Deloitte sees a future where businesses are able to use new technologies in concert rather than trying to master each one individually.
In its just released ninth annual Tech Trends report Deloitte notes that companies would approach the integration of new technologies with a domain specific approach.
The lead authors, Bill Briggs, CTO of Deloitte Consulting, and Craig Hodgetts, Managing Principal of Technology, write:
In the past, organizations typically responded to such disruptive opportunities by launching transformation initiatives within technology domains. For example, domain-specific cloud, analytics, and big data projects represented bold, if singleminded, embraces of the future. Likewise, C-suite positions such as "chief digital officer" or "chief analytics officer" reinforced the primacy of domain thinking.
But it didn't take long for companies to realize that treating some systems as independent domains is suboptimal at best. Complex predictive analytics capabilities delivered little value without big data. In turn, big data was costly and inefficient without cloud.
A holistic approach...
Deloitte sees "forward thinking" companies moving away from domain-specific initiatives.
Instead, they are thinking about exploration, use cases, and deployment more holistically, focusing on how disruptive technologies can complement each other to drive greater value.
For example, blockchain can serve as a new foundational protocol for trust throughout the enterprise and beyond. Cognitive technologies make automated response possible across all enterprise domains. Digital reality breaks down geographic barriers between people, and systemic barriers between humans and data. Together, these technologies can fundamentally reshape how work gets done, or set the stage for new products and business models.
This will lead to the Symphonic Enterprise - business organizations able to combine several disruptive technologies to support highly successful business ventures.
When technologies act in unison, we no longer see the enterprise vertically (focused on line of business or isolated industries) or horizontally (focused on business processes or enabling technologies). In the symphonic enterprise, the old lines become blurred, thus creating a diagonal view that illuminates new business opportunities and creative ways of solving problems.
Here are the key enterprise tech trends over the next 18 to 24 months:
Reengineering IT. The IT department is being rebuilt from top to bottom into a more agile and important business partner that, "will define the technology organization of the future."
- No hybrid humans: Don't be afraid of robots and AI taking away your job - they will become your work colleagues. "Human workers and machines will work together seamlessly, each complementing the other's efforts in a single loop of productivity."
Deloitte advises Human Resources organizations to start thinking about how they will recruit and train a "hybrid human-machine workforce."
- Advanced Data Management: As enterprises seek to unlock value in their data they will have to adopt a additional data management technologies.
- The new Mission critical core: The digitization of business has mostly been in customer-facing initiatives. There's lots of untapped potential in middle and back office processes which have been largely been left unchanged.
- Virtual and augmented realities: Deloitte groups these under Digital Realities and says it represents a powerful new way for companies to engage with customers.
- Blockchain technologies: These are about to breakthrough into broad adoption in many important business functions.
- API technologies: These offer enterprises a way to increase the efficiency of their in-house IT systems by easily reusing those resources across their organization.
- Exponential Technology Watchlist: These are the technologies that Deloitte's forecasters say could create an impact three to five years from now. They are: Human-like Artificial General Intelligence; and quantum computing and its effect on breaking computer security.