The challenge is to invest in finding more direct routes to connect with customers without losing sight of margins and cash flows
Making strategic decisions for the near future of your business is a task that the pandemic has further complicated. Let's put ourselves in the shoes of a CEO grappling with the process of digital transformation and the need to accelerate its adoption in response to the changes imposed by the prolonged state of emergency. Which technologies are most worthwhile to invest in with the imperative to find more direct routes to connect with customers without losing sight of margins and cash flow?
The watchword is "resilience"
Gartner's experts have tried to answer this question (even before the Omicron variant exploded), outlining a dozen trends considered to be true multipliers of innovation in the next three to five years and grouping them into three distinct clusters. The first is trust, which should be addressed by tools to ensure that the company has a more resilient and efficient IT infrastructure to manage data in cloud and non-cloud environments. The second is change, which must be addressed through new technologies to scale and accelerate the automation of business activities and the digitisation of the entire organisation, including decision-making processes. The third is business growth, to be sustained by maximising value creation and enhancing digital capabilities. Here, in no particular order, are some of the strategic technology trends for 2022. And why they are valuable.
In technical jargon, the industry calls it a 'data fabric', which is, in a nutshell, a data architecture that is adaptable, flexible and secure. In many ways, it's a new strategic approach to enterprise storage operations, making the most of cloud resources, core systems and edge and IoT devices. The benefit? Providing flexible and resilient integration of data sources across enterprise platforms (and users), making information available wherever it is needed, regardless of where it lives and resides.
And where analytics technologies come into play, a data fabric can help IT managers to use and modify data while saving up to 70% in management costs. The advantages of a modular architecture that integrates distributed and disparate services can also be exploited in terms of security. The application of "Cybersecurity Mesh" systems will be the tool that allows stand-alone solutions to work together to improve the overall level of protection, speeding up the verification of key parameters such as identity, context and compliance.
Cloud-native platforms and composable applications
Building new application architectures - resilient, elastic and agile - to better respond to the rapid change enabled by digital transformation is one of the mantras that IT managers are called upon to observe, and cloud-native platforms are the technological answer to this need. The ultimate goal is to overcome the limitations of the traditional 'lift-and-shift' approach to the cloud, which allows an application with its associated data to be moved from the on-premise data centre to the cloud without having to redesign it from scratch. Another trend that experts believe will streamline the work of IT departments is modular applications built with business-centric components, which make it easier to use and reuse code and accelerate the time to market of software solutions.
Decision-making intelligence and hyper-automation
Modelling every decision as a set of processes, using the tools of intelligence and advanced analytics to refine this process, is the culmination of what Gartner calls - very concretely and without much imagination - 'decision intelligence'. The next step? Automating this intelligence through the use of augmented analytics, simulations and of course algorithms. CEOs and CIOs will then have to familiarise themselves with another term that will soon become recurrent: hyper-automation, i.e. a disciplined, business-driven approach to rapidly identifying and examining as many business and IT processes as possible, in the name of scalability, remote operation and discontinuity (disruption) of existing business models.
Autonomic systems and generative algorithms
Artificial intelligence will be increasingly pervasive within business processes, and its engineering will foster its delivery and use to power organisations that will be increasingly distributed and oriented towards a digital-first (to meet consumers' demand for virtual services) and remote-first (to manage hybrid workplaces) business model. Finally, two trends that look beyond 2022, autonomic systems and generative Ai, are filled with advanced machine learning capabilities. The former learn from their environment and dynamically and autonomously modify their algorithms in real time to optimise their behaviour in complex ecosystems. The latter recognises artefacts from data and generates creations similar to the original, providing companies with the potential to create new forms of innovative content (such as video) and to accelerate research and development cycles in fields such as medicine.
Copiright: Il Sole 24 ORE