Technology applications for business operations have been evolving rapidly with changes in business contexts and rapid technology innovation. Businesses have been understandably cautious in adopting these, but as these trends mature, businesses must plan to avoid any potential loss of profitability or ability to exploit possible lucrative opportunities.
It is important to realize that these developments are not merely “technical stuff” that can be implemented by IT alone. These have the potential to upend existing processes and operating models while presenting new opportunities for growth and efficiencies. It becomes imperative for every business function to assess these and identify relevant initiatives. It is relevant to realize that the potential for value is inversely proportional to time, thus it might be better to act sooner. The technology changes like the cloud, easier technology availability, the rise of low-code platforms, etc., allow a much quicker adoption than has been conventionally possible.
- AI embedded within business applications: The convergence of cloud computing, open-source software, and advanced AI models is expanding the reach of GenAI with hitherto unimagined use cases. According to a Gartner study, by 2026, over 80% of enterprises are projected to utilize GenAI APIs and models or deploy GenAI-enabled applications in production environments. Artificial Intelligence, with its prowess in analyzing vast datasets and learning, presents businesses with an unparalleled opportunity to explore novel applications, enabling them to streamline processes, make data-driven decisions, and elevate overall productivity. AI-driven applications will empower businesses to automate repetitive tasks, forecast trends, and provide intelligent insights. This integration of AI into business applications will not only help businesses attain unimaginable use cases but also elevate the quality of decision-making. As technology advances, the symbiosis between AI and business applications is poised to define the corporate landscape, propelling organizations toward a future of unimagined operational excellence.
- Cloud as default: Keeping the cloud as the default with business applications offers several compelling advantages, such as increased scalability, cost-efficiency, and accessibility. With data centers evolving to accommodate more complex and resource-intensive applications, having a cloud-based solution ensures that businesses can easily adapt and expand their IT capabilities without heavy upfront investments. The future of business applications will be intricately tied to the cloud, where applications will be designed with an inherent focus on remote access, collaboration, and data security. This approach promises to make business applications more flexible and responsive to the dynamic needs of modern enterprises, paving the way for a truly connected and efficient business environment.
- Security prioritization: Now that businesses get their data from multiple sources and add-ins, security prioritization is becoming paramount. With the increasing integration of applications into various business processes, safeguarding sensitive data and ensuring the protection of digital assets have taken center stage. In the future, businesses will need to adopt a proactive stance on security, not only addressing known threats but also anticipating potential vulnerabilities. This approach involves robust encryption, multifactor authentication, and continuous monitoring to thwart cyber threats and unauthorized access. By making security a top priority, organizations can establish a resilient environment in which applications can operate with confidence. The future of business applications will depend on a foundation of robust security measures, ensuring that data integrity, confidentiality, and availability are safeguarded at all times.
- Mobile-centric design: Business applications are poised for a future marked by predominant mobile-centric usage. This trend represents a significant shift in how professionals interact with software tools, driven by the growing ubiquity of smartphones and tablets. The adoption of mobile devices has accelerated, and with it, there is a need for business applications to adapt seamlessly to these platforms. As a result, we are witnessing a paradigm where accessibility, convenience, and real-time functionality are at the forefront. The implications for businesses are substantial, as they must prioritize the development of responsive and user-friendly mobile applications to cater to the demands of a workforce that increasingly relies on their mobile devices for productivity and communication. The future of business applications undoubtedly hinges on their ability to offer a seamless and efficient experience in a mobile-first environment.
- Peripheral automation: Advances in cloud computing, interoperability, and increasing access and ease of technology require a rethink of enterprise application architectures. This can be achieved through the peripheral automation approach. Peripheral automation can be thought of as the set of digital initiatives that leverage the core enterprise records smartly to enable numerous interactions in the organization while enabling and empowering the organization members toward their goals. This approach recognizes the investments made, as well as the potential costs of disruption of the core systems of record that an organization has built. It emphasizes leveraging and enhancing these in a manner that aligns with the modern paradigms of access, ease, and performance. Even when the core systems of record undergo change or renewal, this approach provides the fundamental framework for identifying the needs, plans, and models for such systems. Lightweight automation components, which are tailor-made to a business’s unique strategy and business model, can now connect with and work in tandem with modern core business applications. Thus, peripheral automation enables differentiation and strategy execution while leveraging robust, time-tested, generic systems of records.