Everybody speaks about the digital economy and the transformation effect it produces in business as well as in our daily lives.
By now, most of us understand what digital transformation entails and why it is important for businesses to embrace it in full scale. However, the road to transformation becomes more challenging when we try to navigate how to get from where we are today, to realizing digitization at its maximum expression. It is easy to get lost amid new technologies and fashionable terms.
You can quickly get confused with the role that new artificial intelligence and machine learning tools play in this new world, the significance of internet of things at the point of data capture, the potential of analytics and finally, the ubiquitous role of the cloud. The fact is that it is impossible to assess the significance of this transformation without interconnecting the power of all these tools.
As a first step ahead, all devices in a network will be seamlessly connected – via the Internet of Things – to provide rich data on usage and consumption patterns. This data in turn, needs to be systematically structured on a rich analytics platform that has the capability to predict behavior. In the meantime, applying machine learning allows for a closed loop improvement. Finally, improved insight will be far less meaningful if it is not fully integrated into a modern ERP system, that can act as digital hub for the enterprise. All this establishes an end to end model that can then be fully consumed on the cloud.
There are three technologies that are accelerating the exponential impact of this integrated model:
- Cognitive technologies that allow for improved, on the spot deep knowledge acquisition
- Embedded machine learning capable of providing exponential value for each application in the enterprise
- Emerging natural language or conversational systems that significantly improve human interaction with IT devices, eliminating the need for a keyboard and mouse
With these technologies in mind we have the ability to construct digital business systems that not only provide productivity and efficiency gains, but also project a platform for continuous innovation and improvement. Using these systems, each business process and every interaction with a customer and the marketplace, can generate a rich data digital footprint. This digital footprint in turn, offers a a wealth of knowledge that can improve business performance in real time. We can now easily envision the day when routine business processes are fully automated with machine learning capabilities that allow for improvement over time, and are readily accessible through natural language interfaces and powered by the cloud.
This visionary world is well in reach of businesses throughout Latin America. In fact, emerging players who have less dependency on legacy platforms, generally enjoy a shorter adoption curve. Furthermore, “Multilatinas,” as recent entrants in the global marketplace, have the unique opportunity to build these systems of innovation by leapfrogging established competitors. Once again, technology allows challengers to effectively level the playing field.
As new digital transformation winds sweep across the business landscape in Latin America, enterprises and organizations have a fresh opportunity to innovate further. This is the time to recharge every effort and make the digital future a reality, starting today!
Claudio Muruzabal is president of SAP Latin America & Caribbean