A year ago, we identified trends and predictions for 2018 dealing with different facets of digital transformation and its implications for the enterprise. As businesses everywhere continue to embrace digitalization and everything it entails, we can expect this transformative journey to continue well into the new year.
Narrowing the focus
According to Forrester, the scope of digital transformation will change during 2019 from enterprise-wide initiatives to something narrower and more pragmatic. This approach will be a huge benefit when it comes to faster software delivery, and automated test activities are essential for that.
By taking a surgical view of their digital investments across various portfolios, businesses can better focus their innovation on the systems and processes for which automation will deliver the most improved margins. As a result, we can expect to see an increase in businesses embracing the agile delivery model they need to enable productive digital transformation.
The year of AI (definitely this time)
Analyst firm Tractica suggests that a combination of growing amounts of data, faster processing power, and increasingly powerful algorithms has seen the deployment of Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies gather real momentum over the past couple of years. With Forrester predicting that organizations will expand their use of automation and proofs of concept to better understand the impact of AI, and ultimately accelerate their own ability to realize its promises, its effect on digital transformation will certainly be felt over the next 12 months.
AI-enhanced augmented analytics, automated testing, automated code generation, and automated solution development will all help to speed the development process, according to Gartner. At the same time, our own AI-powered test solution, ASTUTE, which comprises intelligent testing services and bots that leverage machine learning techniques for every phase of testing, will reduce test efforts by at least 35 percent. As a result, enterprises will be able to launch digital transformation initiatives within weeks rather than months.
The rise and rise of DevOps
DevOps, already on an upward trajectory, will grow in importance in 2019 as this rise in AI-powered solutions leads to the formation of valuable new alliances. Data scientists, for example, will seek collaboration with DevOps teams to increase the efficiency of the development, deployment and maintenance of the growing number of AI and ML-driven applications demanded by the enterprise.
Indeed, the technology is a perfect bedfellow for DevOps, particularly when it comes to software testing. By applying ML algorithms to test results, it’s possible to identify patterns of poor coding that can lead to too many errors, insight that can greatly improve efficiencies. What’s more, this ability to learn patterns, anticipate problems and suggest solutions will go a long way to fulfilling DevOps’ promise of unifying development and operations functions.
Big data’s just getting bigger – better be ready
No digital transformation would be possible without data, of course, and its potential to reduce costs, streamline processes and change business models. Next year data is only set to grow in importance and volume, particularly as storage becomes ever cheaper. What’s more, the introduction of commercial 5G networks in 2019 will provide the connective tissue between the countless sensors and devices that make up the Internet of Things.
But the value of the data generated by these devices lies in the quality of the data its analysis, so how do you make sure your data is of good quality? This is something we have helped over half of our customer with already since this data will take many different forms, much of it unstructured. Organizations will need to make strategic investments in big data analytics – AI, machine learning or cloud-based processing – in order to extract meaningful insights from this huge volume of data, and use these to inform their transformation initiatives.
Better software delivery through blockchain
We couldn’t take a look at the year ahead without mentioning blockchain, the now ubiquitous distributed data structure well-known for its use with crypto-currency Bitcoin. Among the range of alternative solutions that have arisen since its emergence, however, is its potential to improve the transparency and reliability of software delivery chains.
Using a blockchain to record whether code is successfully moving down the pipeline would make software delivery more transparent, thereby improving the software’s quality and reliability. Anyone within the network with the correct permissions could view its delivery status and information on any problems over the blockchain – in real time – allowing far greater visibility into the continuous delivery process.
Of course, this is purely theoretical at the moment, as are many possible applications of blockchain. It’s certainly worth considering, though, particularly given Gartner’s forecast that the technology will create US$3.1 trillion in business value over the next decade, making it a trend to watch in 2019.
What are the trends and technologies on your mind as we approach the new year? Contact us to discuss how we can help you achieve the promise of digital transformation in 2019 and beyond.
And happy holidays from all of us at Apexon!
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