Emerging Technologies to Disrupt Industries
We all know that organizations across India are undergoing a technological shift which is being triggered by the Digital India project initiated by the Government of India. To keep pace with it, both large enterprises and small business are enabling themselves with the latest technologies. These new age technologies are providing an edge to organizations to stay ahead in the competition. It is the responsibility of the technology companies and commitment towards its customers to empower them with the right technology that customers can leverage disruptive technologies.
“In this digital world where data volumes are growing exponentially, and companies are changing their business models, our ability to enable competitive advantage for our customers by managing, storing, protecting and analysing data is at the very heart of our company. As technology continues to evolve, businesses need to focus on building strong infrastructure for IT transformation, workforce transformation and security transformation to compete with their industry peers.
As of last year, there was an estimated 8 billion connected devices in the world. Analyst firm, Gartner, estimate that adoption of IoT devices will grow to 20 billion by 2020. Businesses are going all out to embrace, leverage, and adopt the disruptive technologies like IOT, RPA in conjunction with already established technology tends of AI /ML and Data Analytics,” says Sheenam Ohrie, VP, Enterprise, Data, & Mobility Engineering, DELL Digital.
IHS Markit has highlighted eight trending technologies that are disrupting the security industry and at the same time helping the security solutions to be more robust.
“According to IHS Markit, eight transformative technologies are identified as most trending technologies including, Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Cloud, Connectivity, Blockchain, Machine Vision, Ubiquitous Video, Robots and Drones. These transformative technologies are disrupting the security industry and empowering security solutions to evolve to the next level.
AI, IoT, Machine Vision, Robotics, and the Cloud are not really new technologies; they are coming together in new and powerful ways and fundamentally changing businesses, fuelling innovation, disrupting industries, and creating both threats and opportunities for all. An open, ecosystem-led approach to developing and implementing these technologies can help bridge the historical, structural silos between different vertical industries,” highlights Ashish P. Dhakan, MD & CEO, Prama Hikvision India.
Talking about the disrupting technologies , Larry Stone, Chairman, India, BT says, “The industry is going through a transformational phase of development to adapt itself as per the new technological trends. With trends like cloud computing, the “maker” community and open source will eventually propel AI into everyone’s hands. This trend is enabled by AI platform as a service (PaaS), artificial general intelligence, autonomous driving (Levels 4 and 5), autonomous mobile robots, conversational AI platforms, deep neural networks, flying autonomous vehicles, smart robots, and virtual assistants which is going to distrust the industry going forward.”
After considering the views of some technology companies, we have tried to jot down below few of the trending and disrupting technologies in the IT industry.
AI & ML
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning come under the major technologies which have affected the industries in a major way. AI is advancing rapidly and it has helped automate and digitize a lot of things. It will drive new technologies, businesses etc. A lot of companies are adopting it for organizational development.
“Clearly, one of the most impactful technologies reshaping the industry is artificial intelligence (AI). AI is experiencing a period of rapid advancement, to the point where many tasks once considered impossible to automate, are now fully managed digitally. AI will soon become a global economic engine for new technologies, business models and jobs. Yet, for AI to be truly effective, it is imperative that everyone has access and the opportunity to learn skills needed to be successful in this new age of intelligence. AI will also augment and increase the productivity of employees, specifically in CRM-related fields. With emerging technologies like AI, businesses have the power to influence, invest in, and deploy more personalized and intelligent tech leveraging innovation to create trusted relationships that advance their brand’s mission,” explains Kalki V Yasas, Senior Director, Services, Salesforce.
“Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML) kind of intelligence is exhibited by computers and other machines. It’s a change that perceives the environment and takes the necessary actions required for the success of that phenomenon. At Commvault we use these technologies to ensure seamless operations and better security systems for our customers,” views Huzefa Motiwala, Senior Director, Systems Engineering APAC, Commvault.
Automation & BI
Automation and Business Intelligence (BI) are like boon to organizations and will be critical for business success. It has changed the way businesses interact with people. These two technologies also keep an eye on the market mood and customer sentiments.
