In an uncertain context, digital transformation appears to be essential to prevent future crises. But what about AI and automation? Even if companies seem to be interested, these technologies will be shot by some third parties, before becoming more widespread.
According to a study, entitled Adapting or Disappearing: The New Reality of a Hyper-Digital World(conducted in September 2019 by Vanson Bourne, and published by Teradata), nearly two-thirds of French companies were convinced that artificial intelligence would play an increasingly important role in their strategy of cloud analytics over the next 12 months. This pre-Covid-19 conviction proves to be even more relevant in this post-crisis period.
Demand for cloud-based services has never been stronger. When half of the world’s population has been partially or totally confined, it has had no other means than digital to continue its daily online activity. This has led to an increase in Internet traffic, with many communication service providers reporting a 30-40% increase in average traffic, but it has also led to the shift from many previously offline activities and transactions to online platforms. The crisis has made digital transformation a necessity for the company’s survival in the event of a crisis, as it provides the tools for business continuity.
Digital technology has enabled survival…
This drift from continents to more digital online brings its share of challenges, but it is also a solution to future crises, as this crisis has shown. Studies show that companies want to accelerate their digital transformation. In a context of economic and health uncertainty, resilience, as well as business continuity, relies on digital tools of remote collaboration and mobility.
Employee mobility, but also ubiquity of the tools they use, as CIOs have had to open up access to applications and infrastructure for connections from outside the company’s network infrastructure. Most of the emergency actions at the beginning of the containment were aimed at ensuring employee connectivity and access to collaboration tools and business applications.
… AI and automation will allow the recovery
In a white paper entitled Cloud-based AI In a post-Covid-19 world, ABI Research estimates that the adoption of artificial intelligence in the cloud should accelerate, driven by three areas: warehouses and logistics, conversational artificial intelligence, healthcare and pharmaceuticals. For its part, Atos stated in a report entitled What the world will look like after the Covid-19 crisis, that automation will continue to develop, moving from lower-level and more fundamental forms of automation (such as automation of robotic processes [RPA] or basic physical robotics) to higher-level forms.
At the same time, artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analysis remain essential, Atos believes, as they permeate business processes (from the outside to the inside), revolutionize organizations as they become data-driven (from the inside out) and improve other technologies. The IA-ML allows automation or cybersecurity to become more aggressive and focus on higher-level tasks (decision automation, security operations centers [SOC], etc.). In another register, companies face a shortage of technology skills, even though the spectre of unemployment hangs over employees. They are looking at automation and robotics to fill this gap, train and re-qualify their employees.
In conclusion, organizations need to move a step forward, an invisible boundary between managing legacy systems and methods towards a more agile and inclusive focus of their approach to AI technologies and automation. ’agilit”Agility and flexibility will result from data centralization, more agile processes and high levels of intelligent automation,” Atos explains in its report. Digital platforms and ecosystems must be a priority, as they will be the lever for this transition from heritage-based to digital focus.”.