Cloud, Automation, Data & Analytics

How to keep pace with digital megatrends

Cost pressures are driving firms to invest in automation, cloud migration and advanced data analytics.

Acceleration in digital transformation is occurring across the board. Most of it was underway earlier pre-COVID, but now it has accelerated, driven by the necessity of the new normal. Defining this megatrend are three chief sub-trends: Migrating to the cloud, Advancing adoption of automation, and Scaling operations with advanced analytics.

Cloud Migration: We see a surge in businesses adopting cloud infrastructure for flexibility and scalability, and to meet the surge in demands from remote users. This includes building cloud-native applications, placing data on the cloud, and harnessing compute competencies.

Hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments are clearly winning over in-house data centers. According to a recent IDC report, the worldwide market for cloud systems and service management software will total $21.9 billion in 2024. That represents a five-year compounded annual growth rate of more than 24%.

Many businesses are also finding in cloud applications more effective ways to engage with their customers. For instance, at a leading global business services company, we at Iris are helping building cloud-native applications to support faster onboarding and service customers  in more than 180 countries.

That theme is playing out also at a leading company that provides employee well-being solutions, serving more than a 100 million end-consumers. Here, we are working on modernizing and launching customer engagement omni-channel solutions across desktop, mobile and tablets using cloud-native technology solutions.

Cognitive and intelligent automation: Businesses are accelerating their adoption of AI-based intelligent automation tools such as chatbots, advanced RPA, virtual assistants and cognitive bots. Gartner predicts that 90% of large organizations globally will have adopted RPA in some form by 2022, as they look to digitally empower critical business processes through resilience and scalability, while recalibrating human labor and manual effort.

Chatbots are increasingly popular in the suite of automation solutions. For example, at a leading Fortune 500 audit and advisory firm, we have implemented a multi-lingual chatbot-driven service desk automation solution, integrated with enterprise collaboration platforms for employees distributed globally.

Similarly, at a Fortune 100 global transportation and logistics company, we are implementing a consumer-focused chatbot to address the most frequent queries related to aspects like tracking shipment status and container location. This helps improve productivity of customer help desks and improve customer experience.

 

Advanced data analytics at scale: With enterprise data already on the cloud or moving rapidly towards it, data integration and crunching is now possible at scale and  AI is playing a big role in next wave of advanced data analytics.

AI-based insights, advanced reporting and dynamic visualization are among the chief benefits to be had with real-time analytics. For example, at a leading medical devices company, we have used our proprietary AI-based report rationalization solution to analyze thousands of enterprise reports and recommend an optimized reporting solution on the cloud. This has reduced the volume of redundant reports and maintenance costs for the company. Most importantly, our solution helped develop a reporting stack with which our client gets far better insights into their business.

Triggers for the shifts

Why are those shifts described above occurring? The pandemic has brought on new “cost pressures,” and the implications of work-from-home for automating processes, as companies grow anxious to retain their market shares.

 

With the sudden shift to work-from-home for employees and customers, businesses face the need to connect and collaborate on a real-time basis and in a virtual mode. 

 

One of our clients in the education services industry has for decades conducted standardized testing for K-12 and college-level courses in ‘in-person’ environments at its test centers, schools and accredited third party locations. With the COVID-19 situation, in-person testing is not feasible or is severely restricted. The company now has to provide the same tests in an online environment and make sure the that its test results have the same trust and integrity. This has forced it to rapidly accelerate its digital transformation efforts and roll out virtual tests at scale for millions of students.

Another big driver for the shifts underway is the commoditization and availability of at-scale technologies. That includes high internet speed, cloud infrastructure at scale and on demand, billions of connected devices, low-cost compute power and cheap data storage, to name a few.

Key takeaways

  • Digital transformation is now more urgent than ever before. Organizations now don’t have a choice of either/or.
  • Technology is driving differentiation in marketplace across industries. Organizations that are far ahead in digital transformation are winning. Technology is now a center-stage agenda item in board rooms.

Customers are increasingly doing transactions in an ultra-connected world. Rolling out connected solutions for them is the only way for businesses to survive and grow.

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