As we approach the end of 2017, we’re collectively living in a business IT world where cognitive, artificial intelligence and analytics technologies are starting to make their presences felt. Across a variety of industries, the most forward-thinking of organisations are driving new insights from their data to make better business decisions.
But for service providing organisations like you, there’s something even more exciting happening. Those that don’t have these analytical capabilities are seeing their competitors pull away in the marketplace, and are realising that they need to get themselves in on the action.
This is powering substantial growth in the business value of these technologies – and you can take full advantage by providing solutions equipped with analytics-innovation to these hungry new clients.
So that’s the state of play at present. But for you to make sure your offerings have the right innovations to stimulate the greatest client interest, you need to know what’s around the corner. Which areas will experience the biggest growth in 2018?
In this blog, we’ll highlight three key expectations for the next 12 months and how you can respond in ways that can satisfy existing clients, attract new ones and increase your overall profitability.
AI will go mainstream – but businesses will demand more from it
According to a recent Forrester report, the proportion of enterprises utilising artificial intelligence will jump from just over half this year to as much as 70 per cent in 2018. So it’s fair to say that being able to uncover new insights on data from AI is going to become commonplace across industries.
What this means is that early adopters who found big gains on their competitors through initial AI capabilities will lose a key differentiator, simply because nearly everyone else will have access to the same technology.
As a result, those early adopters, plus the more forward-thinking among your clients, are going to want more from AI so that they can stay one step ahead of the game.
To do this, enterprises are expected to look for more refined and specific AI functions for cloud computing and Big Data, delivery models based on ‘insights-as-a-service’ and the blending of structured and unstructured data, among other innovations.
The home of Big Data will move fully into the cloud
Up until now, enterprises have dealt with its Big Data in numerous different ways and with a variety of infrastructure options. They’ve stuck with an on-premise set-up using their existing hardware, moved into the cloud thanks to their providing organisation, or used a combination of two with a hybrid cloud infrastructure.
But, in step with businesses’ changing attitudes towards dealing with data in general, the analytical functions applied to Big Data workloads are set to move decisively towards the cloud. IDC predicts that through to 2020, spending on Big Data analytics solutions will grow 4.5 times faster than spending on comparable on-premise capabilities.
So what an increasing number of enterprises will be looking for from their providing organisations will be integrated, highly scalable solutions that enable fast and user-friendly analysis of virtually any size of data workload.
And it’s scalability that is likely to act as the deal-breaker for these enterprises. With Big Data growing all the time, a solution that does the job today is useless if it can’t support the inevitable bigger workloads and more intensive operations of tomorrow. That’s why being able to offer and demonstrate that your solution is completely scalable will be critical.
Enterprises will wake up to IoT security concerns
A big part of the popularity of business analytics has come from the growth of the Internet of Things. For example, the ability to use a diverse network of connected devices, and then analyse the detailed and comprehensive data generated, has helped retailers understand what guides their customers’ buying habits better than ever before.
However, in the rush to make the most of the possibilities that IoT can bring, keeping those devices and their associated networks secure has largely been forgotten about. Relatively few security standards have been put in place, and with so much potentially sensitive data passing through IoT networks, cybercriminals have started to exploit weaknesses to seize information.
Certain EU regulations that will be effective in 2018, will put a duty on you. As a providing organisation, you will need to deliver a robust, unified endpoint security management solution to your customers that complements their IoT and analytics activities. Ultimately, the insights they’re deriving from IoT devices are their competitive advantage, and therefore need the best protection available.
The key takeaway
The common theme that runs through each of these three predictions is one of constant forward progress. Now more than ever, it’s clear that providers that stand still in what they’re offering will quickly fall behind and lose business.
So whether it’s working hard to keep your own analytics functionality relevant for clients, or leveraging a partnership to embed the latest technologies into your solution, there’s no time for you to relax.
You can use leading-edge innovation to keep your clients at the forefront of cloud-based analytics when you partner with IBM.