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Special Report

2016 Trends: Digital Transformation and New Technologies

January 2016

Digital disruption will continue to be a defining force in 2016. How can companies use new technologies to transform their enterprises so that they can be more reactive to customer expectations, and compete with nimble startups? Oracle Insight’s experts share their views on digital transformation and new technologies shaping the business landscape in 2016, and what enterprises can do to prepare.

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“The opportunity for wearables in the enterprise space is huge and mostly untapped. Analyst firm Compass Intelligence believes that through 2019, the market for enterprise wearable devices will grow at a rate of 139 percent. Most of the growth is expected to be fueled by industries where hands-free and location-independent operations of wearables will be utilized in day-to-day activities, including the medical, healthcare, industrial, military, oil & gas, and field services industries. However, for wearables to be of real value in the business space, they need to be smart enough to enhance workforce efficiency and eventually save money for the business. As developers bring compelling use cases and develop business apps, companies need to be infrastructure-ready to support such devices in the near future.” —Cheris Bhatia

“2016 will see the resurgence of manufacturing, with the rise of Industry 4.0 and the digital factory of the future. Smart factories will soon be using parts with embedded sensors that talk to the machines and verification devices, confirming where they fit, or how much torque to apply to that specific bolt. These parts will navigate themselves through the factory, for example, selecting a 15mm washer or a blue cap to the correct packaging area for a specific customer. Workers will transmit production information through smart devices, as gigabytes of data fly around invisibly, optimizing the factory parameters in a performance feedback loop, amidst a fusion of cyber-physical systems (human beings and machines cooperating at work), the Internet of Things, and the Internet of Services. Enterprises engaging in high-value manufacturing will need to manage their ERP and SCM operations differently for productivity, product customization, supply chain responsiveness, and quality.” —Peng Kheng Chiang

“The world of the digital is quickly merging with the physical. Augmented reality has become a regular part of our lives—from navigation systems that tell us where to go to apps that suggest the best restaurant based on information from multiple sources. The concept of augmenting reality is a very familiar one in our personal lives, but not yet in the enterprise. That is changing quickly. In business domains such as operations, manufacturing, and retail, the overlay of digital information to a business activity adds a powerful, data-driven decision tool. Imagine a fulfillment warehouse where an augmented reality app helps workers visualize where to pick up an order, and directs them to it based on optimized routing. As the worker picks up the item, the app updates the order status. The efficiency gained over thousands of orders can be significant.” —Yashpaul Singh Dogra

“The term ‘internet+’ has become a booming concept in China, leading various industries to transform through e-commerce, O2O, social media, mobility, and big data. In the past few years, the auto industry in China has focused these new technologies on just sales, through e-commerce, which has not been fruitful. Better results can be achieved focusing on marketing and services—especially in the areas of brand loyalty, after-sales O2O, and financial product innovations.” —Albert Wang

“Second-tier financial institutions in Asia have always tried to bootstrap operations and limit expenditure to what is strictly necessary. Studies show that their investments in new technology have been dedicated mainly to maintenance rather than innovation. These institutions are now been forced to review the entire core banking structure, to ready it for big data and business intelligence, and to reduce maintenance costs in order to compete against much cheaper payment platforms. Also, cooperation with telecommunications companies is becoming strategically more important. Financial inclusion of people in rural areas will push the two industries to work more closely together and exploit synergies where possible, and possibly even to merge.” —Mario Manca

“ROPO—research online, purchase offline—is a new trend in buying behavior in the retail space which refers to customers researching product information online to qualify their buying decision before actually deciding to buy it in their local store, due to convenience and price motivations. Several e-commerce practices can be expanded or complemented to drive growth in offline sales including mobile applications, omni-channel marketing, couponing strategies, and geolocalization. The revenue promise is huge for retailers, so leveraging online assets to boost offline sales will be high on digital transformation agendas.” —Julio Ledesma Sanchez-Canete

Photography by Shutterstock