Bryan Ma, Vice President, Client Devices, IDC Asia Pacific and Worldwide
The International Data Corporation (IDC) believes that the IT industry is entering the most critical period yet in the 3rd Platform era: the Innovation Stage. It views this stage as an "explosion of innovation and value creation on top of the 3rd Platform's foundation of cloud, mobile, social, and big data technologies".
It foresees that the Innovation Stage will be driven by a new wave of core technologies - which it wholly terms as 'innovation accelerators' - that radically extend the 3rd Platform's capabilities and applications.
'Innovation accelerators' are noted to be the next generation of 3rd Platform technologies that are critical to digital transformation. The adoption of these technologies can help drive digital transformation by opening new revenue streams, creating information-based organisations, and changing the way work is performed.
At the recently concluded ITEX Asia, which was held at Singapore Expo on January 21 and 22, 2016, Bryan Ma, Vice President, Client Devices, IDC Asia Pacific and Worldwide, delved deeper into each of these six key technologies and how they are changing things going forward:
1. 3D printing
3D printing refers to materialising all sorts of physical things from digital blueprints - from food to clothing, and even living tissue and organs.
Ma recounted a time when he attended a friend's wedding in Mexico a few months ago, and he was surprised to see that his friend (the groom) has 3D printed all the wedding favours. "He customised them to the wedding theme, and even personalised it for each of his guests," said Ma. "However, one main problem with 3D printing is the time factor."
Bridging this gap, Ma notes that newer technologies are emerging to move production closer to the end-user. In line with this trend, he shared how several shoe companies, including Nike, are now using 3D printing technology to provide customers with shoes that are custom-made for them - in the store, and on the spot.
Robotics is about driving knowledge from the digital world into action in the physical world, through robots, self-driving cars, drone, nanorobots and more.
IDC predicts that this technology area will grow five times within the next five years. Additionally, by 2018, an industrial robot will be one-fifth the price of today, but with five times the capacity.
In the healthcare industry, Ma said that for complicated surgeries, half of them will be conducted in a simulated or a robotic-assisted environment; and this will help reduce the operating time by 20 percent.
3. Cognitive systems
Cognitive systems have the ability to observe, learn, analyse, offer suggestions, and even create new ideas - dramatically reshaping every services industry. In the US, cognitive apps are found to yield productivity improvements of more than US$60 billion annually for enterprises by 2020.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.