Over 30,000 attendees showed up at IBM’s inaugural Think 2018 conference in Las Vegas. They arrived with the goal of learning as much as they could about IBM’s technology and strategies for the years ahead — including their artificial intelligence platform, Watson.
The tagline for this year’s conference was: 'Let’s put smart to work.'
It touches on the many new technological advancements that have made our lives smarter, more efficient and more convenient. More importantly, it helps everyone to imagine the coming changes. What technologies are going to disrupt the world? What’s going to change our lives?
Outside of the general tech insights, IBM also had some incredibly powerful things to share about the state of
Below are four key takeaways highlighted throughout Think 2018. If a company as big as IBM values these trends, it may be worth looking into how you can start to build more value for these themes into your business, too.
1. Real-time data analytics are necessary
The IBM product, Db2 Event Store, is an in-memory database specifically designed for data processing and real-time analysis. At Think, IBM detailed several recent improvements to the platform, many of which stem from their Watson AI platform and cloud computing initiatives.
For years now, data management and customer service industries alike have begun to focus on modern analytics, or performance and contextual data. By monitoring how your customers are using products and services, and when they need them most, you can better serve them.
Analytics help you figure out how and when to deliver products, but more importantly, you can gain valuable insights into future strategies and decisions.
You might learn, for instance, that a product you were previously considering would have no place in the current market. Forecasting is especially important in the apparel industry, which sees rapid changes and evolution regarding popular style, demand, and themes.
2. Open source formatting
Another topic that the company touched upon in various keynotes and presentations is that company-wide data must be able to move from one business application or platform to another.
Thanks to the rise in cloud computing and remote storage systems, there’s a growing need for portable, more compatible solutions. One of the best ways to ensure this is possible is to use an open source data format, which allows you to hop from platform to platform with little to no restrictions.
IBM’s Db2 Event Store platform enables this through Apache Parquette. All parties retain universal access to their secure data without vendor lock-in or authentication issues. More importantly, you still gain real-time analytics for your data no matter what applications you’re using, as well as robust, event-driven business support.
3. Opt-in policies are the new standard
In the past, companies would present a disclosure agreement to relatively new or interested customers. The details would describe a system that regularly collects personal data, including habits and information unless they chose to 'opt-out' by enabling a certain option or setting.
This meant that applications, tools, software, and systems were collecting information regardless of whether or not most customers wanted them to, or even knew about it.
IBM has proposed a newer standard for the industry — which has actually been around for a while now— that adheres to 'opt-in' protocols instead of opt-out. Essentially, a customer must expressly provide a company or enterprise permission to collect and store data about them.
For example, when signing up for a new service, the company may ask something like 'Can we use x,y and z personal information for a, b and c purposes?' If the customer decides they don’t want to participate, then that’s that.
This is important for retaining privacy and security, but also for ensuring complete trust from your customer base. With breaches and hacks rampant in the current state of the cybersecurity market, a system like this is all the more invaluable.
4. 5G is coming, and it will change everything
Several industry experts — including the CEO of Verizon — made appearances in order to discuss the future of mobile connectivity. They hinted at the imminent launch of 5G, or the fifth generation of mobile networks. When it becomes available, it will instantly transform the entire enterprise and business world. How so?
Well, 5G networks are much more powerful, allowing for faster data transfer rates, lower latency, and better reliability. Naturally, this will allow cloud computing and remote application services to deliver even better performance and customer experiences.
Processing power will no longer need to be part of the local device, but can instead be handled remotely.
This will make modern experiences that are much more powerful. Imagine a mobile device, for instance, that is capable of displaying incredibly detailed VR content.
Meanwhile, all the processing is handled remotely on a server somewhere. This will also significantly reduce energy consumption for mobile devices, allowing them to last longer.
It’s difficult to imagine now, but all of these changes and improvements will greatly affect the data management and data facilitation markets too.
We’ll see more prominent cloud computing solutions, including better, more robust platforms and support for business executives and personnel.
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