Age of disruption: Why emerging technologies are important

Monday, 15 October 2018 01:14 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}






By Chris Chelliah, Oracle APAC Group Vice President and Chief Architect 

– Technology and Cloud Platform

We live in the age of disruption. Today, nearly every aspect of our professional and personal lives is now coloured by unprecedented technological change to which organisations and their leaders need to respond – in fact, it will be key to their ability to successfully compete and thrive.  Why?

IT woven into our very fabric

Today, using technology, companies are weaving themselves into the very fabric of how people live, according to the global Accenture Technology Vision 2018 Survey.1 Thanks to emerging technologies, ‘Intelligent Enterprises’ are reimaging and reinventing the way they do business.  Through the use of these tools, they are advancing their organisations in ways that not only meet their business goals, but also benefit citizens, communities and society.  These businesses are reshaping, reimagining and transforming how our societies work and communicate. 

Three emerging technologies — Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain— in particular are driving this change.  Together, they offer vast potential to businesses to reinvent and re-imagine the way we do business.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is set to have a massive impact.  In fact, Forrester predicts that the businesses that use AI to uncover new business insights ‘will steal $ 1.2 trillion per annum from their less informed peers by 2020’.2 No wonder artificial intelligence – with its ability to empower automation, speed and the ability to make better decisions – is being touted as a magic bullet.

The rapid emergence of AI is being driven by three factors. The cloud has made huge amounts of computing and processing power available on-demand. The data deluge – where 90% of the world’s data has been created in just the last two years – has introduced the critical mass necessary to power the smart algorithms that drive these new capabilities. New AI tools that can easily be integrated into a business to serve as an engine for innovation are now enabling organisations to more easily adopt and benefit from new technologies.3

Even at this early point of the adoption by business there are some great examples of AI-centric innovation. Bajaj Electricals – an Indian lighting, engineering, electric utility and appliance maker – is using AI chatbots to transform its customer interactions. With 20 million products in warranty, and nearly two billion in use, the company required a cost effective mechanism to help its consumers select items or get them installed. What’s more, the chatbots also provide an effective method for the company to build relationships with its users.4 

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Taxation, with the help of Oracle Cloud services, has created an intelligent chatbot.  Being able to respond dynamically to inquiries about tax payment and tax payment certification automatically, its goal is the provision of better quality taxpayer services.

Internet of Things

There are more than 8.4 billion ‘Things’ on the internet according to Gartner, up more than 30% from the previous year.5  The mass amount of information they are creating has the power to revolutionise everything from manufacturing and healthcare to the layout and functioning of entire cities — allowing them to work more efficiently and profitably than ever before. Take Michigan-based technology consulting and services provider Lochbridge for example. The company is building IoT services designed to drive specific business outcomes for its clients, from improved customer loyalty to refinements in product quality. For example, the company’s diagnostics-as-a-service offering remotely tracks a car’s – or other connected devices’ – health, identifies potential problems, and sends alerts and service reminders.6


Blockchain has the power to transform how every industry does business by making interactions more secure, transparent, efficient and cost-effective. It has the power to transform many industries, including banking, securities, government, retail, healthcare, manufacturing and transportation. 

Taking healthcare as an example, Blockchain can provide immutable records for clinical trials, providing an auditable trail of the data being collected for pharmaceutical companies and regulators, all available instantly from verified participants. 

Blockchain can also help to guarantee product quality and safety by empowering the tracking of genuine pharmaceutical products from manufacture all the way through to distribution7, addressing the scourge of counterfeit drugs – a huge problem in the developing world.  

Similarly elsewhere, Blockchain could help auto manufacturers form a quality-focused blockchain, including parts suppliers, sub-assembly makers, a quality-control provider, and the public regulatory body. As a result, recalls of defective parts would progress much faster, and be more effective. This is significant, considering that tens of thousands of lives are lost annually because of defective auto parts.8

Using existing systems as the base

As a final thought, these new technologies should not be harnessed in isolation.  Importantly, they should be aligned to both business strategy and, ideally, tied in to existing business systems.  

In fact, the ninth annual Tech Trends Report by Deloitte points out that those organisations that are establishing a modern Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform as the foundation for emerging technologies like AI, blockchain and IoT are becoming more effective and competitive as compared to those that are ‘waiting for technology to mature’.9

And while many organisations lack the appetite to fund expansive transformation agendas, they cannot ignore digital’s relentless and disruptive march across the enterprise.  For enterprises in the 21st century, it is a case of ‘act now’ by modernising their business and business processes using emerging technologies, or be left behind.