Five Next-gen Enterprise Tech trends for 2014

by Sohini Bagchi    Dec 06, 2013

disruptive

In today’s ever more technology-centric world, to innovate and thrive, businesses should adapt themselves to the changing business landscape, new IT environment and newer concepts. In an enlightening conversation at the Infocom 2013 in Kolkata, Rajarshi Sengupta, Senior Director, Deloitte & Touche Consulting explains while businesses may still grapple with cloud, BYOD and big data, a new generation of IT and business leaders are also identifying the ones that are yet to appear on the radar of mainstream enterprises. He points out some of the key technologies that will shape the enterprise landscape in 2014 and beyond.

Digital engagement to maximize value

Customers today are more empowered and connected than ever before. They’re browsing, comparing prices and sharing their feedback through a multitude of channels — from the web, to mobile, social, chat and also in-stores. In other words, digital disruption is creating a major shift in the consumer behavior and in the coming months, a growing number of organizations will capitalize on this trend. According to Sengupta, only those organisations which invest to capitalize on this new, digital-related opportunity and deliver value through meaningful, intelligent engagement will be in an advantageous position in the market. In 2014, organisations should look to creating new digital business models. An example is the creation of a mobile app which allows customers to open accounts and transact online, anywhere, any time. He gives the example of a mobile banking app which allows small businesses to more effectively manage their cash flow by securely processing credit and debit card payments using an iPhone or Android. This is when companies can create values with digital engagement by propelling customers into a new age of digital ecommerce and customer service, he believes.

[Read on: 6 shifts in the use of digital platforms]

Cognitive analytics to gain prominence

For the past several years, analytics have been used to manage IT capacity, planning and performance management, but now it is time for a new approach, namely cognitive analytics, according to Sengupta. Today’s more advanced analytics technology, combined with cognitive computing, is bringing new and expanded capabilities, providing accurate and deep insights on operations data. According to him, using these new tools, decision makers can quickly isolate relevant data, separating important information from irrelevant information, and understand the associations between different data points. They can further identify trends and patterns to predict issues before they occur. All these trends not only offer companies to gain a better insight on customers, but also drive tremendous business value, he believes.

Crowdsourcing to solve business problem

Crowdsourcing, an emerging concept, offers companies a competitive edge and is a collaborative approach to solve business problems. It challenges the traditional models of how an organisation provides support to its customers. Sengupta believes with the help of this new business model, both consumers and companies can innovate and market products more efficiently in a co-creative sway. Enterprises have begun to recognize this trend, which will continue to mature in the coming months, according to him.

CIOs would be in a unique position to be the harbingers of change. They will serve as catalysts across the executive suite, helping others understand the boundaries of the possible, think beyond the existing solutions and processes and stand accountable for realizing this transformation.
-Rajarshi Sengupta, Senior Director, Deloitte & Touche Consulting

DevOps to hit the enterprise

DevOps, a close collaboration between software developers and IT departments, will be a key focus area for organizations in the next one year and beyond, thanks to the increasing pace of open-source software adoption. The reason DevOps will reshape enterprise IT is, because it works, says Sengupta. The benefits are tremendous and seen in the form of lower operational costs, faster deployment and much greater flexibility to respond to business needs. And, strikingly, the longer DevOps practices are followed within an organization, the lower that organization’s app failure rate and the faster its recovery from failure, making them more agile and productive.

[Read: CIOs can accelerate innovation with DevOps]

Smart wearables to make inroads in business

Smart wearables devices have already made inroads in the market, but it will take a few months for these devices to become an enterprise reality. Incidentally, in 2014 this trend will be driven by employees’ who bring their own gadgets to work, not just smart phones but everything from smart glasses and watches as well as other a multitude of smart and ever connected wearable objects. Sengupta however cautions as these wearable objects proliferate so will the opportunities and challenges. Interestingly, these seem to line up with the current trend of BYOD and would be a wake-up call for the IT department and the enterprise in general.