In 2019, enterprise adoption of process automation technologies will continue with the same vigor as the technologies are expected to make the enterprises nimble, data-centric and quick to make decisions across geographies. Also, using AI/machine learning technologies the natural activities of making a phone call, taking a video, or taking a picture could be used to fill out data-enriched forms automatically. In addition, with GDPR becoming a reality and hosts of other countries passing similar privacy laws, data usage will be closely monitored.
Here are 5 technology trends to watch out for in 2019:
1) Digital process automation will accelerate
Enterprise adoption of process automation technologies will continue with the same vigor as the technologies are expected to make the enterprises nimble, data-centric and quick to make decisions across geographies. More importantly, process automation will also help enterprises to go beyond the simple operational and efficiency gains made with basic automation to tap new revenue opportunities.
For example, a bank embracing fintech can use digital process automation to improve real-time visibility into its customers' data and factor the improved view into real-time risk assessment of the customers. To elucidate further, a bank could provide its customers with digital tools related to accounting, receivables, payables, and all other back office functions. The customers can give permission to the bank to use selective data to have good visibility on the velocity of their businesses. This could enable the bank to provide financial services at a faster clip to the customer and at lower cost, not only due to automation but also do due to better risk visibility of the customer.
2) OCR/NLP/voice/video/image processing will aid productivity gains
The main nemesis of process automation is any web form customers, employees, or partners must fill out when an organization wants to capture their data. Every one dreads screens with forms.
AI/machine learning technologies are mature enough to process voice, video, text, and images reliably. Using these mature technologies, the natural activities of making a phone call, taking a video, or taking a picture could be used to fill out data-enriched forms automatically. Hence both objectives will be met—collecting adequate data and filling out fewer forms—and these technologies will continue their march into the enterprise.
3) Privacy concerns will hold center stage
With GDPR becoming a reality and hosts of other countries passing similar privacy laws, data usage will be closely monitored. Data will be tagged so that its origin will be known at the point of usage. Tools related to data tagging and master data management will become crucial. Privacy concerns and related legal ramifications could slow down decision making in enterprises. In response, new generation messaging, audio/video web conferencing tools will be used by enterprises to achieve the twin objectives of privacy compliance and rapid decision making.
4) Data locality will increase diversity
Lots of countries mandate that data needs to reside within geographical boundaries. Enterprises using SaaS or Paas will end up using country-specific public clouds or even private clouds. As a result, critical data and applications that need to be monitored will be spread across geographies. Monitoring tools and technologies that help consolidate the view of these applications and data will see larger enterprise adoption.
This increase in data locality will also require federated identity and access management (IAM) with Zero Trust security considerations. Single sign-on, multi-factor authentication, and enterprise mobility management will also become common place in the enterprises.
5) New kinds of hardware in the data center
Data workloads in the data center are increasing, and the demise of Moore's law is not helping the CPU to keep pace. Newer hardware like GPU, FPGA, ASICs will become commonplace in the data center. Enterprise IT teams will have to be knowledgable about these technologies and use the right applications and tools to ensure that money is wisely spent on the newer hardware.
The author is Vice President, ManageEngine, a division of zoho Corp