It’s always fascinating at this time of the year, to look at the developments which could change the way we do business – and with advances in cloud solutions, it looks like we’re in for a year of discovery and transformation.
Here's our top predictions for 2019:
1. The year of cloud migration
The big news for the UAE is the arrival of the planned Microsoft data centers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. This is exciting for organisations to meet local data residency requirements with global scalability and gain enterprise-grade performance, and industry-leading data security.
Yet, are you ready to take advantage of this development and transform your business into the cost-effective, energy-efficient, and secure organization that delivers performance driven by innovation? To find out just how ready you are, we’ve created the CobwebComplete Discovery service - which means we’ll come into your offices, find out just how your IT infrastructure currently stacks up and what needs to be done – and we’ll help you prepare an IT road map for the future, including a free cloud migration assessment.
2. Corporate environment shifts as AI advances
AI is climbing right up the IT rankings. As more companies provide AI and machine-learning solutions, and more customers start to use them, we’re likely to see a huge surge in uptake in 2019 as well as a focus on AI ethics. The UAE is in the regional vanguard here with the country having appointed a Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence.
One AI aspect to look out for is robotic process automation (RPA). This software automates basic, usually office-type tasks, across applications with the ‘robot’ programmed to learn workflow just as a human would. Chatbots are a superb example of this – and the rationale behind the creation of our monthly, subscription-based CobwebCompleteChatbots service which can really scale-up your customer-service.
3. Augmented analysis
Augmented analytics (AA) is a specific area of augmented intelligence which uses machine learning (ML) to transform how analytical content is developed, consumed and shared. AA capabilities will soon be a mainstream element of data preparation, mining and management and therefore seriously impact business process management and procedures as we look ever more seriously at data to inform our business, and personal, decisions – everyone will be impacted.
4. Security to remain critical
Security threats remain critical for all organisations regardless of industry or size. We unfortunately continue to see a rising number of threats to IT and data systems and expect this to continue through 2019. To combat this, we foresee more organisations turning to Microsoft’s Azure Information Protection (AIP) to control and help secure email, documents and sensitive data that you share outside your company. From easy classification to embedded labels and permissions, AIP can enhance data protection at all times regardless of where it’s stored or who it’s shared with.
5. Cloud migration for cost control
A growing theme amongst businesses, big or small. There’s increasing recognition that shifting to the cloud can save organisations money. Through the cloud, businesses can access services at affordable and scalable prices, including the expanding CobwebComplete series of monthly, subscription services. Costs are controlled because organisations see a significant decline in power consumption, rack space, IT requirements, lower maintenance, installation, hardware, support and upgrade spend.
6. Digital transformation enters boardroom
A key message from the Cloud Industry Forum’s (CIF) recent research paper, Cloud – The Next Generation, is that: “digital transformation sits at the top of near every board’s agenda”. We anticipate the creation of more Chief Digital Officers (CDOs)– experts who will have in-depth I.T. experience but whose remit will be to use advancements to help forge and secure winning business strategies
7. Customer experience is key
With the growing availability and benefit of technology in our personal lives, customers expect the same level of experience with every business they engage with, whether for personal or business needs. This will scale up and competition will be fiercer than ever. The development of chatbot technology is an example of how organisations are looking to boost their interaction with customers to win and retain their business.
While blockchain has underpinned crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin, it’s now being increasingly used across a range of solutions and industries, from the fine art world to clamp down on forgeries, to fishing to provide a transparent record of where fish were caught as customers now look for sustainability and provenance in their food supply. The use of blockchain will continue to expand into a broader range of applications, from proving when a document was electronically signed to that data backups haven’t been tampered with.