Emerging technology is an umbrella term for technologies that are rapidly gaining ground and have the potential to revolutionize society. Examples include artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics and blockchain technology.
IT executives often refer to emerging technology when discussing the strategic implementation of new platforms and solutions. However, it’s essential to recognize that digital transformation encompasses more than just technology – it also involves cultural shifts in how business gets done.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI refers to a set of technologies that enable machines to learn and adapt. Machines take data in the form of speech, text or images and process it by applying rules and algorithms.
These technologies can be employed to optimize a range of business functions, from customer service operations and physical/cybersecurity systems to R&D activities and business analytics processes. However, they come with their own set of challenges.
Machine Learning (ML)
Machine learning (ML) is an emerging subfield of artificial intelligence that allows computers to improve themselves without being programmed specifically. This development has allowed AI systems to learn from data, recognize patterns and make predictions autonomously.
Machine learning (ML) algorithms employ various approaches to interpret data sets and make accurate predictions. They may rely on supervised, unsupervised, or reinforcement learning techniques.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) is an interconnected network of devices that communicate with one another over the internet. These range from everyday household gadgets to complex industrial tools and have the potential to revolutionize many industries.
Businesses and individuals are taking advantage of IoT technology to streamline operations, strengthen security measures, boost productivity levels, and generate new revenue streams. However, some concerns regarding privacy and data management must still be addressed.
Quantum computing leverages the unique properties of quantum physics to solve problems that are too complex for classical computers to handle. This can result in dramatic performance gains for certain use cases.
Quantum computers, for instance, can simulate molecular interactions faster than their classical counterparts. This could significantly expedite drug discovery processes.
Beyond its potential applications in medicine, quantum computing offers significant business prospects. Companies such as DHL are looking to utilize it to optimize global delivery routes and more efficiently pack packages.
Robots are useful in a number of fields, but are most frequently employed in manufacturing and construction. These industries are facing an acute shortage of workers as well as an urgent need for new infrastructure such as homes.
Robots require specialized components like sensors, actuators and end effectors in order to complete their assigned task. Each of these pieces plays a unique role in helping the robot accomplish its assigned mission.
Blockchain is a decentralized ledger that tracks time-stamped transactions. This powerful technology has the potential to revolutionize many industries such as finance, security, consumerism and business models.
Blockchain can simplify the transfer of funds between parties, especially for cross-border deals. Where financial institutions typically operate during regular business hours, blockchain operates 24/7 with its highly dependable technology.
Blockchain not only reduces processing fees and eliminates errors, it also offers a level of privacy not available through other record-keeping systems. This can be especially advantageous in the healthcare sector where patients have been targeted by scams.
Virtual Reality (VR)
VR (Virtual Reality) is a technology that allows users to explore a virtual world without leaving their current environment. It has applications in numerous fields such as gaming, education, medicine and engineering – just to name a few!
Virtual reality systems create realistic visual, audio and haptic feedback to create the illusion of presence in a simulated setting. To do this, users wear headsets that split the display between each eye for a stereoscopic image.
Augmented Reality (AR)
AR is an innovative technology that superimposes virtual objects onto the real world. It has many applications, such as education, entertainment and retail commerce.
This technology utilizes sensors and computer vision to create a virtual environment. Additionally, it utilizes the device’s GPS and compass to orient the virtual object at a precise location.
Cybersecurity is an essential technology that shields networks, devices, and data from unauthorized access or criminal misuse. It also requires maintaining the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information.
This emerging technology is becoming more and more critical as organizations collect and process vast amounts of data, much of which is private or sensitive. Furthermore, organized cybercrime groups are expanding their operations beyond national boundaries.
The game of cat-and-mouse between defenders and attackers will continue to evolve, so organizations need to prepare for the future by developing sound habits now. This includes providing staff training in cybersecurity best practices and procedures, monitoring suspicious activities, and reporting threats.