As digital business go mainstream, the evolution of our technical infrastructure and the supporting ecosystem to pace with fast-changing technology trends will be a key factor in differentiating future businesses
By 2020, the installed base of the Internet of Things (IoT) devices is forecast to grow to almost 31 billion worldwide. This visible shift to connected living where physical and digital worlds converge to offer enhanced experience will touch many everyday activities - hands-free access to information, autonomous driving, and factory robots for tedious tasks, among others. The convergence of digital and physical is not just enabling growth and innovation across industries but is resulting in them redefining how they interact and do business. The way forward for industries is to adopt infrastructure that is asset light, customer-centric and agile to scale up, down, or to meet the demands of the rapidly changing consumer expectations.
According to Markets and Markets, the Cloud infrastructure market is expected to be worth USD 210 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 12.9% between 2016 and 2022 - a clear indication of enterprises looking forward to moving beyond traditional IT infrastructure for a competitive future. By readily adopting asset light infrastructure models, enterprises could reduce infrastructure capital investments and focus on operational efficiency. Outsourcing, asset sharing, licensing infrastructure based on usage, and capitalizing on the hybrid cloud model including virtualization and containerization will offer the much-needed agility.
Innovating with the Cloud
The Cloud offers numerous benefits to enterprises - reduced IT spends and data center footprint, automation, connected and converging technologies, improved productivity, workload optimization and more. Most enterprises have already adopted various models of cloud computing depending on the use case. As research firm Gartner predicts, by 2019, more than 30 percent of the 100 largest vendors' new software investments will have shifted from cloud-first to cloud-only. By adopting multi-tenant cloud architecture companies would be using their resources better.
The software-centric approach to tackle challenges posed by digital transformation and integration of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing and more will only make it easier while allowing better value delivery to customers. For example, the healthcare industry is enabling targeted patient care that’s more accessible and cost effective by integrating cloud, analytics, automation and AI technology. From tracking patient’s vitals through wearables to optimizing admission rates and staff allocation to finding more appropriate cure for cancer- all this and more have only been possible by continuous integration of modern infrastructure.
Simplified Digital Infrastructure
Speed and enhanced user experience are the major driving factors for a rapidly growing digital ecosystem. As digital communication becomes mainstream, platform and operating system agnostic, unified communication tools will combine various forms of communication channels, i.e., voice, data, and video to facilitate contextual communication for next-gen offerings. Cloud based communication services offer the ease of integrating technologies like voice and AI. It also assists companies to provide contextual offerings, enhance employee productivity, improve social collaboration while providing a path to reduced costs. The right network infrastructure, servers, gateways and VoIP integration are necessary to ensure a seamless experience with audio and video devices. Few examples of simplified digital infrastructure enhancing consumer experience include interactive audio-video features in hotels, voice-activated controls and adaptive controls in cars, and digital assistants infused with Artificial Intelligence (AI) that are making traditional interfaces disappear.
Microservices and Containerization
Microservices and containerization help simplify complex business processes by supporting mobility and agility that is instrumental in enhancing customer experience. Microservices application approach separates domain-specific functionality into individual smaller services. While it allows building and operating apps at scale with simple maintenance techniques, containerization assists in asset light infrastructure by enabling multiple versions of cloud instances to run on the same hardware and reduces the complexity in moving software reliably from one computing environment to other. The result is faster deployments of infrastructure while allowing to integrate new features and enhancements easily. For example, Tesla (automobile industry) is using containerization to store and manage data and applications in the car.
Customer-centric IT and application execution agility are other important factors that will ensure that the infrastructure is ready to support next generation applications and services. With innumerable digital channels available for interactions, omnichannel systems of engagement is a must to provide personalized experiences among customers. For example, consider the above mentioned example in the automotive industry – Tesla, where vehicle content is personalized irrespective of the make or model of the car, based on individual preferences through cloud services. This provides the customer with a better and more seamless driving experience.
Focusing on deploying new apps is a great tool to define user experience and API’s can be the glue that connects the customers and services. As APIs enable infrastructure components to adapt to the continuous addition of newer applications by integrating the information ecosystem, it fosters interoperability and streamlines operations while providing a more immersive and richer digital experience to customers.
As companies decide to adopt digital transformation and relook at their legacy infrastructure, most companies often prefer a bimodal setup where they have access to mission-critical traditional resources while also allows them to exploit the benefits of asset-light models. We at HARMAN have a proven expertise in helping organizations graduate to new-age digital ecosystems by integrating the old and new seamlessly.
I conclude the 5 Meta Trends blog series: Reimagining Convenience with Audio as an Interface ,Riding the Data Wave in 2018 and Beyond,Connected Intelligence Ecosystem: An Enterprise’s Road to the Future,Leapfrog to Smart, Information-Rich Communication Channels and Dynamic IT Infrastructures.I would like to know your thoughts on what you would like to hear from me next.