“Automation and BI will play a crucial role in business success. New technology is transforming the way people interact with businesses – particularly advances such as voice-activated personal assistants which can understand and learn from spoken instructions to complete everyday tasks. The real value from the technology is in enabling organisations to be smarter about how they use their people. Banks are already experimenting with intelligent assistants. Virtual assistant in banks have been handling common customer issues such as mislaid credit cards or forgotten PINs. These virtual assistants quickly mine the bank’s customer service database for answers, learning more from each web chat. As these become faster and more accurate, the human agents guiding it can spend more time on the complex queries. Automation and business intelligence are also playing an increasing role behind the scenes, monitoring the market mood and customer sentiment online on web forums and public social networks,” opines Larry Stone of BT.
“Automation will definitely have an impact on various industries and is attractive because of the increased efficiencies it offers. However, it also opens new risks as several large manufacturers and businesses discovered from the NotPetya ransomware attack in 2017, which resulted in billions of dollars in damages. Again, it is critical to have network design with segmentation isolating automation, Industrial IoT (IIoT) such as ICS, and any other critical production systems from possible sources of attack, including from machines inside your corporate network,” says, Nick FitzGerald, Senior Research Fellow, ESET.
Automated technologies are helpful in process industries as it is removing human intervention especially in high-volume and repetitive tasks. It also helps in cost reduction and increase productivity.
“Today, software and process automation is becoming the change enabler in the way routine functions were ever thought of being performed. Automated technologies in the process industries are eliminating the need for human intervention especially in high-volume, repetitive tasks including IT support, remote infrastructure, and business processes. While automation is promising to impact various sectors, industrial and process automation are seeing real implementation on a large scale in the current scenario. With the changing demographics, increasing connectivity and the need for real-time insights, the process industries are steadily adopting advanced automation systems. There is huge demand for industrial automation products as manufacturing sector in India is very vast,” feels Rahul Khare, Regional Business Leader (India & South Asia) - Honeywell Connected Plant.
“Automation of business processes through technology will allow businesses to cut costs and increase productivity. Machines, that are capable of making decisions using data without any manual intervention - in much less time and without threats of sickness or even a break - will also help in seamless business operations. It can make the best decision for any company based on profit margins and algorithms, but there is much more to consider in any modern organization. The more we manage our businesses through automation, the more our employees will be focused – this means, successful automation can lead to increased value of work, higher employee satisfaction and minimal human error,” says Saurabh Saxena, Country Director, Micro Focus India.
“Businesses across India are already exploring and exploiting automation and Business Intelligence and are a fundamental driver of the new ways of doing business. Simple and secure, enterprise operating systems not only maximise the value of the automation but provide an incubation environment for them to grow. Automation and business intelligence will ignite India’s digital economy,” feels Neville Vincent, Vice President, ASEAN, India, ANZ, Nutanix.
“It doesn’t really matter anymore what anyone thinks because Automation & BI have already shown their impact and the impact is progressing exponentially across industries. There is no single industry that does not rely on data. Prices of flight tickets is a great example of predictive analysis using big data in travel industry. Health professionals have started to capture vitals of patients and using analytics to assist patients in living a better and longer life. Needless to mention the retail industry where we see numerous use cases in practice. Todays consumers use digital assets for a comfortable & faster shopping experience and all major online shops are using the data extensively to meet the needs of consumers and their evolving buying habits. With development in AI/ML technologies, we will see lot of solutions shifting to industry focused analytics. As far as automation is concerned, we have already seen a lot of progress in the area of RPA. Vendors are now working on automating tasks for the users of Analytic solutions. While there are tasks such as Data Preparation, Integration and model building that can be automated and vendors have already started working on them, there will always be tasks that cannot be fully automated such as interpreting the data or data visualizations. We are already seeing transport industry being disrupted by self-driving cars, caregiver robots in healthcare industry such as Robear to assist in recovery of patients, and use of drones in agriculture industry. With progress in AI/ML technology, we will also see cognitive functions being part of the automation process,” says Dr. Rajeev Papneja, COO & EVP, ESDS Software Solution.
IoT has transformed everyone’s life and made it easy. In layman’s language, IoT is an extension of internet connectivity into physical devices. It also comes with real time analytics and machine learning. But IoT based devices are also vulnerable to security threats.
