Today, technology is shaping both business and society like never before and playing an increasing role in everything we do. Technology has redefined the way we interact with each other. In governance, technology has altered the way leaders engage with citizens. In business, technology has now become a revenue generator, thereby changing the economic landscape. Today, business driven technology spending has increased rapidly and digitalisation has become the priority of most organisations. Indian companies are becoming the digital partners of many global multinationals.
The technology trends that will redefine the future for businesses and consumers in 2017 can be enumerated as follows:
* By harnessing the power of data, cloud computing and advanced analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) is set to fundamentally change how we interact with technology by augmenting human capabilities across apps, bots, services and infrastructure. As we move forward, democratisation of AI will fuel future innovations and empower us to solve some of society’s toughest challenges. Businesses can use AI to transform data into actionable intelligence including gaining unique consumer insights, interpreting industry trends and finding accurate outcomes to a wide variety of business problems in real-time.
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* Internet of Things (IoT) will become mainstream as it finds its way into manufacturing, healthcare, smart cities, intelligent buildings, products and processes.
* Machine learning is rapidly becoming one of the most desirable technologies for consumers and businesses together. Earlier data was analysed to understand the past and the present, but machine learning reasons over the data and predict outcomes and future patterns, which further leads to new insights. Moreover, machine learning on the cloud has made it more accessible to everyone.
* Blockchain will optimise digital transformation. This technology will streamline processes to augment speedy transactions, eliminate clearing houses and resolve regulatory bottlenecks. Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) provides an open, hyper-scale cloud platform and an expanding ecosystem of blockchain technologies for enterprises, consortiums and governments. It will further help optimise their digital transformation journey in a cost-effective yet scalable manner across development, testing and production environments.
* Cognitive services will redefine how we interact. From mere translation of text or speech from one language to another, machine translation has moved paces ahead and is now offering services like real-time translations. Translation services will not only be restricted to language but will extend into cognitive offerings. With cognitive services, developers can easily add intelligent features such as emotion and sentiment detection, vision and speech recognition, knowledge, search and language understanding into their applications.
* Cyber security will become the prime focus for all organisations. Digital India vision, combined with opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution, demands a comprehensive security infrastructure. Cyber threats continue to evolve and attackers are gaining access to credentials and high security information, posing a threat to the legitimate user and businesses.
* Chatbots, our personalised digital assistants, will learn from user behaviour and analyse data to predict more user relevant commands. For example, ordering food to setting temperatures at home to even buying groceries.
* Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) will find applications beyond entertainment. Technology advances and reductions in cost will mainstream VR/AR to a number of business, education and personal experiences.
I see the India Stack (the complete set of API including Aadhaar for Authentication) as an accelerator for digitising the consumer—taking advantage of the billion Aadhaar identities and the billion phones in the country. This will accelerate e-commerce, e-government services, education, healthcare and agriculture. But it will impose much stress on cyber security. Federating Identity, where the user’s credentials are stored with the identity provider, across multiple platforms will become key.
We foresee that artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT and smart devices will play a pivotal role in designing products and services of the future. These technologies are set to become an essential part of our daily lives.