The persistent disruption of 2020 hasn’t evaporated with the turn of the calendar. Companies that successfully rode out the turmoil—or thrived in the face of it—transformed their processes at an extraordinary rate. And now they’re looking at what other steps they can take to continue moving forward. Digital transformation, and evolving toward becoming an Autonomous Digital Enterprise—a future-state framework where companies embrace intelligent, tech-enabled systems across every facet of the business through emerging technologies like automation—is the theme of the day. There are a number of trends on the horizon that will help define that ongoing evolution.
Lean into artificial intelligence
Pivoting toward remote and hybrid working, and an increasingly remote customer base, has meant a greater overall reliance on technology, and emerging technologies like automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML). New business opportunities are sure to follow as how we work and interact keeps changing.
Data is at the heart of today’s business, and as more organizations face an increase in its volume and complexity, they will need to learn to leverage it by implementing digital enterprise applications that span on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures. Smarter strategies and new, centralized, and scalable AI-enabled operations (AIOps) systems will ascend, replacing conventional ITOps approaches to modern management. Since 2020 was a litmus test in how businesses respond to unexpected events, AIOps will also make gains because it continues proving that it can address and anticipate unpredictable scenarios with AI, ML, and predictive analytics.
Embrace new service management tools
As the pandemic continues to limit personal interactions, more organizations will turn inward for resources, establishing internal IT teams, self-service models, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms to reduce external resource dependencies. Many businesses are also scaling and deploying IT service management (ITSM) and enterprise service management—the natural evolution of traditional ITSM—solutions and leveraging hyperautomation and operations automation to increase productivity across the organization. All are integral to the evolution into an Autonomous Digital Enterprise.
Expand Intelligent automation
Pervasive intelligence and enterprise automation, which drive smart devices such as in-home personal digital assistants and wearables, and monitoring solutions for medical treatments, shipping, transportation, and more, saw a significant uptick in 2020, and they will continue to impact business growth and strategy in 2021 as they simplify our business and personal lives and deliver better outcomes.
Improve the employee experience
2020 was a brutal year for unemployment, and in implementing automated technologies, it’s imperative to bear in mind that they work best in tandem with—not instead of—human operators. A hybrid approach improves operational excellence by reducing manual tasks and empowering staff to instead rededicate their efforts toward higher-level critical thinking that leverages their creativity, skills, and intellect across the enterprise.
By harnessing new operational models and technology to drive agility, customer centricity, and actionable insights, companies can achieve the innovation required to succeed—and become an Autonomous Digital Enterprise.
Ram Chakravarti is CTO at BMC Software.