“This is essentially the extension of internet connectivity into physical devices with the real time analytics and machine learning. By equipping devices with machine readable identifies can alter the lives of many. IOT devices can be used in health, mining, manufacturing and more. With the scale at which this innovation is growing, it presents many security threats. Across industries the upcoming solutions are moving into public spaces. Disaster management, improving traffic management software that continuously monitors the patient’s condition,” explains Huzefa Motiwala of Commvault.
“IoT has dramatically changed our lives and making it easier. However, connecting the IoT devices could involve high security threats,” highlights Pankaj Harjai, Director- Tablets and Smart devices, Lenovo India.
Cloud & Edge Computing
Hybrid and multi cloud will be adopted by all large organizations, who can easily shift their workloads.
“Hybrid, multi-cloud will be the default IT infrastructure for most of the larger organisations. They will be able to easily move workloads across environments by using technologies like containers and data fabric. On the other hand, some smaller organisations will choose the simplicity and consistency of a single cloud provider,” highlights Kaushal Veluri, Director - Channels & Alliances, NetApp India & SAARC.
“Cloud is continuing to disrupt the IT industry, not only because the laggards are trying to catch up, but also because new technology is available to developers on public clouds much before they are available, on internal IT systems. This includes better tooling for microservices, 'serverless' computing, accelerated computing including GPUs, TPUs, and even FPGAs. Powered by such accelerated computing technology, AI and ML are also being used in new and interesting says,” Prasanna Pendse, Head of Technology – India, ThoughtWorks.
“With the accelerated pace of innovation, emerging technologies continue to shape up business strategies and the way organisations adapt to a whole new surge of customer preferences. At Vertiv, we believe that Edge Computing is transforming the digital ecosystem, working in tandem with IoT, advanced AI and cloud-based analytics. This is paving the way for a robust and more efficient edge of the network with enhanced visibility and self-healing capabilities requiring limited active management.
Across the board, particularly at the local level, profound changes in the computing and storage infrastructure to support the smart and connected future will be necessary. We foresee continued progress towards the integration of these emerging technologies in business applications to be essential competitive elements,” states Sanjay Zadoo, Country Head, Channel Business, Vertiv India.
“The need for greater agility and global deployment options have driven public clouds to be increasingly more attractive as global workloads accelerate (160 million today to 596 million by 2030). Public clouds are being viewed to gain the flexibility and speed to respond to changing business needs, accelerate innovation and align costs to business requirements by managing upfront expenses, operational support and TCO by customers. However, in doing so, customers are recognizing the benefit of having their public clouds integrate and work seamlessly with their on-premises infrastructure while taking advantage of their existing teams, skillsets, tools, and processes.
Reducing migration effort from multiple months to weeks, no re-factoring of applications needed, no staff retraining or revamping of operational processes, migrating live without retrofit, run your applications on familiar and proven enterprise grade environments combined with a global footprint, reach and scale of public clouds is a true Hybrid Cloud solution,” says BS Nagarajan, Senior Director & Chief Technologist, VMware India.
Explaining the Blockchain technology Huzefa Motiwala of Commvault says, “Blockchain is a new way of storing information. One can think of it as a shared virtual ledger owned by users (called nodes) on the blockchain network. Any change to that ledger, once cryptographically verified will be reflected across the entire network, visible to everyone. Right now largely used synonymously for crypto-currencies, it’ll be adopted by wider audiences as it is the ultimate enemy of bureaucracy.”
“For Blockchain, 2019 will be a formative year for practical application of this technology as organisations will continue to work to understand how this can benefit their businesses,” views Amit Mehta, Director – Modern Data Centre, Dell Technologies.
Zero Trust Cyber Security
Zero Trust brings a new approach towards cyber security. It enables an enterprise to secure mobile and cloud applications. It also helps companies to analyse encrypted data securely. It will take some time to pick up.
