations stop using technology on isolated pilots to deploy larger AI systems, they should consider three system models that are currently at play:

- Native to the cloud. Given the rise of AI in the enterprise technology arena, it is conceivable that an AI-as-a-service platform could be the next major operating system.

- Package attached. In an alternative approach to the native cloud model, several vendors are investing in AI platforms as complements to their core functionality.

- Open algorithm. Numerous startups and boutique software stores are developing artificial intelligence solutions to address specific business needs, use cases, and vertical issues.

NoOps in a serverless world

Traditionally, according to the consultancy, the CIO's responsibility to keep business critical technology systems up and running absorbs up to 70% of IT budget as well as considerable amounts of labor bandwidth. Cheaper storage, cloud and outsourcing reduced this budget spend by 20 percent or more. However, in an age of perpetually constrained IT budgets, finding ways to redirect financial and human assets from operations to innovation remains an important goal of the CIO.

In many reengineering initiatives, automation is the key that enables significant efficiency and cost savings. Now, as part of a growing trend, CIOs are taking their automation efforts to the next level with serverless computing. In this model, cloud providers dynamically and automatically allocate computing, storage and memory based on the request of a higher order service (such as a database or a code function).

In traditional cloud service models, organizations had to design and provision these allocations manually. Now they are trying to create a NoOpsInteli, where the IT environment is automated and abstracted from the underlying infrastructure, so that only very small teams are needed to manage it. CIOs can then invest the surplus human capacity to develop new value-added resources that can increase operational speed and efficiency. In NoOps environments, traditional operations such as code deployment and patch schedules remain as internal responsibilities - they are simply automated to the extreme.

Serverless computing gives CIOs a toolkit to transform their IT operations. Its potential benefits include effectively unlimited scalability and high availability, NoOps (or at least fewer OPs) and no downtime cost. This does not replace or compromise the potential of DevOps. In fact, this reinforces the need to rethink the culture, roles, and responsibilities of technology, enabling tools and processes.

The report reminds us that transitions from traditional to serverless environments do not happen overnight. During these transitions, operations talent may still have to perform some routine database tasks and ensure that key systems are tuned and maintained. But now they will have the bandwidth to improve and redefine their roles.

"As you explore serverless offerings, be aware that this computing model is still evolving - it should not be interpreted as a cure for all development and operations problems," the authors of the report advise. "The journey of legacy internal servers to cloud-based computing, storage, and memory will not be without challenges, but as more and more CIOs are realizing, an opportunity to fundamentally transform IT from reactive to proactive is too good to ignore." , they say.

The spectrum and potential of the advanced network

Traditionally, the network of contacts has lived in the shadow of disruptive corporate technologies of high profile - like digital experience, cognitive and cloud - that capture imaginations and headlines. Networking, while essential, is not particularly sexy. That is about to change, according to Deloitte.

Increasingly, network-dependent technology forces are transforming enterprise architecture. For example, proliferation of mobile devices, sensors, serverless computing, explosive volumes of shared data, and automation require advanced connectivity and differentiated networking. In fact, advanced connectivity is fast becoming one of the pillars of digital business.

As they develop advanced networking strategies, CIOs must begin by examining how core capabilities can be able to advance their digital transformation agendas, say the authors of the report. And consider these building blocks for advanced connectivity:

- 5G. The fifth generation of wireless wireless technology represents a radical shift with faster speed, lower latency and - importantly - the ability to connect a large number of sensors and smart devices to a network.

- Edge Computing. Applications such as industrial automation, virtual reality, and standalone decision making will require high computing power with very low latency (round-trip time from the device to the cloud and vice versa). In these situations, data processing can be partitioned with a part executed in a "mini-cloud" as close as possible to the device - ideally embedded in the device or at the endpoint itself.

According to the consultant, CIOs are virtualizing parts of the connectivity stack using the following network management techniques:

- Network defined by software. SDN is now a layer of software that sits at the top of a physical network composed of network devices such as switches and routers. Long time restricted primarily to use in the data center, the technology is now being extended to wide area networks to connect data centers or other multi-tenancy applications.

- Virtualization of network functions. And NFV replaces network functions such as routing, switching, encryption, firewall, WAN acceleration, and load balancing provided by dedicated physical network devices with virtualized software and can scale horizontally or vertically on demand.

CIOs can use these advanced connectivity blocks along with existing LAN technologies such as Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and wide-area capabilities such as Gigabit and 4G LTE broadband to create configurable networks that can be tailored to meet various corporate needs, the report says. In the same way that companies use the cloud computing infrastructure with SDN and NFV, they will be able to accelerate, tear down, and optimize on-demand network resources to meet specific application or end-user requirements.

