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Five converging forces that stimulate technological evolution

Today's digital age delivers unparalleled technological innovations that combine artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to make devices and businesses intelligent, responsive and increasingly connected. This paves the way for organizations to turn insights into foresight and for leaders to make decisions in a more informed, accurate and timely manner.

Transformative technologies such as 5G networks, interconnected IoT devices, ad-hoc and decentralized networks and autonomous collaboration systems open up new means of communication with large data exchanges. It is therefore crucial for companies to make their systems safer than ever – not only to guard against threats, but also to remain competitive and to comply with changing regulations.

Nevertheless, five concurrent forces drive the evolution and construction of a new technological future and companies can help companies stay ahead.

1. The drive to create intelligent systems powered by AI

From 5G to robotics and vehicles to application development, the world as we know it is largely autonomous and interconnected. This allows companies to streamline their business processes, transform customer experiences, reduce costs and achieve remarkable growth and profitability. This has been reinforced by the aggressive efforts of companies to modernize IT systems, applications and processes to make them scalable and more agile.

This progress in automation will undoubtedly bring AI to new heights. For example, collaboration between humans and robots will transform staff by removing main tasks and allowing people to spend more time on personal development and learning new skills.

2. The emergence of interconnected systems

IoT causes enormous business changes in different sectors. Countless sensors are deployed every day, generating huge amounts of data to help organizations make better decisions. Examples include better predictive maintenance software, supply chain optimization, fraud detection, remote monitoring of insured properties, remote monitoring of patients and cars without driver.

Connected systems with computing power at the edge of the network increase the power of intelligence systems. The collected data can be immediately analyzed for real-time insights, allowing people, devices and organizations to work smarter and respond faster. This helps enterprise systems to become collaborative, cooperative and connected, with interconnected tools that enable the next phase of the evolution of autonomous devices, collaborate, share workloads, and perform complex calculations.

3. The need for more effective interfaces between man and machine

In every scenario in which the digital meets the physical world, interaction between man and machine is crucial. More compelling experiences will lead to better acceptance of products, services and interactions with smart machines. That is why the organizations that offer immersive AI-driven, hyper-personalized experiences for users gain a competitive advantage.

Rapid progress has already been made with augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR), such as AR apps, VR headsets that offer compelling experiences and Microsoft Hololens-based applications that combine real and virtual worlds. These technologies are applied to practical usage examples, such as virtual showrooms for cars or homes.

One step further, holography can help doctors prepare for surgery by recreating the human anatomy in 3D. A critical hurdle to overcome, however, is to ensure that rendering of full-field simulated environments can compensate for errors and incomplete data flows that often occur in real-life scenarios.

4. The demand for advanced communication technologies

Advanced communication technologies will form the basis of the critical infrastructure needed for a digital and smart future. This stimulates the growth of technologies such as 5G and light fidelity (Li-Fi). These new technologies can transfer huge amounts of data at extremely high speeds, radically changing the future of intelligent, interconnected systems.

IoT devices quickly touch every aspect of our physical lives, calling for the transfer of huge amounts of data at very high speeds to build truly connected ecosystems. Although Wi-Fi accounts for 60% of today's global data transfer, it must overcome the lack of persistence between network connections and security deficiencies.

5. The urge to implement emerging technologies

In the field of computers, sensors, imaging and metrology, quantum technologies help us to transcend conventional boundaries by tapping into new and new technological possibilities within industries. Quantum ' s impact on communication security is already visible.

Emerging technologies such as quantum key distribution and post-quantum cryptography will revolutionize the IT security landscape, forcing business and technology leaders to evolve and redesign their security strategies. Quantum sensing and imaging technologies help us to visualize and measure physical dimensions with unprecedented details, with the promise to revolutionize industries such as oil and gas, astronomy, optics and others.

Companies are historically built around three main goals: the urge to increase productivity and efficiency, the need to deliver better experiences to users (customers, partners and employees) and the need to stay relevant in the market.

To ensure that these goals are met, business leaders need to understand when new technologies need to be evaluated and applied, so that the required investment delivers an optimal return and a competitive advantage. Therefore, organizations must begin by recognizing that technologies are not maturing at the same pace and developing a road map for each of them.

They must then assess the real impact of these technologies on the wider sector before activating programs to ensure that not only current and future business needs are met, but also that they are exceeded by these evolving and emerging technologies.

Sanjiv Gossain has worked at Cognizant for more than 13 years. He is the SVP for Cognizant's Digital Business services unit throughout Europe.

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