As technology continues to evolve at breakneck speed, we are often asked about its impact on the future of business and enterprise. What innovations should we be looking at next? How must we adapt to ensure that we’re future-proof? Is technology fusion the answer? The simple answer is by combining technologies.
While there are many elements to modern technology that are compelling in their own right – such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA) and cloud – when used in isolation, they will not have a consistent and significant impact across all sectors and use cases. At the enterprise level, CIOs looking across their business will see inconsistent results from a single technology. They shouldn’t bet the house, so to speak, on a single piece of tech to resolve all business challenges and provide the flexibility and agility they need for the future. Sometimes RPA will be the answer to these challenges; sometimes cloud processing, sometimes low-code and AI.
We believe that taking a composite approach is the future and that, in combining technologies, a higher potential can be unlocked.
The rise of composite architectures
Combining technologies that work hand-in-hand in such a way have been referred to as composite architectures. Cited by Gartner as one of the leading enterprise trends in its 2020 Hype Cycle for emerging technologies, this is a development worth watching. One of the many benefits of a composite architecture is that instead of spending time constantly developing new technology, businesses can take the best parts of each and combine them for a specific purpose.
According to Gartner, a composite architecture is made up of packaged business capabilities built on flexible data and is based on four core principles: modularity, efficiency, continuous improvement and adaptive innovation. This modular approach allows enterprises to act with flexibility and agility – a vital requirement in today’s turbulent climate, and something that smaller players in the market often have the advantage of over larger organisations due to their smaller size and reduced complexity.
When considering the future of technology and where we can expect it to be, the trend confirms that customers that invest in the appropriate tools are on the right track. That said, for it to have the impact we hope and need, it will need to be generally applicable and reaching maturity in the next five years. And, when considering the here and now, low-code application platforms are vital to getting us to the stage we need with composite architecture. As a key precursor for composite architecture, we are seeing these technologies increasingly being grouped together with the likes of RPA and other intelligent automation technologies to deliver powerful results for businesses.
Gartner notes that ‘all of the major software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendors currently provide capabilities that incorporate low-code development technologies’. It is due to the ease of these platforms and their ‘deploy and integrate’ nature that low-code serves as the perfect tool for uniting technology and combining the best elements to drive impactful results.
A fusion of technology is the smart way forward
It is no longer enough to embrace technologies in isolation. Instead, a broader picture must be created in which the best elements of each innovation are combined to turbocharge transformation in the enterprise. We are already seeing this through the rise of fusion and multi-disciplinary teams that can blend technology and other domain expertise to drive application development. Savvy businesses are rapidly rethinking the way they operate, and platforms that allow for agility whilst combining a range of innovations will be paramount to success.
With further uncertainty on the horizon for businesses, including ongoing economic turbulence and, for many, the adaptation to a new hybrid way of working, platforms that can democratise innovation and propel businesses forward will be essential. Those who delay, and continue to integrate technologies in their silos, will create just that – a disjointed and siloed organisation that will struggle to remain nimble and will be slow to react to market change.
In short, there is no single innovation that will have a consistent and major impact across all enterprises. The future will be hinged on the combination of multiple technologies that complement one another – for example, variations of low-code + RPA, customer engagement + RPA and other technological fusions. Ultimately, technologies are stronger together, and enterprises that continue to arm themselves with multiple tools, that integrate seamlessly, will be the most successful in years to come.