Every time a big technology shift occurs, a new wave of digital disruption ensues. Back in 2006, cloud startled the IT and tech world with its Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) model. Today, it is the catalyst for several innovations and digital disruption across verticals. A similar kind of wave is shaking up the tech world again — and this time, it has to do with artificial intelligence (AI). It will not be long until the combination of cloud and AI will create another big technology shift, and an avalanche of digital disruption will ensue.
Cloud: Abstracting Every Path It Crosses
Cloud has emerged as an unprecedented winner. Today, it is the lynchpin to several technology advancements happening across the globe. Its ability to provide provisioning capacity and several IT infrastructure services at the click of a button has abstracted a majority of the capabilities that a traditional on-premise datacenter company would offer — so much so that the job role of a sysadmin has become obsolete.
Unlike traditional IT setups, technology innovators are now devising cloud to support new ways of doing business. Third-party Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies and solution integrators are managing a diverse group of cloud and non-cloud vendors while offering all the IT services that an early-age Internet company used to provide. Concurrently, information architects and process designers are implementing collaborative business procedures that will allow for increased process automation.
On the other hand, automation is slowly eliminating the need for human intervention and helping accelerate repetitive but necessary tasks that humans find mundane. Today, automation is one of the favorite players in many companies. And with several automated integrations in the cloud, companies are now able to focus more on business logic rather than the repetitive elements of ops management. This powerful capability will slowly abstract the operations part of development, and a day will come when the role of a cloud engineer will be obsolete, too — like sysadmins.
Artificial Intelligence: The New Lynchpin for Digital Disruption
AI tops Gartner’s Strategic Technology Trends for 2018. Even as we speak, just as a technology, a new AI-based solution might be released in the market somewhere in some corner of the world. Such is the trend that AI has set recently, and slowly, the perception of product development is aligning with it. Thanks to big data, computation, natural language processing, sentiment analysis, pattern recognition, image recognition, and advances in algorithms for machine learning, AI is impacting all of the industry verticals.
For instance, customer services are one vertical having a significant impact: 73% of survey respondents agreed that they use AI to increase customer satisfaction. Another vertical heavily relying on AI is the financial sector, where robots are used to predict market data, forecast stock trends, and manage finances. To an extent, "robo-advisors" are in trend now. Then, there's the coveted transportation industry, where AI is used for making self-driving cars. It's expected that these cars will be in the market in 2018 from big players like Google, Tesla, and Uber.
Takeaway: AI could lead us to one of the biggest social and economic revolutions the world has ever seen.
Cloud + AI = The Next Big Wave
While AI and the cloud are making quick strides towards automation and building intelligence in their paths, a day will soon arrive where both these technologies will cross paths and create a new wave of digital disruption.
We're slowly moving in this direction. For instance, IoT devices with built-in intelligence can connect to the cloud and play with data accordingly. That's one aspect of integrating AI into everyday products. On the other hand, cloud service providers and cloud management service providers are slowly building intelligence into their solutions to automate operations tasks.
For instance, we are on a mission to create a cloud platform that's self-sustaining and can orchestrate cloud resources based on its learnings and manage on its own with minimal human intervention, just like a virtual cloud engineer. We believe that cloud, in any model (public, private, or hybrid), will soon learn the nuances of managing on its own right from DR, deployment, and provisioning to orchestrating.
Ultimately, cloud and AI together will abstract major layers of product development across verticals. It will soon reach a point where a product manager can just talk to Amazon Alexa to build a fully functional mobile app, without even a tap or a single mouse click. And such advancements could be a precursor to another wave of digital disruption!