In today’s digital world where humans and technology-powered systems interact in more connected and intelligent ways, enterprises that strive to achieve future growth realize that it is critical to lead with digital innovation to keep up with the expectations of an increasingly discerning end user. Those who don’t move fast enough will be forced out of the market.
Businesses have derived great value from emerging Internet of Things (IoT) strategies – serving as vehicles to fuel critical operations and drive efficiency. By 2020, there will be more than 20 billion devices connected to the IoT, according to research consultancy Gartner. Additionally, within that projection, they estimate more than 8 billion of those connected devices will be within the enterprise space – up from about 3 billion in 2017.
There is a shift toward a more connected, collaborative system where physical and digital entities converge across multiple channels and models. With further development of new technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), people will be increasingly dependent on the immersive experience offered by the smart edge devices that surround them.
The edge of enterprises is becoming increasingly important where real-time data is captured for enhanced visibility and analytics to generate actionable insights. Evolving technology such as connected sensors, digital twins, 5G and blockchain will help businesses collect and visualize the right data from endpoints, adding intelligent value to respond effectively to business needs.
Enterprises need to empower the edge, or the front line, across multiple channels to create conversational systems that enable people and machines to communicate effectively and naturally in the future.
Emerging technologies that are developing rapidly:
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) is an interactive experience where the real, physical world is augmented by computer-generated information. Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer-generated scenario that simulates real-world experiences. While most people think about AR or VR as consumer-centric technologies, both technologies will see increased usage in the enterprise space. AR, for example, can be used in the warehouse or retail space to direct pickers or store associates to complete their tasks. Both technologies can also be used in training.
5th generation wireless systems (5G)
5G is a new wireless network technology that has immense potential to be maximized in the near future. 5G will be mission critical as more devices are connected and more data is being created and will help with mitigating latency challenges as the requirement for more compute power to process data in real-time at the edge continues to grow. At the recent Zebra workshop hosted at TED, Qualcomm Technologies’ senior vice president of program management, Jeff Lorbeck shared that 5G systems will be able to provide private networks that are able to increase security, and allow companies to build infrastructures without the need for ethernet.
Think of blockchain as a secure digital ledger. Digital information is loaded onto the ledger by trusted sources, to only then be used by trusted sources. Some early areas enterprises are focusing on to leverage blockchain is to solve problems around food safety, the fight against counterfeit goods and fraud, and smart contracts across the supply chain continuum.
Please add some language here about the paramount importance of security in selecting and deploying IoT solutions and technologies, with proof points within LifeGuard and Zebra DNA software capabilities. This is a big differentiator for us.
According to results from Zebra’s second annual “Intelligent Enterprise Index”, the number of companies defined as an “intelligent enterprise” doubled to 10 percent in 2018. Key Index findings indicate clearly that more companies acknowledge the value of leveraging IoT strategies, and they will continue to propel adoption and investment in the future.
Retailers are investing to increase front-line associates’ effectiveness by arming them with the technologies that help to drive higher customer satisfaction with a great frictionless experience – whether it is to help them find the right products, enhance the buying experience online and offline, and address stock availability. In turn, these technologies need to be combined with collaborative solutions coupled with indoor locationing that allows for instant access to a wide variety of subject matter experts to be effective.
New emerging technologies such as AR and heads-up displays will drive transformation in the user experience and reset the expectations from a mobile edge device – the embodiment is likely to evolve into very different avatars in the long run as they augment the human workforce to be more effective. In retail, store associates using AR can quickly be instructed on how to position items on the shelves or identify goods that are out of stock.
The article has been contributed by Zebra Technologies