As 2018 slips into the rear view mirror, knowledge management and information technology executives are looking to the future. Here, they reflect on the changes ahead in 2019 spanning AI, content management, blockchain, process automation, and more.
The era of the monolithic, single enterprise content management system has come to an end: Companies need to think in terms of architecture for content services, with an emphasis on the plural—services. Many different personas exist within the enterprise, and their requirements to interact with, produce, and consume content all vary widely. The idea of content services aligns perfectly with the need for dynamic user experiences that cater to those personas, not forcing all users to a single ECM interface or Intranet. Corporate intranets that are clunky and have low adoption rates will meet their demise in 2019. While these programs have good intentions, execution is poor leading users to adopt non-sanctioned tools to do their jobs, resulting in shadow IT. To help combat shadow IT, CIOs will focus on solutions for social collaboration inside an organization, like a chatbot, that provides both a strong user experience while ensuring compliance with existing processes and regulation. – Stephane Donze, CEO of AODocs
Digital immortality will be possible via AI knowledge graphs: We’ll see the first examples of digital immortality in 2019 in the form of AI digital personas for public figures. The combination of artificial intelligence and semantic knowledge graphs will be used to transform the works of scientists, technologists, politicians, and scholars like Noam Chomsky into an interactive response system that uses the person’s actual voice to answer questions. AI digital personas will dynamically link information from various sources—such as books, research papers, notes and media interviews—and turn the disparate information into a knowledge system that people can interact with digitally. These AI digital personas could also be used while the person is still alive to broaden the accessibility of their expertise. – Jans Aasman, CEO of Franz
AI-augmented analytics will be mainstream: 2019 will be the year when AI-led analytics (known as Automated Discovery) will become mainstream. Human brains are not wired to evaluate millions of data combinations at sub second speeds, but machine learning is literally built for this problem and the perfect solution. Business leaders and data analysts are better understanding that AI is not going to replace jobs, but augment them, and I expect that in the next year, the majority of data analysts will have the power of data science at their fingertips without the need to write code. – Ketan Karkhanis, SVP and GM, Analytics, Salesforce
Blockchain excels with identity: In 2019, we will begin to see the first production-scale enterprise blockchain applications emerge. Blockchain and cryptographic technologies will allow users to own and control their data, and for data to be trusted by third parties they choose to interact with. This will have profound implications for digital identity, and will remove significant friction from real-world transactions—such as applying for jobs or financial products. In a shifting job landscape, blockchain-verified digital identities will allow people to build valuable career capital as they gain digital credentials representing their skills, qualifications, and work experiences. – Jon Ruggiero, SVP of Workday
Filling the gap between RPA and AI (IPA) with intelligent process automation: RPA has been one of the hottest areas of tech in the last 2 years—because of its simple, easy-to-understand value prop—process automation, efficiency; freeing resources up to focus on higher value activities, etc. But it has fundamental limits—it’s only effective with rote, repetitive processes and it cannot impact workflows involving unstructured content which makes up over 80% of data in most enterprises. At the same time, AI and machine learning are seen as too esoteric; requiring too much data science expertise, too much hand-holding, too much uncertainty and risk about ROI. Companies will look to bridge the gap in 2019—between the horsepower of RPA and the intellect of AI/machine learning through what may experts are calling “intelligent process automation.” – Tom Wilde, CEO and founder of Indico.
Decentralized web technology holds potential: For all the buzz about digital transformation, the reality is most businesses still struggle. Silos and technical debt stymie innovation, data is vulnerable, resources are constrained, and visions of tomorrow are usually curtailed by the problems of today. And all the while markets, priorities and technologies relentlessly change. Meanwhile, there’s a new tidal wave of transformational potential coming that most CIOs are not even aware of, let alone prepared for—the decentralized web … not only could it alleviate businesses of the burden, risk, and cost of securing and storing user data, but it could create entirely new models for innovation and revenue. So yes, exploring the transformational potential of the decentralized web should be a top priority for most CIOs in 2019. The winners will be those who can fulfill their current digital transformation initiatives while also preparing their architecture for the decentralized web. – Jonathan Bingham, CEO of Janeiro Digital.