We're celebrating our 20th birthday this month, and we've invited industry experts, researchers and scientists to write in and paint a vision of the future, 20 years from now. Here's what Rajesh Chandiramani, Senior Vice President and Global Business Head ESRM, AI, & Data Analytics, Tech Mahindra had to share about his vision of the future.
Digital journeys have institutionalized the anytime, anywhere, anyone paradigm. Digital aspirations have driven enterprises of all sizes into an obsession with their customers; an obsession which has aligned operations and strategies alike, to be for the customer, of the customer and by the customer.
To realise their Digital aspirations, organizations are investing heavily in Hyper automation and Cloud Computing as a strategy across all their processes. Hyper-automation, integrating AI (Artificial Intelligence) with RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is enabling organizations to automate repetitive tasks, enhance efficiencies, Cloud Computing to offer significantly more flexibility, scalability, collaboration, and reduced costs.
Companies have extensively adopted smart manufacturing methodologies that have helped improve efficiency and reshape the supply chain. An intelligent supply chain enables organizations to increase visibility, predictability and enhanced control on operations and inventory which aid in effective decision-making.
Smart technologies will offer Predictive Maintenance, Warehouse Automation, Dark factories, Global-level tracking and connected digital logistics. Also, along with features of Industry 4.0, Industry 5.0 will also be a reality in the next 20 years
Technology is now significantly transforming the way services are being designed and delivered. Earlier, a service personnel had to provide support to the customer through their journeys. Not quite so today. The emerging technologies of today offer self-service and automated solutions across various business-processes viz. online airline check-in, self-service checkout lanes in retail stores, gas pumps, and supermarkets.
Today, when contacting customer service, it is mostly an automated operator on the other side or a clever language-program responding when a customer contacts via email. Self-service technologies and automated back-office services can be a delight for the consumers. It enables consumers to receive services right on their premises and get their enquiries processed notably quicker. As a direct fallout of this, the operational costs of the companies decrease with services being delivered at a much lower cost.
The WWW or the ‘World-wide Web’ brought in a ‘world without boundaries’; technology has now expanded our potential to connect with customers across the globe in ways unheard of.
Service providers can offer a rich portfolio of services at the lowest-possible cost globally to their connected customers. Technology has enabled the collection and analysis of customer data for analytics and business insights. There is no doubt that the effective usage of such insights and intelligence would be a key lever for gaining competitive advantage for enterprises in the future.
Digital transformation involves blending of digital technology into all aspects of a business, resulting in fundamental changes in their business operations and business-value delivered to its customers. It is about changing the way a business interacts with customers and provides them a consistent experience anytime and anywhere.
Digital technology has transformed consumer behaviors. Mobile devices, apps, machine learning; automation and many more such technological advancements have allowed customers to avail the services in real-time. The digital paradigm has given birth to the ‘modern buyers’ who are constantly connected, app-native and tech-savvy. These modern buyers and the new-age customers often rate organizations on their digital customer experience.
Enterprises, hence, consider it imperative to adopt a Digital transformation strategy, which offers them an opportunity to engage with these modern-buyers and provide a seamless customer experience.
With an increasing focus on Autonomy, it is quite likely that Artificial Intelligence will infiltrate into every industry over the next 20 years featuring as a part of their core strategy. Quantum Computing will bring about an unprecedented increase in computational power allowing greater penetration of Artificial Intelligence and help resolve complex business-problems e.g., drug discovery, fraud detection, agricultural transformation and beyond.
However, increased automation and intelligence could potentially compromise cybersecurity. The increasingly large volumes of data that is necessary for Artificial Intelligence bring along with its privacy and security concerns. With the rise of Quantum Computing, it will become necessary to change the way the data is encrypted, and communications will be combined with quantum-resistant technologies to enhance cybersecurity.
An exponential growth in IoT (Internet of Things) devices will help create a hyperconnected world. It will be a trillion-dollar industry with billions of connected devices which will enable increased efficiency, automation, convenience, and personalization. Increased connectivity will change the way individualized products are developed, thereby influencing the production process of large enterprises in particular.
Industry 4.0 will restructure the manufacturing process and eliminate unwanted human interference. Industry 5.0, following shortly, would enable collaboration between industrial automation and human thinking skills. An increasing consumer-demand for personalization will bring about extensive hands-on customization of the products. Industry 5.0 will create a synergistic relationship between humans and machines, enabling companies to take processes to levels of seamlessness and efficiencies previously unheard of.
The intervention of technology in Customer Experience will realign the way products and services are consumed. Consumers will be subject to a hyper-personalized experience augmented with Artificial Intelligence insights leading to an enhanced customer-journey.
Augmented Reality, incorporating digital sensory stimuli with the real world, will alter the consumer experience, allow 3D visualization of organs and aid doctors, make education more interactive, allow consumers to imagine the products and beyond.
Consumers of tomorrow will demand hyper-personalization with the increasing use of AI, AR/VR (Augment Reality/ Virtual Reality) and expect an autonomous experience. Many global brands have started testing the autonomous functionality of their products and quite soon, experiences such as autonomous shopping or autonomous driving will become the order of the day.
Social media: Experts observe a reckoning for social platform companies, which will enable large-scale changes in the overall environment of social media during the next decade or so. Either there will be a reckoning for technology companies producing major revisions to their platforms or there could be new platforms designed to make their users’ best interests paramount. It is expected that new social platforms will focus on privacy and ‘genuine’ information.
Privacy issues & misinformation: Actions will be taken to ring-fence online privacy. Online advertising regulations will become stringent; data privacy and protection will assume high importance. All sections of the society will have access to affordable tools and technologies to protect their privacy. There are growing concerns about the accuracy of information encountered online, hence actions are necessary to curb online visibility of false or misleading information. Some amount of change can be brought about by ushering in digital and technology literacy.
Healthier living: Innovations will address physical and mental health; enabling major changes for the healthcare industry and professionals. Experts predict significant medical advancements in the next decade and expect innovations in every realm of physical and mental health. These changes are likely to improve the standards of health for common individuals.
Artificial intelligence: AI will continue to grow and have an increasing impact on human lives. Algorithms have been advancing over the years. New organizational technologies that are being catalyzed viz. ‘software-defined organizations’ will focus on combining the resources available on digital platforms to create and deliver continuous business-value.
Educational reform: Education systems will evolve and transform in response to the multilayered societal changes that are likely to prevail. As society shifts under the influence of technology, experts foresee education changing in response. A greater focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects is expected coupled with Digital literacy programs in the standard curriculum. It seems quite likely that the Education systems would transform and become increasingly digital-oriented.
Labor and jobs: Business practices, work lives and the larger economy will substantially change in the next decade or two. In the light of growing technological developments, it is expected that innovations are likely to occur in labor management influencing the jobs market. From shorter work-weeks to technological displacement, a number of changes are expected over the next 20 years.
Environmental issues: Experts suggest that climate change and other environmental issues will inspire innovation out of necessity. It is quite likely that Digital technologies and Digital methodologies are likely to help effect this change.
Other Technologies that are likely to bring about a profound impact in the upcoming years include:
It is important to note that technology by its nature is value-neutral; and it is what we do with it that precisely defines whether we are creating the “next big thing of value” that can enable wider benefits.
- By Rajesh Chandiramani, Senior Vice President and Global Business Head ESRM, AI, & Data Analytics, Tech Mahindra
To read what other industry leaders and experts have to say about the future in their respective fields, visit our 20th Anniversary Microsite.