Technological progress is accelerating at a faster pace than ever before, and nowhere is that clearer than in the enterprise technology space. From artificial intelligence (AI) to edge computing, advanced technologies are transforming enterprise businesses across all industries.
Enterprise technologies are enabling greater operational efficiencies and the creation of new business models. They are also reshaping the narratives of how we live, work and navigate our rapidly evolving world. As communicators, we need to be aware of how these narratives are shifting and where our clients can insert themselves into the conversation.
Here are five of the biggest enterprise technology trends PR pros should be aware of and what they mean for our future:
1. The Rise of Artificial Intelligence
Use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) has grown dramatically in recent years. These technologies enable businesses to process, analyze and extract actionable intelligence from the tremendous volumes of data generated across enterprises every day. This enables businesses to quickly filter the signal from the noise and engage in faster, better decision-making.
For example, in the financial services industry, AI-powered anti-fraud solutions parse through user, device and transactional data across multiple platforms and channels to identify and stop fraud in real-time. In cybersecurity, AI is being used to automate threat-hunting by examining network data for patterns and anomalies that could indicate a breach. In healthcare, AI solutions are examining medical images and detecting cancers as accurately as skilled radiologists.
2. Migration to the Cloud
Over the past few years, organizations have been migrating more and more of their core processes and functions to public cloud platforms. Research shows that as much as 80% of organizations today have multi-cloud environments, with the average organization using four to five different public and private clouds to run a mix of applications and services, including accounting, finance and customer-facing services. The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated this trend, with many organizations rapidly deploying cloud-based collaboration technologies to support employees working from home.
Migrating to the cloud enables businesses to optimize costs and position themselves to be nimbler and more scalable in an increasingly competitive and dynamic business landscape. However, it can also bring increased cybersecurity risks — as we have seen with Zoom. Today’s organizations should follow cybersecurity best practices, including evaluating and penetration testing new applications and platforms for vulnerabilities prior to deploying them.
3. Real-time Data Analytics at the Network Edge
Enterprise organizations are increasingly deploying Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and smart sensors through every aspect of their business. In manufacturing, for example, modern facilities are outfitted with thousands of sensors measuring everything from machine components performance to humidity and dust levels. To make sense of all the data these devices generate, organizations rely on advanced analytics solutions that examine data in real time, at the network’s edge. By analyzing data closer to where it’s generated, rather than in a centralized cloud or server, manufacturers can quickly make adjustments — such as recognizing when a piece of equipment is about to break down and switching it out before the line slows down.
4. 5G Connectivity Powering It All
All the technologies described above can deliver tremendous benefits to businesses only if they also have reliable connectivity to high-speed internet. Now that 5G is being rolled out widely, its ultra-high bandwidth and extremely low latency can enable data transfers at speeds we have never seen before. A file that would take over 25 hours to download with 3G or six minutes with 4G takes just 3.6 seconds with 5G. Among other benefits, 5G will help herald in the era of the autonomous vehicle by enabling self-driving cars to communicate with each other and with smart infrastructure around them almost instantaneously, thus creating safer roadways.
5. Quantum Computing
While quantum computing is still in infancy, it is already poised to shape technological progress over the next decade and beyond. Quantum computers can process enormous data sets, recognize hard-to-identify patterns and solve problems too complex for current supercomputers. Google’s quantum computer recently solved a calculation in 3 minutes and 20 seconds that would take today’s fastest traditional supercomputer 10,000 years to solve. With unprecedented ability to understand patterns and relationships in data, quantum computers will transform everything, including communications, logistics, cryptography, medical research and more, enabling us to build better predictive models for everything from financial markets to climate change.
Each of these enterprise technology trends is already delivering tangible benefits to all major industries, but in coming years the convergence of these technologies will further propel technological progress, providing new opportunities for innovators to change the world with new products and services. By combining technologies like AI, cloud computing, edge analytics, 5G and eventually quantum computing, organizations will not only be able to improve business and create new value propositions but perhaps even help solve some of society’s most pressing challenges. As PR pros, we stand ready to help those companies and organizations tell the stories of the future.
RH Strategic is a Seattle and D.C.-based communications firm with a nationwide presence and additional global reach via membership in the Worldcom Public Relations Group. We provide strategic public relations for innovators in the technology, government and healthcare markets.