"Advanced networking is the unknown hero of our digital future, offering a continuum of connectivity that can drive the development of new products and services or transform inefficient business models." In the coming months, expect to see companies from all industries and geographies leveraging connectivity to configure and operate tomorrow's corporate networks, "the authors point out.


In an emerging technology trend that could redesign - or even erase - boundaries between humans and computers, a new generation of smart interfaces is turning farfetched into reality. These interfaces combine the latest user-centric design techniques with state-of-the-art technologies such as Machine Learning, Robotics, IoT, Contextual Awareness, Enhanced Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality. Working together, these techniques and capabilities are transforming the way we engage with machines, data, and each other.

For example, using cameras, sensors, and computer vision, a retailer can track and analyze the movements, look, and behavior of consumer stores to identify regular customers and assess their mood. By cross-analyzing information with customers 'purchase histories, the retailer can send promotions in real time to buyers' mobile devices or, in the not too distant future, be able to predict a need based on the subconscious behaviors of a customer. client. and place a preventive order on your behalf.

According to the report, voice use cases are now proliferating in storage facilities, customer service, and especially field operations where technicians armed with a variety of voice-activated wearables can interact with systems and company employees without needing phone or printed instructions.

The authors of the study further point out that, while conversation technologies may currently dominate the smart interfaces arena, many see a different breed of solutions gaining ground. "They feature, among other capabilities, computer vision, gesture control devices, embedded eye tracking platforms, bioacoustic sensing, emotion detection / recognition technology, and muscle-computer interfaces. such as brain-controlled interfaces, exoskeleton and gait analysis, volumetric displays, spatial computing, and electro-vibration detection, "they write.

In Deloitte's opinion, smart interfaces offer B2C and B2B opportunities in a number of areas:

- Tracking customers' offline habits. Just as search engines and social media companies can track their customers' digital habits, some smart interface features already allow them to track physical behavior.

- New products and sets of solutions. Understanding customers on a personal and detailed level will enable "micro-personalized" products and services.

- Efficiency. Today, companies are exploring opportunities to use technologies of virtual reality, mixed reality, mixed reality, 360, AI and sensors to increase operational efficiency and individual productivity.

But beware: any intelligent interface initiative involves underlying technological capabilities to bring it to life. As the fidelity and complexity of these experiences evolve, developing the support infrastructure needed to collect, analyze, and disseminate infinitely more data from more input sources will cause the experiments to be broken. There are also distribution, storage, compression, and data delivery considerations, and that's where having an IT strategy to manage the backbone elements of smart interfaces will be crucial.

To say that this tendency is potentially harmful would be a euphemism - it simply represents the next great technological transformation. And this transformation is already under way. If you are not exploring the role that voice, computer vision and a growing set of other interfaces will play in the future of your business, you are already late for the game.

DevSecOps and the cyber imperative

According to the report's authors, DevOps tactics and tools are dramatically changing the way IT organizations innovate. In the midst of this transformation, IT leaders are finding that long-term approaches to integrating security into new products are not keeping pace with the development of high-speed continuous delivery software. "In fact, in the DevOps arena, traditional" bolted "security techniques and manual controls that rely on inherited practices are often perceived as impediments to speed, transparency, and overall security effectiveness," they say.

In a growing trend, some companies have begun to incorporate culture, practices and security tools into every phase of their DevOps pipelines, an approach known as DevSecOps. "Deployed strategically, DevSecOps can help improve a company's DevOps pipeline compliance and security maturity levels while increasing quality and productivity and reducing time to market. DevSecOps enables you to automate good cybersecurity practices across the toolkit so they are used consistently to help ensure that all of the products you're targeting are known - tested, trusted, and trusted, "says the report.

Deloitte does not see DevSecOps as a security trend in itself, but rather an aspect of the DevOps revolution that gives businesses a different way of thinking about security, including:

Open collaboration on shared goals. Architects, developers, testers, and security operators share expectations and metrics that align with security and focus on business priorities.

Strengthen and elevate through automation. Automating recurring tasks throughout the development, testing, and operations lifecycle enables you to incorporate preemptive operational controls, create continuous audit trails, and respond quickly in a repetitive manner.

Risk-oriented operations and actionable insights. Organizations that incorporate DevSecOps into their development pipelines can use operational intelligence and threat intelligence to guide process flow, prioritization, and fix recommendations.

Proactive monitoring and recursive feedback. Automated and continuous testing helps identify problems before they become problems.

In summary, DevSecOps incorporates secure culture, practices, and tools to generate visibility, collaboration, and agility at every stage of the DevOps pipeline. "Like any other IT program, DevSecOps must directly link to your broader IT strategy, which in turn must be driven by your business strategy. If a DevOps program supports your IT and business strategy , incorporate the 'Sec' at the same time. In a short time, it can help you strengthen your cybernetic maturity, "the authors recommend.