By Prasad Rai, Vice President – Applications, Oracle India
The joint forces of the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Blockchain represent an unprecedented opportunity for enterprises in the public as well as private sectors. Every institution, that has the capability to exploit these technologies will have a clear edge in radically streamlining and enhancing their existing processes and to develop innovative products and services for an entirely new generation of consumers.
While each of these technologies individually present exciting opportunities for enterprises, we think that IoT, AI, and blockchain together- their transformative impact will be unprecedented. This is the first time in modern history that three transformational technologies have emerged in the same generation, and their whole effect is yet to emerge.
The digital revolution has altered technological disruption from a once-in-a-lifetime event to a constant process. Now, businesses that fall behind will quickly find themselves with an insurmountable gap to close. Here, we’ll explore how you can not only prepare your business for AI, and blockchain, but also how to empower your organization to exploit them now and forever. The aim of this is to discuss how cloud can acts like an enabler as well as an accelerant—paving the way for implementation of any new technology.
AI: THINKING ABOUT DATA
IoT is the sensing part of the transformational technology and AI is the part that thinks. AI has the potential to enable fast, intelligent decision-making—either in support of human intelligence, or in place of it. Businesses can delegate mundane or complicated tasks to achieve a level of accuracy and efficiency beyond the capabilities of humans . However, putting decisions in the hands of intelligent machines has profound moral, ethical, and even theological implications. While AI and machine learning are already making intelligent interventions on behalf of humans—in our voice-activated personal assistants, for example—there’s work to be done before machines are given full authority.
Machine learning in action
The insights generated by machine learning will help the enterprise to better understand their customer expectations, enabling automated and personalized engagements. It will help in the creating new goods and services, designed to quickly and accurately meet the demands of modern consumers. Machine learning powers customer service chatbots, provides marketing insights, identifies cybersecurity vulnerabilities, enables personalized products and services, and much more. It’s hard to think of a technology with more significant potential to transform—now, or throughout history. Undoubtedly the impact of machine learning on the enterprise will be profound. So why aren’t we seeing more ground-breaking machine learning–powered products, services, and business models hit the market today? The answer, as with IoT, is that maximizing the business benefits of machine learning can be more challenging than it seems. Implementation of these technologies is not the case of throwing a switch and watching it come to life. It’s an incremental and long process. Enterprises need to do some homework to exploit the true value of machine learning in the real world – a) Recognize opportunities for enhanced intelligence within the business or supply chain, b) Accumulate and store enormous amounts of data—both internal and external, structured and unstructured, c) Attract and retain the right talent with the right skills to put machine learning to work, d) Deeply integrate machine learning into applications both old and new, e) Deploy it across multiple functions, rather than narrow use cases.
Considering the ethical and moral questions are looming large on the scope of AI implementation, the exploitation of machine learning in the enterprise has been proven challenging. But the benefits of doing so successfully are abundantly clear. Businesses have no choice but to find a way to permeate their business models with machine learning, else they will fall behind more-agile competitors. Machine learning is the present—not the future. That’s why we need to connect our core applications—ERP, SCM, and HCM—with ready-to-use machine learning capabilities. We need to build automation into our cloud platform services, too—creating self-driving, self-securing databases, analytics, security, management, and more.
Considering the recent media hype regarding blockchain and cryptocurrencies you’d expect blockchain to have been adopted and implemented more widely by now. But beyond those agile fintech novelties, it’s still a comparative rarity. The problem is almost same as the problem with AI —perceived risk and complexity. Cost, availability, lack of regulation, untested contracts, risk averseness are some of the barriers in blockchain adoption. Blockchain is undoubtedly transformative. In fact, much of its impact has yet to be explored—even on a theoretical level.
Realizing Tomorrow, Today – AI, IoT and Blockchain
These transformational technologies will bring change—in our professional lives, our personal lives, society as a whole. But their impact isn’t something that belongs in the future or a sci fi movie. Almost all of these capabilities are available today. The question is not when, the question is how – how do you bring the future forward and empower your business to take advantage of the transformative impact of IoT, AI, and blockchain? The answers are in the cloud. Without cloud, implementing any new technology is extremely difficult. It effectively levels the playing field. With cloud, even small companies can access the same compute power and resources as large organizations, while traditional businesses can adopt the same flexibility as agile tech start-ups.
Cloud enables innovation, helps minimize IT spend, and accelerates adoption of new technologies. Things to bear in mind when preparing your business for transformational technologies:
- Focus on the big three: Blockchain, AI & IoT.
- Remember that cloud levels the playing field. You can’t get there without it.
- Understand that these technologies are underpinned by vast amounts of data.
- Appreciate that embracing transformational technologies—and realizing their full potential—may require a change in business processes or models.
- Remember the cognitive power of AI and machine learning together, they’re completely transformative—capable of turning every industry, sector, and line of business on its head.
A technologically enabled future has arrived. It’s time to carve your niche in it. Begin your transformation and say BAI!