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August 19, 2015

Hype fails to create digital transformation reality

Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies reveals to enterprises when to expect disruptive technologies.

By CBR Staff Writer

Business digitalisation using technologies enabled by IoT and the cloud is five to ten years away, according to forecasts.

Analysts predict that between 2020 and 2025, technologies like IoT, wearables and hybrid cloud will reach a plateau of productivity.

Betsy Burton, VP at Gartner said: "As enterprises continue the journey to becoming digital businesses, identifying and employing the right technologies at the right time will be critical."

Commenting on Gartner’s ‘Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2015’, Jon Wrennall , CTO at Fujitsu UKI, told CBR: "To ensure organisations make the most of their digital assets, they need to boil down their services to reveal what is relevant and what needs improvement to guarantee efficiency. In doing this, digital is able to transform the way in which businesses work and increase in productivity."

Wrennal added that thanks to the better efficiency and productivity, companies will be able to redirect their efforts into providing better face-to-face services for customers when required.

Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director at European Automation, told CBR that what is particularly interesting is the shrinking timeline of the cycle.

Wilkins said: "It now only takes a few years to develop new technologies to the point where they reach the plateau. We expect this timeline will become shorter and shorter in upcoming years."

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As businesses transform into hybrid IT organisations, one area that is drawing focus is hybrid cloud computing. While a number of companies such as Microsoft build partnerships with hybrid cloud functionally in mind, Gartner suggests that it is two to five years until a plateau of productivity is reached.

Well and truly in decline from the peak of the Hype Cycle, hybrid is plummeting into the trough of disillusionment. Analyst firm Kable identified that the allocation of budget for hybrid is set to drop, with private becoming a more preferred option.

According to Andy Soanes, CTO of Bell Integration, businesses are still looking for the sweet spot with hybrid cloud.

Soanes, said: "A business must be able to identify its ‘crown jewels’: those applications where failure, or losing control of data, would have catastrophic consequences. On the other hand, IT should be wary of excessive caution; keeping applications in-house when it no longer benefits the business to do so.

"Losing control of an application, or putting the organisation at risk or failing compliance, is an understandable worry."

The study prompted mixed reactions from tech experts towards the digital revolution and its realistic timeframe of implementation.

Dr Rado Kotorov, CIO at Information Builders, told CBR: "The report talks about collaborative working yet, less that 22% of enterprise employees use BI and analytics to make decisions – which means there’s a lot of work to do to achieve this by 2020.

"If a CIO has less than 30% penetration of BI and analytics they’re not providing effective decision support to their operational employees. The biggest push to set businesses up for a successful future transformation is to ‘operationalise’ insights to drive more profits and revenues.

"The industry has to focus on ‘operational’ decision making – more fact-based decision making for frontline employees, partners, suppliers and customers, and CIOs who do not operationalise analytics are only acting as tech support members, and not as business leaders."

Also speaking to CBR, Sukamal Banerjee, EVP for engineering and R&D services at HCL Technologies, said: "Contrary to common perception, the real focus should be on connecting consumer gadgets, such as smartphones and wearables with capital-intensive physical infrastructure or assets.

"Until a large part of these assets is connected to the handheld devices, real benefits of IoT such as improved uptime, efficiency and asset utilisation, cannot be achieved."

Reacting to the wearables trend in businesses’ digitalisation, Tris Simmons, senior product marketing manager EMEA at Netgear told CBR that if organisations are serious about using wearable devices within the workplace, then they need to think about the connectivity.

He added: "It is important to ensure that wireless access points are put in suitable locations to optimise performance across the whole of the building.

"To mitigate any risks, organisations need to ensure they consider the number of devices within the enterprise, rather than the number of workers."

Gartner’s report also revealed that technologies like quantum computing, brain-computer-interface and human augmentation are more than ten years away from reaching a plateau of productivity.

Co-authored by Joao Lima and James Nunns.

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