20 on 2020 - IT leaders dish out predictions

Machine learning and artificial intelligence will have the greatest impact in 2020

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CRM has lost its ‘R’ - the relationship with the customer. Technologies that enable organisations to automate the tedious and time-consuming and reverse this trend will put the ‘R’ back into CRM in 2020. This next wave, relationship-centric automation, the lack of which has seen businesses offshore entire departments, will turn around high levels of customer dissatisfaction and retain the people in a business with the greatest customer knowledge and nous. Increasingly smaller departments will be able to bring much more value to the business, elevating previously transactional job roles to ones which radically enhance the customer experience and the bottom line.

Karen Stephen
Karen Stephen

Many CIOs lament their legacy technologies for holding them back. But the prospect of removing these deeply embedded systems, and the potential business disruption that comes with it, has stopped many from pursuing newer technologies. This is particularly the case for business-critical investments like ERP. 

In 2020, IT will seek to integrate new software layers over the top of legacy systems to extract more value out of them, rather than face the risks of removing them completely. Add-on technology will become the go-to. The future isn’t another system - it’s another layer that extracts the value from the legacy.

Scott Hahn, technology lead, Accenture A/Z

In 2020, the next iteration of artificial intelligence (AI) will be upon us as it will evolve into a technology that provides continued value and supports human ingenuity. If organisations design systems that effectively blend people’s skills with AI, this will allow employees to manage complexity within the workplace and develop disruptive business strategies. Organisations will look at AI through a different lens and see it as a technology that is more than automation, almost a ‘co-worker’. This will work by optimising the relationship between humans and machines.

Cloud is another technology that will have an even bigger impact next year, as businesses will look to go deeper into cloud to improve cloud operations, maintain security, control cost and ensure governance for both internal and external IT. Businesses will look to expand their cloud footprint by leveraging multi-cloud networks and micro services. Discussions regarding cloud are already moving from just workload management to rather platforms for innovation, and this will be even more true next year.

Scott Hahn
Scott Hahn
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