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IoT, AI and blockchain all key to digital transformation – but ensure you get the millennial view

IoT, AI and blockchain all key to digital transformation – but ensure you get the millennial view

It is widely accepted that a confluence of emerging technologies will be key to future business transformation. Yet there may be a difference of opinion dependent on generation, according to a new report.

The study, from KPMG, aimed to highlight divergent opinions between global tech leaders and millennials. According to the report – which polled more than 740 business leaders and 600 millennials working in the technology industry – the Internet of Things (IoT) remained the primary technology for business transformation, retaining its number one ranking from 2018. Robotic process automation (RPA) leapt to second from #9 last year, while artificial intelligence (AI) dropped from silver to bronze.

When exploring the millennial viewpoint, AI came out on top ahead of IoT, with 5G in third position. Two areas however were cited by the younger generation which did not poll in the overall ranking; quantum computing, which placed fourth, and digital payment platforms, at #7.

This may be an important aspect to consider, according to the report – but don’t take their word for it entirely. “Millennial’s perspectives show the influence of having grown up in a digital and mobile world,” said Tim Zanni, KPMG global and US technology sector leader. “While they are high on 5G’s impact in their companies within the coming years, a KPMG analysis projects that in about three years we will begin to see 5G unlock an estimated $373bn in technology company value globally.

“The timing aligns with tech leaders leaving 5G out of their top 10 technologies for business transformation in their companies over the next three years,” added Zanni.

In other words, while the long-term focus is there from the millennial perspective, business leaders will tend to have the right idea for the here and now and, more importantly, how to plan for that long-term view. The rise of RPA can be seen as part of this; organisations want to invest in robotic process automation as it eases them onto the road to AI.

When it came to exploring implementation, leaders predominantly focused on the bottom-line impacts; ‘improved business efficiencies’ or ‘increased profitability’ were always the top benefits of adoption. The most frequently cited barriers to adoption were security and technology complexity.

KPMG recommends organisations adopt a six-step roadmap to assess which technologies best suit them:

  • Assess how transformative technologies and new competitors may impact different aspects of your business model
  • Prioritise the capital allocation for adoption of new technologies that will be instrumental in creating sustainable long-term value
  • Engage in strategic M&A and partnerships to accelerate implementation
  • Ensure your business model is adaptable to harness new technologies
  • Foster a corporate culture that embraces innovation, agility and experimentation
  • Explore adoption of transformative technologies that millennials are comfortable with

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