In an uncertain context, digital transformation appears to be essential to ward off future crises. But what about AI and automation? Even if companies seem interested, these technologies will be drawn by certain trades, before becoming generalized.
According to a study, entitled adapt or disappear: the new reality of a hyper-digital world (carried out in September 2019 by Vanson Bourne, and published by Teradata), almost two thirds of French companies were convinced that artificial intelligence would play an increasingly important role in their cloud analytics strategy over the next 12 months. This pre-Covid-19 belief turns out to be even more relevant in this post-crisis period.
The demand for cloud-based services has never been greater. When half of the world’s population was partially or completely confined, they had no other means than digital to continue their daily activity online. This has resulted in an increase in internet traffic, with many communications service providers reporting a 30-40% increase in average traffic, but it has also resulted in the shift from many previously offline activities and transactions to online platforms . The crisis made digital transformation appear to be a necessity for the survival of the company in the event of a crisis, as it provides the tools for business continuity.
Digital has allowed survival…
This drift from the continents to more digital online brings its own challenges, but it also constitutes a solution to future crises, as the present crisis has shown. Studies show that companies want to accelerate their digital transformation. In a context of economic and health uncertainty, resilience, like business continuity, relies on the digital tools of remote collaboration and mobility.
Mobility of employees, but also ubiquity of the tools they use, because CIOs had to open access to applications and infrastructures for connections coming from outside the corporate network infrastructure. Most of the emergency actions at the start of containment were aimed at ensuring employee connectivity and access to collaboration tools and business applications.
… AI and automation will allow recovery
In a white paper titled Cloud-based AI In a post-Covid-19 world, ABI Research believes that the adoption of artificial intelligence in the cloud should accelerate, driven by three areas: warehouses and logistics, conversational artificial intelligence , health care 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, passing from lower-level and more fundamental forms of automation (such as the 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, believes Atos, because they permeate business processes (from outside to inside), revolutionizing organizations as they become focused on data (from inside to outside) and improve other technologies. IA-ML allows automation or cybersecurity to become more aggressive and focus on higher level tasks (decision automation, security operations centers [SOC], etc.). On another note, businesses face the skills shortage, even if the specter of unemployment looms over employees. They are eyeing automation and robotics to fill this gap, train and retrain their employees.
In conclusion, organizations must move on, an invisible border between managing legacy systems and methods toward a more agile and inclusive orientation to their approach to AI and automation. “Agility and flexibility will come from centralized data, more agile processes and high levels of intelligent automation,” said Atos in his report. Digital platforms and ecosystems must be a priority, as they will be the lever for this transition from the emphasis on heritage to the emphasis on digital. “