Tech trends that will transform the way we live and work

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Rory Moore | Innovation Lead | Accenture South Africa | mail me |


People’s love for technology has let businesses weave it, and themselves, into our lives, transforming how we work live and interact in this new world which we are referring to – in our Tech Vision 2020 – as the ‘post-digital era’. But now we are being held back.

At a time when people see the potential of embracing technology more deeply into their lives, systems and services built for a old era are not supporting where people want to go. The next five years will see radical transformation as technology is realigned to better reflect people’s needs and values.

We look at the latest emerging trends that will transform how we live in work in this fundamentally different post-digital world.


A short overview of the five tech trends that will transform the way we live and work


‘The I in experience’ – helping people choose their own adventure  

The next generation of technology-driven experiences will be those that make the user an active participant in creating the experience.

Businesses are increasingly looking to personalise and individualise experiences to a greater degree than ever before, but are faced with stricter data regulations and users that are wary of services being too invasive.

To address this, leading businesses are changing the paradigm and making choice and agency a central component of what they deliver.

‘AI and me’ – reimagining business through human and AI collaboration

Businesses will have to tap the full potential of artificial intelligence (AI) by making it an additive contributor to work, rather than a backstop for automating boring or repetitive tasks.

Until now, enterprises have been using AI to automate parts of their workflows, but as AI capabilities grow, following the old path will limit the full benefit of AI investments, potentially marginalise people, and cap businesses’ ability for growth.

Businesses must rethink the work they do to make AI a generative part of the process. To do so, they will have to build new capabilities that improve the contextual comprehension between people and machines.

‘The dilemma of smart things’ – overcoming the ‘beta burden’

As enterprises convert their products into platforms for digital experiences, new challenges arise that, if left unaddressed, will alienate customers and erode their trust.

Now that the true value of a product is being driven by the experience, a facet of the product that enterprises have traditionally retained strict control over, businesses must re-evaluate central questions: how involved they are with the product lifecycle, how to maintain transparency and continuity over product features, when is a product truly ‘finished’, and even who owns it?

‘Robots in the wild’ – growing businesses’ reach and responsibility

Robotics are no longer contained to the warehouse or factory floor. Autonomous vehicles, delivery drones, and other robot-driven machines are fast entering the world around us, allowing businesses to extend this intelligence back into the physical world.

As 5G is poised to accelerate this trend, every enterprise must begin to re-think their business through the lens of robotics.

Where will they find the most value, and what partners do they need to unlock it? What challenges will they face as they undergo this transformation, and what new responsibilities do they have towards their customers and society at large?

‘Innovation DNA’ – creating an engine for continuous innovation

Businesses should assemble their unique innovation DNA to define how their enterprises grow in the future. Maturing digital technology is making it easier than ever before to transform parts of the business, or find new value in share tools with others.

The three key building blocks of innovation DNA are:

  • Continue on the digital transformation journey
  • Accelerate research and development (R&D) of scientific advancements and utilise elements such as material sciences and genomic editing to ensure practical applications are leaving these labs quicker than ever before
  • Leverage the power of DARQ (distributed ledger technology, AI, extended reality and quantum computing) to transform and optimise the business

Differentiation in the post-digital era will be driven by the powerful combinations of innovation and these building blocks will enable exactly that.

It’s not a ‘techlash’, it’s a ‘tech-clash’

Essentially, this new digital world is more intimate and personal than ever imaginable, but the models for data, ownership, and experience that define that world have remained the same.

Tech-clash is a clash between old models that are incongruous with people’s expectations. The time to start transformation is now. To this end, businesses need to defuse the tech-clash, build human-centered models and foster deeply trusting relationships.



 



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