An intelligent ecosystem with connected environments offers not only actionable insights that drive incremental business value but also redefines human experiences. Environments that continuously learn and adapt to new demands are setting brand new experiences, unleashing a new era of connectivity.

 
IDC predicts that by 2020 the digital universe will reach 40 zettabytes (ZB), which is 40 trillion GB of data for every person on Earth. Currently, less than 1% of this data is analyzed. If utilized appropriately, this massive untapped data has the power to transform businesses.
 
This untouched data is an exploitable resource that flows seamlessly, connects systems and fosters collaboration - it is an ecosystem in itself. Applying machine learning and AI automation techniques, businesses can access this data, teach machines to comprehend interactions and provide intelligent responses. With real-time analysis, cloud computing, IoT, AI and business socialization, companies will be able to provide contextual offerings that enhance business value and customer outcomes. Such connected intelligent ecosystems will support enterprises to tap into their business intelligence and serve as a platform to outpace the competition.
 
For companies that are looking to take advantage of the power of ecosystems and harness their invaluable, untapped data, here are a few challenges that need to be addressed:
 

Data Standardization:
 
The first step to ensure data shareability across systems is through the standardization of data architectures. Diverse systems need to be able to converse seamlessly even when data comes from different sources. This calls for certain conventions that make data less ambiguous, more consistent and capable of integrating with multiple systems. These standards also facilitate advanced analysis, driving business value by generating actionable insights.
 
Consistency in data can often be achieved by investing in this key area during the early stages of designing an offering.  Auditing data for usefulness at the source and normalizing it could seem effort intensive in the beginning but saves enormous effort, time and money over the long term as well as providing enhanced organization speed to respond to market changes.
 

Portability across Devices:
 
Standards facilitate interoperability or portability across devices. A sharing ecosystem flourishes when devices, protocols, and languages are platform-agnostic. For example, the use of a data cable or pen drive is not restricted to the brand of computer we use due to a set of defined standards that are accepted universally.
 
To ensure seamless user experiences and adoption of any new technology, integration issues should be tackled at the initial stage. With the rapid rise in adoption of connected devices, enterprises are competing to capture the market with varied offerings. However, a lack of synergy among them results in incoherent user experiences. For example, trying to control smart devices with any voice assistant (be it Bixby, Siri, Alexa or Cortana) should be possible despite its brand.
 

Collaborative Ecosystems:
 
Synergy in standards allows us to build a more collaborative ecosystem that in turn personalizes and enhances customer experience. The collaboration of smart homes, smart retail, smart things, and smart offices to communicate with each other and offer hands-free convenience to users is just one example of how future collaborative ecosystems will delight customers.
 
While the devices share information between them, the need to put the insights generated from these communicative devices into perspective also needs to be in sync. If a smart connected-cars’ software analyses a driver's behavior to show their abnormal driving pattern, this insight needs to be projected to the driver in order to make a change and potentially also to other vehicles and city infrastructure. Our ability to work together to enable Connected Intelligence frameworks will define the way individuals and enterprises interact and innovate in the future.
 
With the next-generation of flexible, connected systems that are continually learning and adapting to new demands, workplaces will become increasingly smarter and provide us with a new set of experiences. Building platforms, objects, and infrastructure endowed with intelligence is the step ahead for a new progressive and cohesive era. 
 
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