For providing organisations like you – whether you’re a systems integrator, service provider or independent software vendor – never before has the market landscape evolved as quickly as it is at the moment.
Across every industry, enterprises big and small are hungrier than ever to adopt new technologies and ways of working, so that they can improve their services or satisfy new customer needs or demands. What’s more, the realisation that companies not keeping pace with beneficial technologies will quickly lose market share has now fully hit home at every level.
The speed of change in both tech developments and enterprise attitudes undoubtedly makes your job tougher. Many providing organisations find that they’re always shooting at a moving target, so to speak: trying to react quickly enough to these changes so that offerings are kept contemporary, useful and relevant to the market.
So a crystal ball that lets providers look into their business futures, even just for the short-term, would be really helpful.
Now, we can’t promise you a crystal ball – sadly! But what we can do is give you a ‘2020 vision’: fact-based insights into the trends likely to emerge between now and the start of the next decade. We’ll then go on to cover how they could disrupt your business operations and what you can do to make the most of the opportunities those trends present.
Hybrid cloud infrastructures will become commonplace
It’s well-known that virtually all companies in every walk of life are shifting some or all of their operations and data into the cloud. Gartner predicts that by 2020, finding an enterprise not using the cloud will be as rare as one not using the internet.
However, what’s now emerging is that the flexibility and easy scalability of hybrid cloud infrastructures will be the biggest hit among cloud options. And by the next decade, the amount of computing power sold by cloud providers, either on an infrastructure-as-a-service or a platform-as-a-service basis, is expected to overtake the amount sold to enterprise data centres.
This means that providing organisations across the marketplace will be competing for this new influx of cloud business, making differentiation even more important than it is now. For example, if you can demonstrate that your hybrid cloud offerings also incorporate other leading-edge innovations like cognitive or support for Internet of Things, you’ll be more likely to win new clients.
Big Data will redefine customer interactions
Companies have realised that the amount of data they’re compiling doesn’t have to be a burden. Quite the opposite: they’re noticing the opportunities to derive new insights thanks to the capabilities of analytics and cognitive tools like IBM Watson.
This more positive approach to handling information is driving huge growth in Big Data business. The global value of the Big Data market is expected to grow by a third over the next three years, reaching $76 billion by the end of 2020.
Providing organisations serving every industry can feel the benefits of this growth in enabling businesses to work through their Big Data and make these findings. But Big Data will perhaps make the most fundamental difference to those serving retail clients.
Stores and retailers have always struggled to fully understand customers, their buying habits and their preferences. So being able to collect data from an unprecedented range of digital and physical touchpoints, and analyse them to find new patterns in their behaviour, can help retailers communicate, advertise and sell to their customers better and more sustainably.
Every retail client is different, though, so as a provider, enabling those capabilities for a retailer in a way that suits their specific needs is key.
IoT will attract more Healthcare funding than ever
In recent years, many healthcare organisations have found huge benefits, both patient-facing and administrative, through devices connected to the Internet of Things. In fact, IoT has been such a successful endeavour for early adopters that it’s sparked a clamour within the industry for more innovation and wider use of tech like wearables and home-based devices.
Accenture’s 2017 Internet of Health Things Survey found that nearly three-quarters of healthcare executives feel IoT will disrupt the industry within the next three years. And by then, the value of IoT in healthcare will reach $163billion.
This points to a huge competitive advantage if you can stay at the leading edge of IoT innovation. It’ll be crucial to be among the first to equip healthcare providers with the innovation they want – especially if you can address the increasingly pressing security concerns currently surrounding IoT.
Managing this is a sizeable undertaking with considerable time pressures, so this is where leveraging resources and support from a partner can help speed up that vital time-to-market.
Artificial intelligence will become more refined and specific
AI and cognitive are still major buzzwords on the lips of forward-thinking business executives. Indeed, it’s predicted that AI will be among the top five investment priorities for around a third of chief information officers by 2020.
But all this buzz and hype is creating some confusion among potential clients and adopters. A number of providers are supplying AI-equipped or cognitive-enabled offerings without putting any real refinement into what the tools can do for the organisations they’re providing for. It’s as if they’re offering AI or cognitive just because they can.
This opens up opportunities to gain new business if you can apply the technology in smarter ways. By showing new and prospective clients how these innovations can revolutionise specific functions and fulfil their exact needs, you can build better client relationships and leverage a key market differentiator.
Jim Hare, Gartner’s Research Vice-President, summed it up perfectly: “Use the term ‘AI’ wisely in your sales and marketing materials. Be clear what differentiates your AI offering and what problem it solves.”