These figures illustrate that our world is becoming far more connected than ever before. However, despite this, a gap between the technology we have and our ability to use it to its fullest means we’re still struggling to realise our true digital potential.
In August 2018, a study by Currys PC World found that an alarming 42% of the public believe technology is too complicated, despite 80% using a smartphone and two-thirds using a laptop on a daily basis. Furthermore, a quarter of the 2,000 respondents admitted they were “clueless” about the cloud and didn’t know how cloud storage works. The situation is little different in business.
Businesses are being held back because they aren’t getting the most out of their own technology. When adopting the latest innovations and investing in new software releases companies can get the best value for money by maximising their digital potential.
Vast potential in the era of big data
An IDC report recently revealed that the amount of data in existence will grow to 175 zettabytes in 2025, a 430% increase on the 33 zettabytes in existence in 2018. And 90% of that data is expected to be created by the IoT alone. While data is increasing exponentially, businesses remain unable to capture data effectively and put it to use in a way that delivers value.
This is indicative of the digital gaps that are permeating the business world. To illustrate, public services like tax payments, utility bills and health information could be made more accessible and user-friendly if government data was made more publicly accessible; and small businesses could gain a huge competitive advantage on their larger, less agile competitors if they were to fully capitalise on the opportunities of cloud computing.
Embracing emerging technologies
Closing these digital gaps won’t suddenly be achieved through a ‘big bang’ moment. Rather, it will be a gradual process of intelligent transformation, which will see businesses digitising their assets driven by big data and the cloud, as well as emerging technologies like blockchain, edge computing, 5G and Artificial Intelligence.
These technologies are increasingly shaking up businesses, changing the way they operate, reshaping their processes and rewriting business models as we know them. For example, the combination of 5G and edge computing will eliminate the need for businesses to have a server on-premise, enhancing their data processing capabilities and guaranteeing low latency and high bandwidth. To put it into context how businesses will change the management of their data, around one-tenth of enterprise-generated data is currently created and processed outside of a traditional data centre – but by 2022, Gartner predicts that will rise to 75%.
We’re seeing businesses all over the world begin to get the most out of their existing tools and systems by embracing emerging technologies. For instance, the deployment of an edge computing infrastructure has had a major impact in enhancing security systems across the City of Bogota, in Colombia. The solution has revamped the city’s complex monitoring system of more than 1,000 cameras from different vendors, enabling its security team to view any camera, regardless of brand, from a single location, which hugely simplifies operations. This has maximised the performance of an array of sensors already in place, while allowing the city to expand its security systems with an additional 2,000 cameras.
Another good instance of a business that has used technology to address the digital gap is Chilean berry producer and distributor Hortifruit. Uncontrollable variables have historically hampered farmers with crop sizes varying wildly from year to year, which, of course, can impact revenue. But Hortifruit has addressed this time-old issue by gaining real-time insight into weather and location issues, which helps it optimise production and ensure a reliable stream of ripe berries. Deploying an SAP HANA platform on Lenovo servers also helps Hortifruit get the best out of its existing technology by making all data available in one place. This means they can easily identify the most productive berry growing locations and enhance productivity across their production region – guaranteeing optimal berry supply and revenue.
Cultivating a better-connected world can be made possible by embracing intelligent technological solutions. Smart solutions provide organisations with increased efficiency and ultimately lead to better financial results, and agnostic businesses and technology providers will provide the platform for a collaborative technology ecosystem. This will ensure that people across the globe access the information and services they need to make the most of their technology.