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Dilip Kumar Khandelwal
India continues to get recognised by economists and business leaders as one of the bright spots in an overall more challenging global economy. For Indian companies to take a lead in the in the fourth industrial revolution and shape the next phase of our global society, also called globalisation 4.0, they need to transform themselves into intelligent enterprises. The next wave of intelligent technologies can do this. Out of the fast-changing roster of emerging technologies, business leaders need to keep a sharp eye on Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain.
AI adoption will accelerate infusion into all operations
ML and AI will transform the way we do business by leveraging already more familiar technologies, such as the automation of repetitive tasks, sensor-based monitoring, and the use of algorithms to analyse business data and processes. 2019 will be the year in which more companies will start adopting AI across the organisation. AI services, platforms, frameworks and infrastructure will become enablers of applications across domains and industries.
One of the fastest moving and most visible areas of innovation through AI is customer experience. A relevant example being the humanoid robot Pepper that is fast becoming popular in the retail industry. Pepper is part of a new generation of humanoid robots that create a new human-robot interaction. These robots can execute simple consumer-facing tasks, such as checking hotel guests into their rooms or assisting consumers to find a product in the store.
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Blockchain to protect consumers
Blockchain is most known for being the underlying distributed ledger technology for cryptocurrencies and new payment models. The distributed ledger technology securely records information across a peer-to-peer network. According to the World Economic Forum, 10% of global GDP will be stored in Blockchain by 2027. However, the potential of the technology goes way beyond payments and reducing the complexity of reporting requirements. The new generation of Blockchain technology that will come to market this year will provide for broader application across industries.
In addition, by using distributed ledger technology in the cloud companies can use Blockchain across their supply chain. This enables uses such as supply chain tracking and authentication, transportation management, and government services. We will see more and more companies implementing Blockchain technology to prevent the sales of counterfeit bags, clothing, smartphones and fraudulent drugs across geographies. Coupled with cloud computing, Blockchain technology gives companies the ability to identity and prevent the counterfeiting and illicit trade of their products, and thereby protect consumer safety.
Industry 4.0 leaders develop tomorrow’s workforce
Adapting new intelligent technologies for business transformation, like ML, AI and Blockchain are critical for companies to stay competitive. They are also the first step for a long-term transformation to an intelligent enterprise. Equally critical is to ensure that the team has the right skill sets in place, not just for this year, but for the next 2-5 years.
To lead in the fourth industrial revolution, it is not enough to be an early technology adopter. Companies need to start a long-term transformation to an intelligent enterprise that puts the customer and employees at the heart of its overall purpose to drive economic growth.
The writer is president, SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud, SAP SE & MD, SAP Labs India
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