“Zero Trust is a new approach to cyber security that encompasses a wide range of data privacy practices, protocols, and technologies. Zero Trust models independently approve and constrain every user, connection, and data packet that moves through a network, enabling enterprises to better secure mobile and cloud applications and allowing multiple companies to collaboratively and securely analyze encrypted data,” explains Arindam Sen, CIO, International Operations, Cloud and Connectivity, Schneider Electric.
“Zero-trust architectures need to be pervasive for internal systems, but getting to this stage will take time. Meanwhile, companies need to better segment their networks and move to software-defined networking. As an industry, we need to 'shift-left' on security and build security into the applications earlier than later,” feels Prasanna Pendse of ThoughtWorks.
5G is a revolutionary technology which will help the world to communicate in a better way. It will boost the interconnected things space in a big way.
“5G is the network super highway and it will change the way world communicates. It’ll connect the entire world to faster and better internet. There will be data over load as data production & consumption will shoot up due to the increased speed,” highlights Huzefa Motiwala – Senior Director, Systems Engineering APAC at Commvault.
5G is likely to change the landscape of interconnected “things” in a way that would have been hard to imagine a few years ago. It will bring in new markets and opportunities as well as demand that existing infrastructure scale,” thinks Vinod Pisharody, CTO and VP Engineering, Array Networks.
New age Communication
With the freedom of getting connected to the workspace from any device, the new generation of workforce are looking forward to organizations to provide them with collaboration tools at the workplace for innovation and flexibility.
“As new generations enter the workforce, expectations around being able to connect instantly, from any device or workspace are rising. There is an increasing demand from employees on organisations to provide collaboration tools at the workplace to enable innovation and allow for greater flexibility. Imagine a world where you walk into a conference room, touch your badge to the table, and the system could automatically dial you into the prescheduled call. Or where sensors and AI combine to take roll at a board meeting, producing a real-time transcription and translation of the discussion This is the future of communication,” upholds Ankur Goel, Managing Director for Poly, India & SAARC.
Another mode of communication which is coming up is Voice Assistants. It helps in delivering productivity for customers and organizations have realized that digital interactions are as critical as face-to-face.
We are in the midst of unprecedented technological change, where the power of voice is fundamentally changing the way we work. With voice, we are entering into a new era of how people are interacting delivering entirely new levels of productivity for customers. The use of Voice Assistants among businesses will be a growing trend to enhance customer engagement across sales, marketing and service teams. Voice assistant will allow users to update records, create tasks and notify team members, offer personalized daily briefings about schedules, company priorities, and metrics. Einstein Voice Assistant enables conversational updates to Salesforce and puts them to work with AI ushering in a new era of conversational CRM, delivering new levels of productivity and redefining customer experiences.
As for customer-facing mobile technologies, businesses have finally begun to recognize that digital interactions are as vital as face-to-face meetings. Today customers are likely to switch brands when they encounter businesses that fail to provide an easy-to-use mobile experience. As such, high-performing IT teams are nearly 3x more likely than underperformers to identify transforming customer-facing technology as a critical priority,” describes Kalki V Yasas of Salesforce.
AR & VR
AR and VR have come up as important technologies across verticals. Organizations are adopting these technologies to engage customers and optimise sales and marketing efforts.
“Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have touched every segment of the industry. It is completely going to affect the companies across the board as they adopt the technology in engaging the customers and optimizing their sales and marketing efforts.” Pankaj Harjai of Lenovo India observes.
“We inhabit a world that is increasingly moving towards a connected ecosystem, a new age where machines intelligently 'sense', 'transceive' (transmit and receive) and 'function' independently. Many organizations are already looking into next generation business intelligence and roles that AI and VR will play,” Saurabh Saxena of Micro Focus India says.
Industrial robotics has already gained grounds and it is not far enough when consumers will start purchasing robots for their personal use.
“While industrial robotics has already picked up, personal robots aren’t distant future. Soon consumers will want to purchase robots that can run a virus check, schedule appointments, filter messages and help with personal chores,” views Huzefa Motiwala of Commvault.
Emerging Technologies & Security Landscape
With increasing number of devices connected to internet, the threat surface is also increasing gradually. New technologies will invite newer threats.
