Before you start your digital transformation, here is what you need to know about emerging technologies. Amazon Web Services (AWS) talks to Techsauce about how companies can start their digital transformations and what tech trends are coming our way in 2019.
As we welcome 2019, the Techsauce team wants to share some insights we gathered from the annual AWS re:Invent 2018. The event connects people with cloud experts, initiates collaborations, and reveals the latest updates on how productivity, security and performance can be improved.
At the event Olivier Klein, AWS Head of Emerging Technologies, Asia-Pacific shared his experience and know-how on how traditional companies can start their digital transformations and emerging technologies are heading our way in 2019. Having been a technologist with AWS for over 10 years, he has worked on building scalable, secure and cost-effective applications in Asia-Pacific and Europe. He works on the areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Analytics & Data Lakes, Internet of Things (IoT), and Enterprise Applications.
Here are his thoughts on what corporates should know before going through digital transformation.
It is not a make or break decision, but it is step-by-step.
Klein says companies should start by looking at a variety of different use cases within their organizations before assuming that certain technology will help them. You need to know what problem you need to solve and then look at what technology should be adopted to solve that problem.
AWS starts each project by looking at what customers need to get done and then creating the proper architecture on its platform to bring solutions. Technological developments are at a point where it is not necessary for corporates to know every single thing about technology. There is no need to invest a large sum of money into technology that you may end up not using. Companies should not be afraid of technology that they are not familiar with. You just need to be confident in knowing what your pain points are and what outcomes you are aiming for.
Klein has seen AWS customers go through various stages of adoption, from cloud computing to IoT, Artificial Intelligence (AI) to ML. They seem to think certain technology will be the answer to their problems. However Klein says it is the opposite. He says,
Never see technology as a single unit.
You cannot use just ML or just storage. It is a combination of these different services to achieve a certain outcome for a company. AWS often hear customers say they want a particular service such as blockchain and the service provider would always have to ask customers what are they trying to achieve? More often then not, they did not need to run a block chain. This is why 95% of AWS services, features and functionality are based on customer feedback.
The biggest challenge according to Klein is figuring out the right service you truly need from Day 1. It is crucial for companies to have that important conversation with solutions architects on what their goals are. Sole responsibility is not with developers. It is a collaboration between the customer and the service provider. Ultimately scalability is up to how you build your architecture on a platform such as AWS.
Klein says companies should not be concerned when it comes to security for their data if they take the proper steps to setting up their architecture.
I would argue that a proper set up is very important when we talk about machinery.
When there is a lot of data points stored involved, it is important for companies to safely encrypt the data. This is why AWS prioritizes customers setting up a proper architecture on its platform.
Ultimately Klein believes that ML and AI is about changing the customer experience. It is about having more natural interactions with computers.
These future innovative interactions with machines is not far off. There may be some doubts that this will become reality for some countries in Southeast Asia with early-stage ecosystems, but Klein argues that this is not a concern.
Geography generally does not define technology services. Service options are down to the individual customer.
He has seen this in every region, including Indonesia, where interested technologies are being adopted. AWS works to address the different infrastructures by adding functionality to provide access to customers. In fact it just added abilities for customers to tap onto its global network for better connectivity to the cloud computing environment. All of these services are based on customers saying they have challenges with intermittent connectivity.
Some companies may live on the edge of remote areas and efforts are being made to synchronize technology in those areas. Such investments are driven by customer demand. Ultimately geography does not really make that much of a difference.
Klein says it is hard to pinpoint how AI and ML is used the most because there is no clear industry. It is literally up to the goals of each company. Areas that have been explored has been predictive maintenance in industries where machinery need to be maintained such as the energy sector. This has saved millions of dollars in preventing annual shutdowns to fix equipment. There is also the insurance industry where ML is being explored as a potential tool to learn from customer information to provide the best products to them.
Each sector has the potential to build complete new products enabled by ML. Most cases involve creating a way for natural language interface to talk a system. Overall AWS works to provide a platform with applications that is easy to use and does not require extensive tech knowledge. It also works to provide a channel for anyone to create algorithms that can be picked up by customers to be used in their business.
Klein says there will be a convergence between a variety of technologies. There will be a concentration of data. Focus will be on anything surrounding data analytics. It will be about the ability to collect more information and have data points at different channels. Investment will not stop for ML and increasing its capabilities and access to it.
Two other areas that is of interest is augmented and virtual reality. Right now AWS has services where complete virtual worlds or augmented experiences can be in browser and delivered to another browser on any device. There is not need for an application to be installed. You an haven an augmented reality experience by just going to the URL.
With that said, 2019 will definitely be a bright and exciting year! The Techsauce Team wishes you the best and will work hard to be the reliable tech media provider to our readers!