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What CIOs need to know about the 2018 game changers

Esmond Tong
Vice-président, Platform Cloud, Oracle APAC

It is no secret that cloud is a major game changer, acting as a catalyst for the arrival and adoption of a whole host of disruptive new emerging business technologies and models.  Chatbots, artificial intelligence and blockchain promise new opportunities for businesses growth by driving personalized engagements, delivering new sources of revenue, and reducing service and infrastructure costs.

With so much change happening so rapidly, what do CIOs need to know about the key emerging technologies as they seek to ensure they successfully support the business?

The Artificial intelligence (AI) bubble

Humans are being challenged to keep up and make sense of the rapid proliferation of data - across Finance, HR, Sales or Marketing systems or in Operations around systems management and security.

While AI promises an answer, serious implementations are currently few and far between; according to McKinsey only 20 percent of AI-aware firms say they are currently adopters of the technology, and as Forrester says in its Predictions 2018: The Honeymoon For AI Is Over report, moving beyond the hype will require hard work around planning, deploying and governing it correctly.  

As an alternative, companies should consider the 25 percent of enterprise applications and other cloud tools that we believe will include a custom AI-based capability by 2020[1].  These will allow organisations to take advantage of all the benefits of AI, without having to develop the specialised skills to develop it.

Automation, everywhere

One of the topics that often comes up in conjunction with AI is automation: Forrester predicts this market will accelerate faster in 2018 as firms look to squeeze performance and insights out of previously commodity operations.  

Automation will help organisations to spot performance irregularities and identify security risks in real-time and potentially, entirely remove human error; Expectations are that operations currently experiencing 20,000 human-managed interventions per year to soon fall to just 20 human-managed interventions each year and more than half of all enterprise data will be managed autonomously in the cloud by 2020[2].

Chatbots take over customer support

Chatbots have evolved to full conversational interfaces for accessing information and conducting business transactions, and are proving a fantastic tool for enhancing customer service and increasing productivity.

With increasingly sophisticated conversational platforms arriving, it is expected that most customer support interactions will be handled by intelligent chatbots by 2020[3].

Blockchain will disrupt, and more than just finance

Another disruptive technology force, blockchain, is transforming the global financial industry, amongst others. Already, more than 2,500 new blockchain-related patents have been filed, and its financial impact is predicted to top US$176 billion by 2025[4].

It’s still early days though.  At the end of 2017, Deloitte reported that only 8 percent of 27,000 new blockchain projects that surfaced in the market in 2016 remained active. 

Things are changing.  Enterprise class cloud services are arriving and 30 percent of blockchain proof-of-concepts are expected to get approval[5], showing it certainly has the potential to become the disruptive standard in multi-party and complex agreement commerce. Financial services and supply chains will lead the way, followed by healthcare, retail, and the public sector.

IoT will finally get integrated

Gartner’s technology predictions for 2018 foresaw the proliferation of intelligent objects , driving a ‘shift from stand-alone intelligent things to a swarm of collaborative intelligent things’.

While more than 50 billion connected devices are already in circulation today, only 1 percent of IoT data is currently analysed and utilised and the focus is on devices and connectivity—not business outcomes and action[6]. This trend is fast changing.

In fact, businesses should be burning with excitement about the opportunities ahead in 2018, with products and tools around technologies such as blockchain, chatbots, and machine learning becoming mature enough for real-world projects. 

To learn more about how you can prepare your business for AI, IoT and blockchain -and empower your organization to exploit them now and in the future, read our Transformational Technologies for Today brief[WT1] . You’ll discover how cloud acts as both an enabler and an accelerant and explore Oracle’s capabilities in AI, IoT and blockchain—powerful on their own, but transformational when combined.



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