We have looked at 7 major digital trends, and obviously, this list is not a full picture of technology trends, because we are choosing according to the level of impact on the business environment. If you want to list all the trends, it is much longer and maybe many new trends will appear in the next few years. In this article, we will have a broader view of how trends combine and complement each other.
One of the most recent applications that attracted attention is the autonomous car. This is a great example of a combination of trends: big data and advanced analysis, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and artificial intelligence. The design details may vary by carrier, but most autonomous car systems create and maintain an internal map of everything around, based on a variety of sensors. Uber’s autonomous prototype uses 64 laser beams, along with other sensors to build an internal map. Google’s prototype at various stages uses lasers, radars, high-powered cameras and even sonars (underwater navigation systems). The software then processes the inputs, draws a path and sends instructions to the vehicle’s transmission, controlling acceleration, braking and steering. If you remember the article about Internet of Things (IoT), you can easily realize that these features are IoT, a system that is awareness, autonomy and action. Cloud computing allows communication between this vehicle and other vehicles at the next traffic light. These traffic signals are mostly hard coded, but the narrowed AI allows for intelligent judgment and discrimination models, that is, knowing the difference between bikes and motorcycles. While most people need only a few driving lessons to drive well, an autonomous car takes thousands of hours and millions of data points to “drive”. The trend of autonomous car is likely to change not only how we use cars, but also how we do transportation and logistics.
Drone (unmanned aircraft) is not based on one only technology. For example, DroneGrid uses drones to access accurate information about locations, helping construction, agriculture, or solar companies change the way they maintain and plan. Drones are equipped with high resolution cameras and smart software. It can fly around solar power plants. Drones can take pictures, then process them in batches, to predict unusual points and directly implement remediation.
Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality
Virtual reality (VR – virtual reality) and augmented reality (AR) are other examples of technology integration. Sensitive capabilities, big data and strong processing power are essential. Combining these trends has a long-term impact mainly on consumer entertainment. However, the strong transition to AR has promoted new business applications in the field of logistics, maintenance and product design. Echo Global Logistics, for example, has improved warehouse operation through the AR system. Their pickers wear AR equipment to find the right routes and choose the right items more efficiently, thereby saving time and reducing errors when lifting packages incorrectly to 40%. You can imagine the same with the maintenance of huge industrial machines if you follow the step-by-step AR instructions. The maintenance person can clearly see where to go, know which equipment or part is missing, understand how it will be assembled together and just follow step by step.
The fourth industrial revolution or industry 4.0 is another integrated trend. You may have heard it a lot because this is also a focus that the Vietnamese government cares about. When we combine many trends together, we will see a surprising picture of modern manufacturing plants, a system that is fully integrated, automated and optimized. For example, at BCG Innovation Center, they have a factory model opened in Paris in 2016, and when operating in Germany and China, they have improved productivity by 8% compared with traditional factories.
Notes for businesses when observing trends
Clearly, not all trends are equally important to businesses. Netflix may not be greatly influenced by technology improvements in manufacturing, but may be from AI, or even blockchain, when dealing with digital content. There are two points to consider when selecting and combining trends that are relevant to you. First, consider the secondary impact spreading from adjacent industries. For example, autonomous cars have an impact on the car industry and software technology or AI start-ups, such as Uber and Google. However, smart autonomous cars can also change the way we operate in many traditional industries, such as construction or mining. Secondly, think about these trends not only as a trend, but also as a development opportunity or an exploration option to create new growth, even if you are a business in the industry. Initially, Amazon moved to the cloud due to infrastructure requirements and global operation. Then Amazon Web Services was born in 2006, and now it is a $12 billion business.
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About the author:
Ms. Hue Tran has nearly 4 years (2013-2017) working at Gartner in the position of Senior Account Director, also cooperating with many senior leaders of leading enterprises in Vietnam. She has a deep understanding of digital transformation and technology application in business strategy. Later, she went into the financial sector, working in anti-money laundering sector at Accuity (Regional Account Manager). She has also assisted organizations in Asia to transform internal communications at Workplace by Facebook. Passionate with digital transformation, she has continuously researched, explored, learned and actively participated in many activities related to this topic such as Vietnam Journey Group, Digital Bank, IT Leader Club, Launch,…