Today is all about digital business, but CIOs should look beyond it to three transformative technologies.
Ninety percent of all data in the world has been created in the past two years. The challenge is that 90% of data is now unstructured. CIOs must build the data and analytics framework to help analyze that data and present the insight to allow the business to grow, said Steve Prentice, vice president and Gartner Fellow, at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Barcelona.
“Fundamentally, this is a story about data. It’s about unimaginable amounts of data and it’s about how that data will help you transform your organization,” said Mr. Prentice. “Digital business is not the endgame. Digital business is just one stage on a journey and beyond that we have something that we call algorithmic business.”
Analytics will evolve to algorithmic business, which is the “industrialized use of complex mathematical algorithms to help make better business decisions,” said Mr. Prentice.
As companies look to the algorithmic future, CIOs should remember “ABC” as the technologies that will transform the user experience.
A is for algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI)
“Algorithms capture the knowledge that turns raw data into valuable insight, and CIOs must use them to drive speed, scale and consistency in their digital business journey,” said Mr. Prentice. “Applied to huge datasets, algorithms allow highly accurate, personalized offerings, which in turn can drive revenue and differentiation.”
AI enables systems to better address unstructured data, identify relationships and extract insight from unstructured data. However, it will require human intervention to apply critical thinking and judgment about what it discovers.
B is for bots
The term “bots” is relatively new, but the technology has been around for quite a while. A bot is a small piece of code or an app that does one thing really well. It’s possible to create bigger, more complex apps by combining multiple bots and building them up as you would with lines of code. AI and bots give technology a voice, and the ability to converse with bots transforms the customer experience. Bots will use AI to manage unstructured data and complex tasks.
C is for Chatbot
Chatbots, a specific type of bot tailored to human interaction, use AI to process language. A chatbot can speak and understand speech and will parse what humans say and attempt to understand a request. Chatbots then communicate with other machines to task them with the question and return the answer to the human. This technology offers a new human interface, which is particularly interesting since much of the current human interaction with technology is through a screen, a very old-fashioned approach. Interacting with chatbots won’t require any particular setup; the technology will simply understand and do as the human asks.
Algorithms are changing the customer experience and are being used even today to turn data into highly accurate, personalized offerings for customers and new sources of revenue for companies. For example, Amazon’s recommendation engine uses an algorithm to suggest additional purchases for consumers, and has increased sales by an estimated 10 – 15%.
“Fueled by data, analytics and AI, algorithmic business will continue to grow and disrupt your business,” said Mr. Prentice. “This growth is unabated, as algorithms are feasting on the wealth of data that grows inexorably.”
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