Dilipkumar Khandelwal, President of SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud and the Managing Director of SAP Labs India.
Dilipkumar Khandelwal, President of SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud and the Managing Director of SAP Labs India. (Photo: SAP India)

Leonardo Da Vinci, one of the greatest thinkers of the renaissance once said, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. The rule of simplicity also applies to technology innovation. Simplicity is the tipping point for technology adoption. Not just for the consumer at home, but also for the business user at work. The next wave of intelligent technologies has the potential to innovate operations, product development, customer service, and overall business transformation on an unprecedented level. Technology innovation helps to make breakthroughs in medicine, reduce environmental waste, grow food in severe climate conditions, and, at some point, send the first person to Mars.

We are entering a new modern-day renaissance, an era in which intelligent technologies are the cradle for innovations that go beyond corporate and industry boundaries. The possibilities are endless. However, making these sophisticated technology innovations easy to consume and providing a great experience is the ultimate art of innovation and the path to adoption.

2019 will mark the beginning of the intelligent technology renaissance era. It will be driven by what Gartner calls the “intelligent digital mesh”.

  • Intelligent: How AI is in virtually every existing technology, and creating entirely new categories.
  • Digital: Blending the digital and physical worlds to create an immersive world.
  • Mesh: Exploiting connections between expanding sets of people, businesses, devices, content and services.

Gartner’s top ten technology trend predictions for 2019 are a combination of trends from all three pillars.

Out of the ten trends, I expect to see the most significant changes coming from intelligent technologies this year, specifically Autonomous Things, Augmented Analytics, and AI-Driven Development. Organizations will be able to start morphing from a digital business to an intelligent enterprise.

It’s a highly complex transformation journey. However, in today’s tech renaissance era the focus is on making sophisticated business transformation simpler.

Here are some steps companies can take to ease their business transformation.

Use the Cloud as a Path for Intelligent Business Transformation

Companies who integrate the new breed of intelligent technologies into their business processes will be able to benefit the most to grow their business and adapt quickly to market changes. Cloud technology has reached maturity and is offering a path to become an intelligent enterprise in a hybrid business and tech environment. Many companies are already on that path. An IDG Communications study concluded that by the end of 2019 nine out of 10 companies will have some part of their applications or infrastructure in the cloud; the rest are expected to follow by 2021.

Traverse Industry Borders

New technology rarely comes with an out-of-the-box use for each specific industry or type of business. Business insights and industry domain relevance have always been the key differentiators for technology adoption and business success. In this new era, the greatest innovations will happen at the intersection of industries. For example, today’s cars can do so much more than providing personal transportation to the office, or your kid’s next soccer practice. They show you the best route to take, alert you about traffic jams, keep you entertained and get roadside assistance. With autonomous things evolving, you might not even have to drive the car yourself and your food delivery might come by drone in the future.

New forms of transportation (electric scooters, bikes, and drones) are inspiring business partnerships between car manufacturers, financial services, food businesses and retailers, among others. Another example is The We Company, formerly We Work. Originally founded as a co-working space for businesses, the company just repositioned itself as a business that wants to touch all elements of employees’ lives, not just at the office. Those new types of new products and services require domain expertise and applicability across industries.

Pick the Right Team, Inside and Outside the Office

Regardless of how fantastic and mind-blowing new technologies are, a successful transformation journey requires more than a technology investment. It requires having a smart and engaged team in place that takes this journey with you. The transformation success is the result of setting the company’s vision, having the business processes in place and the team to drive and execute it.

This also includes selecting the right technology partners. You want the best industry and technology experts, problem-solvers and creative thinkers who not only think about your business today, but also identify opportunities for the future. With the right team, partner ecosystem and technology your business can evolve across markets and industries faster and easier than others.

Intelligent technologies have the power to transform companies into intelligent enterprises. We will see a new breed of companies that is not bound to traditional industry segmentation. These companies are using innovation strategically to grow and expand across industries by infusing intelligence into every part of their strategy and operations.

2019 truly marks the beginning of an exciting era. The will catapult business innovation into the next dimension.

The only question that remains is. Are you ready for it?

The author, , is the President of HANA Enterprise Cloud and the Managing Director of Labs India.

This article has been adapted from his Linkedin post.

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