Wovenware, a nearshore provider of smart software solutions, today predicted that 2017 will be marked by the growth of smart applications – such as chatbots, machine learning and other AI tools – which bridge the gap between humans and computers, more closely mimicking humans, and in some cases, replacing them. In addition, in the upcoming year the company expects to see the ubiquity of the cloud and the growth of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS); a resurgence of nearshoring as a cost-effective, efficient strategy for IT development; and the growing emphasis on adopting the customer delight experience from the consumer arena into the business world.
Smart Apps Explosion
Widespread adoption of cognitive systems and artificial intelligence (AI) across a broad range of industries will drive worldwide revenues from nearly $8.0 billion in 2016 to more than $47 billion in 2020, according to 2017 predictions from IDC.
“A key contributor to this growth is the increasing popularity of chatbots,” said Christian Gonzalez, CEO and co-founder, Wovenware. “These customer-facing, intelligent bots are providing a new level of communication as people continue to spend more time in messaging apps than on social media. These cognitive tools and bots read facial expressions, understand human emotion and learn new skills, blurring the differences between humans and computers.”
Growth of Nearshoring
The rapid pace of technology advances will only grow in 2017, and companies will be under pressure to continually enhance software to improve business value, and provide market differentiation and competitive advantage. Emerging smart solutions, which continually become more intelligent as they accumulate user data, need to be maintained and updated and can be extremely complicated to develop, requiring the specialized expertise of software engineers and data scientists. Because of the expertise required for these cognitive solutions and the rapid fire of product enhancements, it’s no longer feasible for most companies to develop them in-house, and many will turn to third-parties for product development and maintenance.
“As the traditional model of the offshore outsourcing model continues to wane, companies will recognize the benefit of turning to nearshore providers who can provide these services closer to home under the same or similar government rules, regulations and currency, and with more closely aligned cultures and time zones to allow for greater collaboration,” said Carlos Melendez, COO and co-founder, Wovenware.
Comfort in the Cloud
The concerns about security and loss of control in the cloud will be a thing of the past in 2017. For a remote and highly mobile workforce, the cloud, which only requires an Internet connection to be accessed, has become an attractive delivery model.
Yet what will drive a new level of cloud worshippers in 2017 is the growth of PaaS solutions, which provide a platform for customers to run and manage their applications in the cloud without the complexity of building the associated infrastructure or algorithms. As AI-based predictive analytics and other complex solutions continue to take hold, companies will realize how difficult they are to develop in the data center and they will increasingly rely on PaaS-based solutions.
Predictive Analytics and the Power of the Data Scientist
The power of data is now a given among industries of all types and it will be a necessary tool in 2017. From biopharma and med device manufacturing to retail and marketing, companies realize that data analytics is a key component of achieving business advantage. Advanced predictive analytics tools are enabling companies to not only measure the past but effectively create a road map for future choices by learning from previous situations. Since these solutions are only as good as the data they accumulate, the role of the data analysts and data scientists designing the algorithms and mining the data, will become as necessary as that of the HR manager, marketing head or CIO in the new year.
The Year of the Business User
A consumer-led, digital-focused market has made customer experience the siren call for companies everywhere. Most of the world’s largest companies will use intelligent solutions to improve the experience of business users in 2017 to address their expectations for the same type of digital experience they have in the consumer world. The new year will focus on new solutions that improve the business user experience, including intelligent apps which make it easier to perform every-day tasks in the office. Technologies, such as virtual personal assistants (VPAs) and customer service solutions, will deliver this new level of business user functionality by incorporating AI.