Artificial intelligence and machine learning are about a computer’s ability to think, recognize patterns, make decisions and use the results of those decisions to continuously improve. Enabling computers to think for us is more efficient—and often leads to better outcomes. AI will disrupt every industry, every market, and every job. Rather than waiting for the disruption, executives can begin transforming organizations in iterative experiments, gaining efficiency and cost savings that can add up fast.
Augmented Reality and
Augmented reality superimposes images and opportunities for interactions into the viewer’s physical space. Virtual reality creates a simulated three-dimensional world that enables viewers to interact through body movements and sensors. Both realities are finding their footing in education, training, operations and maintenance, design and on-the-job assistance. Many executives think about virtual reality and augmented reality as something requiring significant investment and special equipment. But, with a mobile phone and a willingness to experiment, organizations can quickly create a new reality for themselves.
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Put simply, blockchain is a series of permanent records of transactions that are simultaneously stored across a network of computers. Blockchain democratizes trust by making everyone an owner of permanent records of actions and transactions. Blockchain not only holds a great deal of power in changing the way information is created and shared, but also it demands much power to operate.
Internet of Things & Advanced Analytics
The Internet of Things (IoT) connects everyday objects to each other and to companies in consumer and business markets. Advanced analytics takes the data created by sensors and processes them to reveal trends and predict or even execute future events. Executives that want to use IoT and advanced analytics to deliver differentiating value should focus first on revamping their organization’s analytics data platform. With the right framework in place, they can meet the ongoing needs of the business while also setting the stage for innovation, growth, improved performance and increased engagement.
A data lake is an enormous storage option that holds data in its raw, unstructured state and enables queries and analysis. The data is sorted, formatted and organized only as it is needed. The move from data warehouses to data lakes—from a highly controlled environment to one with less structure and more room for experimentation—mirrors the evolution many organizations are undergoing within their IT departments. As technology drives innovation in all parts of an enterprise, CIOs are relinquishing control and working to ensure each business leader is getting what he or she needs from the available tools at hand.
A container is a discrete package that holds everything needed to run an application—code, configuration, dependencies—in a small vessel. Because containers have the parts necessary to execute on their designated processes, they can be easily moved from one environment to another without any degradation in functionality. Containers are easy and cheap to work with, meaning an organization can scale up and shrink its infrastructure quickly and often. While not fit for all purposes, when deployed thoughtfully, containers can be a great way to pursue application modernization, a move into the cloud, innovation and continuous integration.
Serverless computing breaks down applications into functions, hosting and executing each function in the cloud. When triggered by a programmed event, a function will come online, execute to deliver a specific outcome, and then go off-line again. The big benefits of serverless are less maintenance and cost, combined with scalability and speed to market. But this type of computing requires an entirely different mind-set that may challenge traditional developers and operators.