Having moved from the Bronze Age through the Industrial Age, we are currently on a trajectory towards a new, huge shift in our society thanks to the rapid acceleration of technology: The Information Age.
As the name suggests, the defining element of our future is information, composed of lots and lots of data. Managed correctly, this can translate to exciting applications of technology based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).
While it may seem daunting to know where to start, businesses of any size can access these kinds of technologies in 2018 thanks to easy access to affordable, scalable cloud packages. These days most major cloud providers have a suite of AI capabilities that businesses can, with a bit of imagination, use as the building blocks for new ways to improve process efficiency through automation and create new products and capabilities for customers.
AI’s ability to process information at beyond superhuman speed promises better management of processes, systems networks and information, making it a strong business tool. Examples of how organisations have utilised AI are varied and innovative, covering everything from improving air quality to wildlife conservation. By using the cloud, any organisation can find an AI solution that can be scaled up or down depending on their requirements.
Another technology that offers huge potential is IoT. The practice of connecting any potential ‘smart’ devices to a network is already creating huge waves for a range of industries, including applications in agriculture, city planning and manufacturing. Typical examples of this technology include sensors that monitor and evaluate their own performance and can order a replacement for themselves if they stop functioning. This can lead to huge savings in terms of time and cost as it automates the whole process.
So far, the case for moving a business to the cloud has been to increase flexibility and to lower computing costs, but now cloud offers businesses the tools they need to adopt these latest technologies. This is especially important as older businesses look to keep up the pace with their innovative digital native counterparts.
However, businesses looking to invest in these technologies will need a huge amount of computer processing power. Unfortunately, not many organisations have the option of building their own bricks and mortar data centres, but this need not be a barrier for your business as thanks to the cloud, state-of-the-art data centres are at your fingers irrespective of the scale of your business.
Developments in the industry are already well underway to support an organisation move to the cloud specifically with these new technologies in mind. For example, at Tata Communications we recently extended our partnership with Google to provide support for its recently launched Partner Interconnect service. This service enables customers to connect to the Google Cloud Platform from anywhere at a high speed, giving businesses the flexibility they need to successfully launch these new technologies. It is also extremely easy for businesses to work with Partner Interconnect, as its partners – including Tata Communications – have already set up and certified the infrastructure with Google Cloud, hence minimising efforts for organisations.
Without a doubt, the technologies we use to power our businesses are evolving and organisations need to be agile and innovative enough to figure out where it can add value to their business. They say every journey starts with a single step – using the cloud for your business gives you the direction to walk confidently into the new Information Age.
Read more about the impact of cloud on the connected world here.