“As more types of devices come online, the “threat surface” increases in a nonlinear manner. Security technologies will have to adapt to cover these in an effective way. 5G will bring in new requirements of security and AI will likely fulfill those needs. The amount of data that needs to be processed and an ever increasing threat surface will force technologies to use ML and AI to contain these problems. Many such technologies are already starting to take shape but it will take some time for these to be effective,” says Vinod Pisharody of Array Networks.
“With data becoming today’s new oil, the security landscape is facing a lot of disruptions, and businesses are continuously working towards their readiness to protect their data assets from internal and external threats. Today, transactions are taking place across multiple devices, making it more difficult for the security leaders to protect and encrypt the data from multiple threat sources.
In such complex scenarios, businesses need to bridge the security gap by installing advanced security infrastructure, and at the same time bringing simplicity to solutions provided, saving time and energy. Deployment of proper authentication measures to access data, encrypting devices where data is stored, are a few measures to be utilized in the near future to combat any kind of data breach and theft. Technologies such as Autonomous Cloud, AI/ML equipped data centers etc. could be used to prevent any kind of breach,” suggests Amit Mehta of Dell Technologies.
With similar views, Nick FitzGerald of ESET says, “The growth of technology means more connected devices, both in terms of total numbers and different models of devices and hence more exposed attack surface. More diverse kinds of connections, such as direct B2B connectivity with suppliers and partners, also mean that some of that attack surface that may seem “internal” to your business is actually exposed outside your direct control, even if it is not openly connected to the internet and hence not publicly exposed.
As you cannot assure the security and integrity of these partners, you have to secure these connections against your partners, while also securing the rest of your network infrastructure.
Therefore, with our increased dependency on technology, thorough risk analysis and careful network design and segmentation will be critical in ensuring a safe and secure network.”
“With the rise of any new technology - blockchain, AI, AR, IoT etc – you will see a new class of attackers who are able to exploit vulnerabilities in these systems quite rapidly. Attackers will always find ways to get into systems and compromise an organization for profit. The more technology is deployed, the more the number of people trying to hack into it. At Barracuda we have a very good track record of helping the defenders build multi-layered security systems that help them stop these attacks in their tracks,” says Tushar Richabadas, Product Manager, WAF & ADC Barracuda Networks.
To protect itself from potential threat, corporate should identify authentication risks, establish identity assurance requirements and employ metrics. Organizations should also need to maintain asset inventory details for records to identify insecure devices.
“The high adoption of IoT by corporates, forced enterprises to change existing IT architecture that in turn introduces new threats and enhances old ones. Organizations should identify authentication risks, establish identity assurance requirements and employ metrics. Organizations should develop enterprise wide data security governance programs by identifying data security policy gaps and seeking cyber insurance when appropriate.
It is also critical for the enterprises to maintain the asset inventory details as the surveys conducted in the past proved that most of cyber-attacks are caused by insecure device available on their own network. Enterprises should define proactive approach to these vulnerabilities,” feels Sunder Muthevi - CTO, Pi DATACENTERS.
Data has been the reason behind the technological transformation and its adoption, and it will continue in the coming years. Data will influence many emerging technologies to be used in daily life. This in turn will fasten the digital direction.
“According to Dell Technologies’ 2019 predictions, data will continue to drive a number of technology trends that will transform emerging technologies into more mainstream experiences for everyday life. AL and ML, for example, are becoming pervasive in virtually every major technology advancement. Emerging technology will only accelerate and augment the digital direction. From 5G changing the data game in terms of speed and access, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning fostering productivity increases, ever growing data requiring a multi-tiered cloud, and with Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) bringing more creativity to the workplace, 2019 will be the year of the data-driven digital ecosystem.
Some of the technologies to keep focus on in the coming years would be 3D Printing, Blockchain, Autonomous vehicles and Renewable Energy,” predicts Sheenam Ohrie of DELL Digital.
“The future will see a shift from the vertical towards the horizontal. As organisations transform into technology companies, there will be a fundamental evolution. That is because no matter what business you are in, retail, manufacturing or healthcare to name a few, the problems you are trying to solve are all the same – and the value you seek comes from the same sources,” concludes Neville Vincent of Nutanix.