looking inside
January 15, 2018

2018 technology trends for leaders to consider, looking inside

By Paul Laughlin

Following on from our post on technology trends for leaders to consider, based on consumers, let’s look inwards.

By that, I mean let’s consider both the needs of today’s organisations & technical innovations less visible to consumers.

In this post, we will update you on progress with blockchain. You may recall, our posts explaining this & asking the key questions for analytics leaders. We will also consider how AI can impact how organisations are run and finally a number of CDOs thoughts on implications for data strategy.

But first, I want to build on the CMS Wire blog post, which I shared at the end of our last post. That is, the one on the rise of VR.

Technology trends for leaders: AR

I want to return to the topic of Augmented Reality (AR). That is because there have been some exciting developments in AR.

Complementing what CMS Wire shared, this time I want to focus more on AR. In this post from the Australian Smart Company blog, they explain AR & show how a number of companies are using this.

It is, of course, very visible to consumers (especially since Pokemon Go). But this post shares how it is also being developed, internally, within businesses. Across retailers, construction, manufacturing & training applications. It is also interesting to note their comments on how AR can help bring use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices to life. Making them visible in the home for consumers or employees to control.

It’s time to get ready for augmented reality – SmartCompany

New augmented reality technologies are set to change industries – from construction to retail – and transform the way we interact with the digital world in everyday life.

Lots of interesting examples in that post, but I also note the challenges on ‘visual clutter‘. Once again customer insight is needed to both prioritise applications & inform UX design, so visual display helps user.

Technology trends for leaders: Blockchain + AI

Returning to the theme of new technologies converging to achieve more, the same could be said of blockchain & AI.

I shared in a previous post that despite all the potential of blockchain technology, there were still a number of questions to answer. A later update shows encouraging progress, but not yet obvious readiness for mainstream analytics work.

So, I was encouraged to see this article on Medium. In it, experienced AI blogger (and past guest blogger here), Francesco Corea explains the potential of such collaboration. From improving  crypto currency ‘mining’, to scalability, improved security & reducing talent gap. There are many potential benefits of using AI to improve blockchain.

What is, perhaps, less obvious, is the ways blockchain can also improve AI applications. Francesco makes a good case for the benefits of explainability, effectiveness and trust. The potential to reduce barriers to entry may be the closest to a killer app for this combination.

View at Medium.com

I hope you found that a useful summary. I would encourage Data Science leaders, who are already piloting AI applications, to get up to speed on potential blockchain uses.

Francesco also concludes with thoughts about how these technologies may transform companies. There are reasons to believe they empower decentralisation, but many new technologies have held out that promise.

Technology trends for leaders: Self-Learning Data Organisations

Continuing that theme of organisational transformation. The next trend I want to consider, again concerns the application potential of AI (inc. Machine Learning). A post from experienced Data Science blogger, Vincent Granville, reflects on the implications.

Vincent raises how AI, Analytics & Cloud Computing will (probably slowly) change businesses. Using Data Management Platforms as a Service (PaaS) has the potential to reduce cost of ownership & improve ROI for insight teams.

GDPR is, rightly, referenced and it’s interesting to see Vincent predict that compliance as standard may become expected. Services that work in multi-cloud environments, hosting businesses data & data processing, need solutions. Users may expect, what he describes as ‘defensive strategies’, for free.

2018: The Year of the Self-Learning Data Organization

As 2017 ends, Ramon Chen, Chief Product Officer at Reltio, the creator of data-driven applications, has peered into his crystal ball to decipher what 2018 will bring in data management. Find his predictions below. 2018 will be the year of AI and Machine Learning …

Worth reading that article especially if you plan to invest in a cloud platform for data management of analytics as a service. Indeed, a number of ideas raised by Vincent, prompt me to consider further academic work to build on my previous paper.

How will this new data environment change the metrics expected and how your business operates? What are the implications for data & customer insight leaders?

Technology trends for leaders: Data Strategy

Data strategies might sound like a dry subject at the best of times. In the context of sexy new technologies, they could sound out-of-place. However, an interesting piece on the Dataversity blog, prompted me to reconsider.

In this blog post, a  number of data experts are interviewed about their expectations for 2018. A mixture of data agency leaders & client side CDOs. They make a good case for the scale of change needed, in data strategies, being one of the biggest changes this year.

Data Strategy Trends in 2018 – DATAVERSITY

As the calendar page has turned to 2018, a sound Data Strategy remains a goal for many companies, but still somewhat elusive. “2017 underscored just how fundamental, and fundamentally difficult, the changes needed to manage data assets/become data-driven really are,” says Thomas C. Redman, president of Data Quality Solutions.

What struck me most out of that article was the many calls for a focus on two topics. The implications of GDPR on many aspects of businesses (inc. strategy). Plus, the cultural work needed to ensure data understanding & compliant usage in every part of a business.

I agree with those reflections. In fact, from my own business, I have launched a GDPR awareness training course, to help others achieve that cultural embedding. My past experience, providing evidence to the FCA, has taught me why such training matters.

Technology trends for leaders: Which will you choose

I hope this short two-part series has helped you. Has it prompted you to review relevant technologies for your 2018 plans?

Please do share any others you consider important. Which new technologies are you planning to pilot this year? Which are impacting your data & analytics plans, because of adoption elsewhere in your business?

I wish you a productive, January. Hope you can protect time, for the goal setting and planning, that will help you succeed this year.