Technologies with the Biggest Impact
At ADAPT’s recent CIO Edge Conference in Melbourne, Director of Strategic Research Matt Boon interviewed speakers Susan Sly, Minerva Tantoco and Steve Hodgkinson. He asked each of them the question:
“What technologies or approaches to technology do you think are going to have the biggest impact in the next 12 to 18 months. Why?”
Process automation in customer facing situations is going to have a massive impact. The technology has been not tapped into yet, because most organisations have not really understood the potential business benefits. That’s because it has been approached from the perspective of replacing people.
I speak to organisations and ask: “Do you have any unmet demand? Are there areas of things that you would like people to look at that you are unable to do at the moment?” That’s where the benefits come. We will see, in the first instance, customer facing areas stepping right into automation.
Following on from that will come internal process automation. The business case may not necessarily be as strong, particularly for small organisations, but it stacks up over the long term. You can then redeploy the attention and the resources you’ve got into high value activities.
The Greek root of the word technê is tool. The CIO needs to grasp how they can use technology as a tool to meet the business goals.
So if it’s risk management, it’s more efficient delivery. If it’s lower cost through automation and AI, which implies that it’s going to replace a human, it needs to turn more into IA – Intelligent Assistance.
Thus, how can the machines help the humans be better. This is the approach CIOs ought to take in re-examining their value and keeping their seat at the table of how to take the business into the next hundred years.
These are the things that people have the hardest time thinking about.
We now have connected plants, connected park benches and connected buses and traffic lights. When you try to reimagine, always remember what it is that makes the business better and faster. That’s what the CIOs can use to help them do the job. In fact, all companies will all become IT companies at the end of the day, because it is technology that will drive their core competitive advantage.
Government is not typically a leading edge adopter of technologies. They want things that are proven and robust, and have a degree ubiquity, and ultimate widespread adoption. This will make them something that we can embrace without necessarily taking adventurous steps.
So I’m still very much of the idea, that the growth of ubiquitous cloud services platforms is the biggest technical innovation in the IT industry. That is because those platforms, Microsoft, Salesforce, etc. create a platform for me to access whatever innovation is coming down the pipe.
One of the biggest technology area is Artificial Intelligence and cognitive natural language processing, image processing and such like. These are fantastic innovations, but in themselves, they are not something that I can really access, unless they come to me through a platform.
We’re not going to go out and set up our own fragmented AI experiments. What we want is an AI capability that just pops up in the platforms that we’re using for our core applications. IIt’s integrated, it’s reliable, plus we’ve got a basis to license and consume it.
It’s an embedded feature of a platform that we’re already using. You can say the same thing for mobile phones. They have been an enormous innovation because that creates a ubiquitous way, for all of our clients, not matter how underprivileged they are, to access our services. Virtually everyone has a mobile phone.
That’s a phenomenal achievement in terms of a channel to ubiquitously make services available through. I’m very much in the, using proven technologies that already exist and are ubiquitously available.
Almost 4000 of our users migrated from Lotus Notes to Office 365. Chatbot capability has now become embedded into Office 365 teams, and we’re implementing that as a way of augmenting the help desk for Office 365.
Now, we probably wouldn’t have gone out and separately procured chat bot technology, and then tried to work out how to integrate it into our environment, but because it’s ubiquitous, it’s an easy and natural thing to use it.
Clearly technology means different things to different stakeholders. The core takeaway from these industry leaders is that investing in new technologies is key to driving change and perceived value of IT to the business.
It is also critically important to capitalise on the technology our users have at their fingertips as we seek to deliver new services, products and approaches to customer engagement.