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Technology change agents

A look back at tech driving change in 2019 and beyond 

Feb. 3, 2020 | By: Albert McKeon

technology changing from a type writer to a laptop

It’s hard to believe the calendar turned on not just another year but flipped to an entirely new decade. For CIOs, CSOs, CTOs and those who keep one eye on what the present day means for their IT infrastructure and the other eye on what the future could bring, a new year and decade should give them, hopefully, a little time to review what happened and plan for what’s to come.

At TEKsystems, we’re also taking stock and looking ahead. Last year in our publication Version Next, Now we reviewed four topics that had weight in 2019 and will continue to affect organizations this year and beyond. Personalized customer relationships, data management, microservices and identity management are certainly four aspects of business that require constant examination and forward thinking.

Getting personal

First, in the ongoing mission to win and sustain customer loyalty, companies recognize they have to personalize every interaction with customers. Digitally connected and empowered, consumers won’t think twice about changing brands. Organizations need to effectively implement and operate their digital experience platforms—often referred to as content management systems (CMS). An optimized CMS will map customer data with business interactions and provide a single, holistic point of view of customers—a big step toward understanding and satisfying them.

Untangling data

Data indeed drives business, but what should companies do when there are an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being created every day? Well, create a data strategy. By visualizing and executing a data journey, organizations can more effectively map the business objectives, needs and priorities they’re trying to solve for with their data. Once a company can properly analyze data and extract meaningful insights, it can make informed and strategic decisions about all areas of the business.

Modernizing applications

Organizations are also trying to figure out how to put data to use in new ways. Data is coming to life in applications that are created by a microservices architecture. Unlike monolithic applications, microservice ecosystems are better suited for continuous integration and deployment, enabling better, faster and more dynamic iterating. Complex workloads can be brought into the cloud, then refactored and easily broken down by leveraging microservices running on containers. Suddenly, an application can be created without long lead time, and companies can quickly respond to customer and market demands.

Protecting the enterprise

Lastly, the literal key to application development, data access and just about every digital business function is identity management. Digital transformation will come to a screeching halt if enterprises can’t detect and mitigate cybersecurity threats. Many organizations have adopted a mindset of Zero Trust—a security discipline that holds nothing inside or outside the perimeter can be trusted and everything must be first verified before getting access. That’s where an identity access management (IAM) program comes in. IAM helps organizations manage and maintain user access to business information, decreasing the likelihood of a breach.

Pursuing and perfecting those four objectives alone should keep the C-suite busy. But technology never rests, and the opportunities from new advancements should keep companies busy in 2020.

Ever-evolving with technology

Consider the promise of AI, which could radically change how information is gathered and put to use. Whether it is robotic process automation making work tasks easier, chatbots giving people shortcuts to information or sensors and software driving an autonomous vehicle—organizations need to decide how they will connect to AI technologies as well as coalesce and analyze all the related data. Cloud technology is a decidedly popular option for making it all happen.

And even though cellular network carriers will be unrolling 5G for several years, this new wireless technology will be here sooner or later. With it, companies can take greater advantage of edge computing, a processing power that’s away from mainframe servers and which will fuel IoT. Here, too, companies need to have data processing and storage capabilities in order.

Who knows what else 2020 and beyond will bring—but that’s the fun and challenge of using technology to drive business.

Albert McKeon is the contributing editor for TEKsystems’ quarterly publication Version Next, Now. He has written an estimated 5,000 articles covering a range of topics, including business and technology. Albert has received leading journalism industry recognition, including the New England Press Association’s Journalist of the Year honor. He writes for magazines and news services and creates content for organizations.