by José Alberto Bouça*
Innovation was definitely the main theme of IT in 2017. The much hyped – and sometimes feared – Digital Transformation geared corporations toward a culture targeting continuous development of new business models, always guided by two pillars: markets and people.
According to Gartner, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Digital Platforms, Internet of Things (IoT), and Blockchain were among the ten strategic technologies on the rise in 2017. It was not the first time that consultancies pointed out some of those tools as essential for Digital Transformation. We are witnessing a society on the cusp of abandoning analog processes, moving to a hyperconnected, 24/7 reality.
Throughout 2017, the aforementioned trends gained traction and reached the status of crucial assets for companies of all sizes and verticals. Besides being effectively prepared for disruption, organizations still need to address the core demands of traditional IT, such as automation and optimization, in order to improve processes and lower costs.
The Financial vertical is a good example, as it is still solving process bottlenecks that could already be completely digitized and robotized, such as extracting information from contracts, which can now be done through Artificial Intelligence.
However, the use of those concepts should go far beyond modernizing legacy applications or digitizing existing processes. We should adopt a mindset of change within each organization. The path to Digital Transformation is not simple, though. In addition to the challenge of extracting the true potential of technologies such as IoT, Machine Learning and Blockchain, for example, we still face a shortage of qualified people. Attracting talent to increasingly demanding and fast-paced IT scenarios is crucial for implementing innovative tools and solutions.
Turning the work environment into a creative and entrepreneurial space, following successful startup practices, is a good way to attract talent willing to face the challenges of extracting value from emerging technologies. Teams must also act as catalysts for co-creation between companies and clients, in initiatives that allow joint solution designs. New roles, such as the Product Owner – who sets business requirements for agile development teams – are the cornerstones of the realization of rapid results.
For the next few years, Gartner continues to anticipate trends like IoT development and consolidation, advancements in bots and cryptocurrency legitimacy – following Blockchain’s rise in the market. As a society, we will remain in a transformation with no end in sight, to do more than just repeat buzzwords, instead truly stimulating innovation ecosystems. 2017 came to an end, but we are just beginning.
*José Alberto Bouça is Spread COO
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