Imagine an office where humans and AI-powered bots work side-by-side. Where machine learning, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things are everyday tools. And where spending on innovative technologies grows twice as fast as the overall economy.
That’s not science fiction, but instead the latest predictions for the next couple of years. The forecast comes from a new IDC briefing paper, Powering Intelligent Enterprise Transformation, sponsored by Lenovo.
For tech providers who get with the program, the payoff could be huge.
There are 2 main components. First, what IDC calls the 3rd Platform, which comprises cloud, mobile, big data analytics and social media. Second, what it calls Innovation Accelerators (IAs); these include robotics, cognitive systems, IoT, and both augmented and virtual reality.
Here’s where it gets interesting, and potentially lucrative.
On the one hand, IDC says traditional IT spending will lag GDP growth by 2020. On the other, it predicts that spending on 3rd Platform and IAs will hit growth rates double that of the global economy, and by as soon as 2021.
Here’s a graphic presentation of the data, courtesy of IDC (“ICT” refers to information and communications technology). The gap between the purple and blue sectors on the right represents the growing nontraditional IT spend:
The IT departments of your midsize customers could be among those that get automated with AI. IDC predicts that by as soon as next year, fully 25% of all processes for IT development and operation will be automated.
These processes could include configuration management, system set-up and maintenance, end-user workspace provisioning, and user on-boarding.
Cybersecurity is another area ripe for AI-enhanced automation. One application gaining traction is anomaly detection. This involves getting a machine-learning system to develop a baseline of normal network interactions, then watch for exceptions. When the system spots an anomaly, it sounds the alert for humans to investigate further.
For example, if an anomaly-detection system saw a Chicago-based employee trying to log in from Australia, it could highlight the action for human investigation. Maybe the employee is on a legitimate business trip, and should be permitted to log in. But maybe it’s a criminal impersonating the user for illicit purposes, and therefore someone who should be blocked.
Data centers are starting to use AI, too. Here, one application involves automatically moving workloads to their optimal compute platforms, whether that’s on-prem (either physical or virtual) or in the cloud. The AI system essentially looks around the network for any under-used processors, then shifts the work there.
On beyond IT
There’s will be plenty of AI used beyond the IT department, too, according to IDC. Indeed, the market watcher predicts that fully half of all structured and repeatable tasks will be automated by 2024, just 5 years off.
IDC also expects that by that same year, 1 in 5 workers engaged in knowledge-intensive tasks will co-work with either AI-infused software or other digitally connected tech.
For example, more than 100,000 bots have already been deployed across various messaging and web platforms, according to IDC. Today, those bots are mostly used for customer-facing chats. But in the near future, humans and AI-driven bots will likely work together as workplace colleagues.
Are you ready to share your office with a bot? It’s coming sooner than you might think.