Digital impact in era of new technologies

Digital impact in era of new technologies

We are at the cusp of entering a futuristic era where workplace related policies will take robots into account as well! Undoubtedly, these are the best of times, these are the worst of times. Science and fiction will merge and workplaces will see synergies of humans and humanoids. Standing one's ground is getting difficult by the hour.

Amidst the massive tectonic shift, while one is vulnerable to the challenge of automation, the Indian IT companies need to speed up the process of adopting technology in order to stay future proof. Today, the industry is fraught with challenges and opportunities as Artificial Intelligence(AI), automation and machine learning have permeated every facet of a business.

Millennials and urban Indians have got used to the highly intuitive, high-performing yet aesthetically appealing devices that convey skills beyond the user interface -for work or play.

AI-powered bots have also taken technology to the next level with enhancements to digital assistants such as Siri, Viv and Cortana giving rise to a zillion commercial opportunities as establishments take advantage of rehabilitated consumer confidence in such applications.

Every second counts in the digital world. This is why millennials are now turning to AI-powered solutions to help bring fast and accurate resolution.

AI-powered capabilities can enable businesses to provide customers with intelligent 'digital advisors' anywhere on their web and mobile channels. By understanding customer intent in real time, just a click can surface the content and action the customer needs into a single view. Businesses can provide AI-powered concierge-level service while bypassing scattered navigation experiences that frustrate customers and negatively impact the bottom line.

For example, earlier, a customer troubleshooting a product issue could bounce from an FAQ repository and user community sections to 'how to' videos and online service chats before ultimately resolving the problem.

The longer it takes customers to dig, the more likely it is that they will call a service representative or jump to a competitor's site.

There is now the convenience of what we like to term as "decision hub" that help customers arrive at a solution in a timely and more efficient manner. Yes, predictive intelligence can get machines to do the decision making! Self-learning models produce relevant, suggested actions that allow for adaptive and real-time decisioning.

The word "disrupt"

2016-17 saw the disruptive potential of blockchain technologies extending to virtual currencies like Bitcoin which in turn disrupted banking and loaning. The year 2017 also witnessed breakthroughs in security management and, going further, the use of blockchain technology in identity management may not be surprising.

Augmented Reality sky-rocketed 2016 when Pokemon Go became a global phenomenon. AR and VR are being used beyond gaming and entertainment. It has shown real promise for education and healthcare sectors. E-governance is getting increasingly in vogue as citizen services are being vastly digitised.

Digitisation has shown enormous potential to overcome operational challenges that governments until now have been grappling with. Such is the calibre of this revolution that the word "disrupt" itself has come to gain positive tonality. Future is going to be both interesting and intimidating with new technologies assisting and threatening at the same time.

AI- friend or foe?

AI is not a threat. It is here to service the workforce, to augment it giving humans access to insights and knowledge that elevates performance.

This, in turn, allows organisations to deliver unprecedented experiences even in the most demanding and competitive environments.

AI is not here to usurp jobs but to create more and to enhance existing roles. It is daunting to accept that humanoids are now being granted the highest honour of citizenship.

The presence of humanoid Sophia at WCIT (World Congress on Information Technology) this year is expected to be all about coexistence of robots and humans.

Software democratisation

The parade of new technologies and innovations will continue to feed the fourth industrial revolution.

But what would make this revolution more impactful is when technology rather than being concentrated in the FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) generation is democratised and made accessible to all.

While we are at the cusp of this revolution, it would be worthwhile to see democratisation of cloud, software, data extended to encompass one and all. As a race thriving on innovation and disruption, territorial boundaries have long started to get blurred giving rise to a braver and smarter new world, a world of e-connect, ecommerce, e-business and e-governance.

(The writer is Managing Director at Pegasystems India)

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